Benyamin Ahmed is getting rich off of crypto but in an interesting new way. The 12-year-old boy is selling Weird Whales as non-fungible tokens or NFTs, in an amazing business venture that is set to make him $400,000 in two months.
The whiz kid is selling his digital pictures online through his website. The NFTs, all in varying degrees of rarity, are pixel art whales that can be truly owned by prospective buyers. Unlike other digital assets, Ahmed’s artwork is set up as NFTs that are recorded on blockchain technology, giving more value to the artwork.
Benyamin Ahmed is a 12-year-old coder with big dreams. His Weird Whales NFT collection is selling out fast, with the cheapest option listed at $2,000 worth of Ethereum. All that crypto dough is heading into Ahmed’s pocket, despite his father admitting that “he has never had an accountant, a bank account,” and “has never registered a company.”
The young boy is set to earn $400,000 in two months and previously made $160,000 in a day back in July. As detailed on his website, Ahmed started coding when he was 5 years old. The Weird Whales NFT product originally started as an “educational endeavor” but has since exploded.
According to the website, Benyamin Ahmed coded and designed all the “base layers for the whales” and then expanded the project by giving each one “traits” using pixel art. “Hen then generated 3350 unique digital collectibles programmatically using an open-source Python script that he customized for his collection.” He did the intense coding all by himself and the website claimed, “it is the first instance of a Kawaii pixel whale used in a generative art project.”
Each whale sold on the site is unique in some way. Some have crazy hats like a Viking helmet or cowboy hat, white other whales are doing strange things like smoking a cigarette. Because they are different, owning one is special, since there is a digital footprint that proves the buyer is the sole owner of that NFT. This, like regular art, provides value to the digital artwork whether it was drawn by hand or coded by a 12-year-old boy.
The set of 3,350 whales were made in the style of the whale meme from the video game Minecraft. The artwork was then tokenized into a digital certificate of ownership, transforming the meme artwork into an NFT.
But according to Ahmed’s father, the art isn’t what’s most important to buyers. Instead, it’s the historic significance that pushes them to pay high prices. The father, Imran, a software developer, said that the artwork is similar to “digital Pokémon cards” and explained that the product is very important to collectors.
“People find the art secondary,” Imran said. “Imagine when the printing press came out, if you managed to get hold of a book that was original, written by a 12-year-old that went viral, you can imagine how that would accrue value over time because of the historical significance.”
According to Ahmed, he was drawn to whales “because in cryptocurrency a whale is someone with 1,000 bitcoin. I could then say that everyone who owns a whale, is a whale. I could craft that catchline.”
More than the chance to say “I am a whale,” buyers connected with Benyamin Ahmed and his story. The 12-year-old was inspiring and “many people saw my story and connected and then it kind of just went everywhere.”
The coder has a large following on social media. On top of his Twitter account, where he promotes his NFT and provides special deals to potential buyers, Ahmed also has a LinkedIn page and a YouTube channel. He teaches various coding lessons for children in an attempt to spread his passion for computer programming.
While happy with his son’s success, Imran Ahmed is still wrapping his head around the whole thing. “It makes no sense,” Ahmed’s father said. “The prices of this [digital artwork] for a young artist. Everybody who you explain it to says, ‘I don’t get it. Why are they paying thousands of dollars?’ But people in blockchain, what they see is that blockchains are here and they are here for the next 500 years.”
And Benyamin Ahmed might be “a harbinger of where we are going to be in maybe 10, 15, 25 years,” according to his father. His son’s actions “kind of [validate] what everybody has been saying about blockchains, about bitcoin and Ethereum. He is potentially the first person in history that has done this.”
As far as profits go, Ahmed only spent about $300 to make his collection of Weird Whales. He spent most of it on gas fees, charges accrued to blockchain verify NFTs. With nearly $400,000 in his pocket, though, it seems he made out very “whale.”