EXCLUSIVE: Josh Ong On Minting Bored Ape, Looking Forward To Hearing Garga Speak (And Dance?) At Benzinga's Future Of Crypto

Zinger Key Points
  • Josh Ong took a career in Web2 marketing to a Web3 career after being an investor and collector of NFTs.
  • Ong was an early Bored Ape Yacht Club minter and has supported the community from its early days.

Well-known in the NFT community as Bored Ape Yacht Club #1037 or Maui Prime, Josh Ong is more than just a Bored Ape holder.

Ong will be speaking at Benzinga’s Future of Crypto event on Dec. 7 at Pier 60 in New York City to share his story on transitioning from marketing in Web2 to creating a Web3 business to help onboard more projects and people into the sector.

Intro to NFTs, Bored Ape Yacht Club: Ong told Benzinga he was first introduced to cryptocurrencies as a tech journalist, learning about Bitcoin BTC/USD and Ethereum ETH/USD. Eventually, Ong bought some crypto and moved on to do marketing for a company that did blockchain research and some dapps. Ong was later introduced to the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

“My intro to NFTs was through CryptoKitties in 2017,” Ong told Benzinga. “I used some Ethereum, bought some Kitties and tried to breed them.”

During the 2018 crypto winter, Ong took a break from the world of NFTs.

“I came back to NFTs when I heard about Dapper and NBA partnering for NBA Top Shot.”

Ong was excited to see a crypto-related company partner with “one of the biggest global brands.”

“I was collecting sports cards and digital cards at the time, so this new model from Dapper was really fascinating to me.”

Ong became more curious and interested in the concept of digital ownership and collectibles, which led him to take a closer look at Bored Ape Yacht Club when the project was introduced.

“I was fortunate to hear about Bored Ape Yacht Club on Twitter on Friday night, the first-day minting went live for the public.”

Ong said two things stood out to him on the website: the artwork and the concept of an exclusive club.

“The art reminded me of something like Ninja Turtles or nostalgia from my childhood.”

Ong said the concept of a “club of sorts” reminded him of alumni groups or Soho House.

“For $250 to join that experiment and see how it went seemed like a pretty easy choice. I minted one and went to bed.”

Related Link: EXCLUSIVE: Yuga Labs Co-Founder Greg Solano, AKA Gargamel, Is Coming To Benzinga's Future Of Crypto Event: Here Are The Details

Advancing Bored Ape Yacht Club: Ong said he woke up, and the mint had sold out, which led to him actively participating in the community from the start.

Ong hosted Twitter Spaces to talk about the Bored Ape roadmap and changed his Twitter profile picture. He was instantly connected to the concept of the club and community, and supportive of “Ape follow Ape” on Twitter.

“It was a really creative time, really special community,” Ong said.

Ong was recently named to the first-ever Bored Ape Yacht Club Community Council, a seven-member group selected by Yuga Labs co-founders.

"I’m honored to be part of the BAYC Council, really appreciate the founders putting this together and making this happen."

Ong is looking forward to supporting the three purposes of the council with feedback, giving back and autonomy.

"I’m excited to look at what it means to work in concert with Yuga but also to have own autonomy of council, work in the best interest of members of the club."

Web3 Profession: Ong has taken his experience in the Bored Ape community and NFT collecting to create Bored Room Ventures, an NFT consulting and partnership company.

“It’s been super fascinating to get deeper into the space, support other projects and other teams. A lot of it has been entering and building community together,” Ong said.

One key for the NFT space has been collaborations and partnerships, something that Ong used his old work history to help advance.

“What I found as I got deeper into Web3 as a collector was that there was a need and an interest in my background of marketing.”

Ong started getting requests from NFT projects and was able to use his background in marketing.

“I was able to combine my professional interests with my degenerate ones, that’s how Bored Room Ventures came about.”

Future of Crypto Event: Ong is one of several Bored Ape Yacht Club holder who will be speaking at Benzinga’s Future of Crypto on a panel titled “Unpacking Why Bored Ape NFTS Make Sense: Ape Talk”

“I’m a huge advocate for events,” Ong said.

Ong added that it’s been nice to connect with people in real life.

“I think the bear season is the season for building,” Ong said, referencing the current crypto and NFT downturn. “A lot of the people who are still here are the people who care.”

Ong is excited to see Yuga Labs co-founder Greg Solano (aka Gargamel) at Future of Crypto.

“Glad to have Garga there speaking, that’s a great get, hopefully we can see him dance a bit. I heard he’s got some great dance moves, you can check the Instagram to see a little clip of that.”

Ong is also excited to hear from Kevin O’Leary.

“I heard Kevin O’Leary speak recently, and I really enjoyed his talk and learned a lot. I think he has so much to contribute from the visibility he has in the industry, looking forward to hearing more from him.”

Ong was sure to add at the end of the interview that he was looking forward to “seeing Garga dance.”

Tickets for Future of Crypto are on sale now and can be purchased here.

Photo: Courtesy of opensea.io

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Posted In: CryptocurrencyExclusivesMarketsInterviewBenzinga Future of cryptoBored Ape Yacht ClubCryptoKittiesDapper LabsFuture Of CryptoGreg SolanoJosh OngKevin O'LearyNBA Top ShotNFTNFTsYuga Labs
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