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Meet the 12-Year-Old Coder Whose Weird Whales NFTs Earned More than $5 Million

BY Rupendra Brahambhatt

March 29, 2022

Benyamin Ahmed is a 12-year-old coder who doesn’t have a bank account yet but has earned over $990,000 in Ethereum by working on various crypto-projects and selling his own NFT collection Weird Whales. Moreover, the total sales of his NFT collection have surpassed $5 million, and he gets a royalty every time his NFTs are traded on the blockchain. 

However, Ahmed has no plans to cash out his earnings yet. Instead, he sees the most value in the community he’s found.

From writing code to lecturing at Oxford

This school-going NFT creator was interested in technology from an early age. He learned to code when he was only five and later started exploring NFTs and other virtual assets. In 2021, he released 3,350 pixelated whale artworks as NFTs on OpenSea under the user name Benoni. The collection named Weird Whales sold out in hours and earned him $145,000. 

The same year he also joined hands with Boring Bananas Co. and provided technical support in creating 8,888 NFTs called Non-Fungible Heroes (NFHs). These character-NFTs were created by former employees of companies like Disney and Nickelodeon, and in the future, the NFHs might also feature in video games, movies, and other media. 

FMNFT, NON-FUNGIBLE HEROES/OPENSEA

In an interview with CNBC, Ahmed said, “We’re building something that we believe is going to have the potential to disrupt the entire media and entertainment industry,” he added further that NFHs could be “the first NFT project to make it to a theater near you.”

In December 2021, CrptOx, a crypto society at the University of Oxford that aims to promote the interest of blockchain industry professionals, invited Ahmed to give a lecture on NFTs at Pembroke College. Twelve-year-old Ahmed is the youngest person to lecture at Pembroke to this date. 

What do NFTs mean for Benyamin other than a digital asset?

When asked if his friends are aware of his interest in NFTs Ahmed told Metro.co.uk, “my friends at school know what I do, and they have congratulated me. Although I don’t think everyone really understands it. But lots of people now know my story and it makes me happy to see that lots of people are learning about NFTs because of me.”

Ahmed also believes that instead of spending his big earnings from NFTs, he would like to gain skills and experience by spending more time doing projects. He claims that though he has received impressive monetary benefits while working in the NFT space, the most valuable part is not the money but the support he gets from communities like NFH.

“This is key for all successful NFT projects, crypto is quite often seen as an exclusive club for coders and traders. However, this creative and highly educational aspect of communities is being completely overlooked,” said Ahmed to CNBC. 

He thinks NFT technology will be successful because it’s easily accessible and provides equal opportunities to everyone. According to Ahmed, “With digital art, it has a lot more utility and certification – I can just hop online and see where anything came from. Here, anyone can join the network – you can be a refugee or a rich person sat in your mansion and it doesn’t make a difference. Everyone has the same rights and permissions as anyone else.”

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