12-year-old nets almost $300K from NFTs

Category: Blockchain Crypto NTFs
Posted by
Ravindu Dabarera

Benyamin Ahmed made an estimated $290,000 after creating a series of emoji-type pixelated artworks called Weird Whales and selling NFTs.

The 12-year-old boy from London created the whale-inspired NFTs during his summer break from school, selling out the digital tokens in just nine hours. The NFT project has drawn similarities to CryptoPunk and Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC)  as there are only 3,350 whales in the collection.

Benyamin began his programming journey at just 5 years old after watching his father, Imran, work as a web developer. He started with HTML and CSS, before moving on to more advanced programs such as JavaScript.  For Iman, teaching Benyamin and his brother Yousef how to code was initially just a fun exercise until he noticed that the boys were picking it up very quickly.

“So then we started getting a little bit more serious – and now it’s every single day… but you can’t cram this stuff, you can’t say I’m going to learn coding in three months,”  he said.

Benyamin turned his attention to NFTS earlier this year due to their easily transferable ownership by the blockchain.

What are NFTs? 

NFTs are unique digital assets such as online drawings, music, and videos, represented by code recorded on a blockchain, which is a decentralized digital ledger. Just like physical assets, each NFT can be bought or sold, frequently with cryptocurrency, but the blockchain allows for the ownership and validity of each to be tracked.

Speaking to The Telegraph about his whale collection Benyamin recalled:

“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’s not just drawing, however, creating the whales involves a lot of computer science in order to make the graphics unique and in deploying the assets to a blockchain, the public ledgers that underpin cryptocurrencies.


Benyamin’s sold-out earnings generated a total of 80 Ether tokens, worth about $248,000 at the time. Benyamin is also entitled to a 2.5% commission each time the NFTs sell in the secondary market, which has earned him another 30 Ether. Ahmed said the initial capital to get the project going was around $300 in ETH fees, further proving that he made an impressive return on his initial investment.

He will be keeping his earnings in the form of Ethereum, the crypto-currency in which they were sold, as he does not have a traditional bank account. However, this leaves Benyamin’s funds at risk for volatility as the value of the cryptocurrency can fluctuate. Additionally, his digital wallet may be hacked or compromised with no backup expected from the authorities.

“I plan to keep all my ether and not convert it to fiat money,” Ahmed stated. “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.”

He also added that he may open a bank account to report taxes.

What’s next?

Sharing his coding expertise, Benyamin added: “My advice to other children that maybe want to get into this space is don’t force yourself to do coding, maybe because you get peer pressured – just as if you like cooking, do cooking, if you like dancing, do dances, just do it to the best of your ability,” he said.

Weird Whales is Benyamin’s second digital art collection. He previously created a less successful collection called Minecraft Yee Haa earlier this summer, which consisted of 40 colorful, pixelized avatars. Benyamin is already working on his latest collection which will draw inspiration from superheroes. He would also like to make an “underwater game” featuring the whales.

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