A 12-year-old boy from London has made about $400,000 creating artwork pieces called Weird Whales and selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Benyamin Ahmed isn’t the average 12-year-old boy. Despite his taste for taekwondo and swimming, the boy has a deeply ingrained love for coding and started learning it at just 5-years-old!
In this photo illustration a NFT sign is seen on a smartphone screen. | Source: Getty Images
The boy’s latest project is coding an NFT collection with thousands of pixelated whales. NFT stands for non-fungible tokens, which are unique digital assets, including jpegs and video clips, represented by codes on a blockchain.
Ahmed’s first NFT collection was inspired by the game Minecraft which he “spent too many hours playing.” The collection, created and coded by him, featured 40 colorful, pixelized avatars called Minecraft Yee Haa.
A Minecraft digital artist points at the digital version of the character 'Sal' as they work backstage during a 'Playcraft' live rehearsal. | Source: Getty Images
But the Minecraft collection didn’t sell as he expected. However, as he told CNBC, it was more of a learning experience than a money grab.
Benyamin advised other kids to take it slow and see it as a fun thing.
The learning curve led Ahmed to his second project, the Weird Whales. This one consisted of 3,350 pixelated whales that he once again coded everything himself.
The Weird Whales collection sold out in nine hours and earning Ahmed 80 ether. In fiat money, they sold for $255,000. He then made more than 30 ether from the resale market, plus 2.5% royalty on each secondary sale.
the cryptocurrency generated by the Ethereum (Ether, ETH) logo is seen on an Android mobile device screen. | Source: Getty Images
“It might be early proof that, in the future, maybe everyone doesn’t [need] a bank account and just has an ether address and a wallet.”
Close-up of code on a computer screen for the Apache Struts framework. | Source: Getty Images
Benyamin’s father, Imran, encouraged him and his brother to start coding early as a fun exercise, not as a business plan. Both boys fell in love with coding and haven't stopped. Benyamin advised other kids to take it slow and see it as a fun hobby.
"My advice to other children that maybe want to get into this space is don't force yourself to do coding," he explained, "...just do it to the best of your ability.”