"It took me a few weeks to create the base images"
A 12-year-old sold digital artworks of whales online as a series of NFTs, making the equivalent of £290,000.
Benyamin Ahmed, of North London, sold his artwork as a series of non-fungible tokens after creating thousands of unique pixelated whales.
NFTs are taking the cryptocurrency world by storm, especially when it comes to art and gaming.
They are digital assets that represent files including jpegs and video clips, as well as other forms of art.
They are bought and sold online through a cryptocurrency network and are meant to act as a certificate that dictates digital ownership, with details of who owns what stored on a blockchain digital ledger.
Benyamin has been coding since the age of five. Both he and his brother Yusuf were taught how to code by their father Imran who has developed software for the London Stock Exchange.
Benyamin became interested in NFTs earlier in 2021 so he decided to create a collection of his own.
Weird Whales features 3,350 pixelated whales, each with distinct traits.
It has made sales worth approximately £116,000 in the cryptocurrency Ethereum.
Ethereum is the digital currency in which the buyers paid for the NFTs. This is how Benyamin will store his earnings, due to not having a bank account.
However, his money can go up and down. It is also not protected if his digital wallet becomes compromised.
Benyamin said: “I’m not a natural artist but I watched a few YouTube videos and worked out how to draw whales in pixel form really quickly.
“It took me a few weeks to create the base images and various accessories and then I fed them into my programme that helped me to configure the rarity across the different traits, making some more collectable than others.”
Benyamin’s Weird Whales collection sold out in just nine hours after going up for sale online in July 2021.
It is his second NFT collection.
His first consisted of 40 colourful, pixelated avatars called Minecraft Yee Haa.
Benyamin’s sales have now topped more than £291,000 and he is tipped to become the youngest person to make $1 million in cryptocurrency.
His father Imran said:
“I’m so proud of Benyamin and what he has achieved.”
“People are shocked that someone so young can create something like this and we’ve had some people thinking that he must be a Russian hacker impersonating a child and not a 12-year-old schoolboy from London.
“There’s lots of mathematics and computer science especially when configuring the rarities and deploying the assets to the blockchain.”