A 12-year-old boy from the United Kingdom has made about $560,000 after creating digital pictures of whales.
Benyamin Ahmed’s collection of pixelated artworks called Weird Whales went viral during the school holidays.
Altogether there are 3,350 whale images in the style of a common whale meme seen in the video game Minecraft on a pixel art website.
The young coder promoted himself by sharing a thread on Twitter, creating a LinkedIn page and a YouTube channel. He then sold the art as non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
Benyamin’s father is a software developer and has helped his son through the process. He said the artwork as similar to “digital Pokémon cards” and said they had been a big success because collectors realised their historical significance.
What is a NFT?
NFTs allow artwork to be tokenised into a digital certificate of ownership. They can be bought and sold.
“I chose whales because in cryptocurrency a whale is someone with 1,000 bitcoin,” said Ben. “I could then say that everyone who owns a whale, is a whale. I could craft that catchline.
“People connected with my story because I was so young,” he added. “Many people saw my story and connected and then it kind of just went everywhere.”
The young coder promoted himself by sharing a thread on Twitter, creating a LinkedIn page and a YouTube channel.
He and his brother, Yousef, have been coding since the ages of five and six after being inspired by their father, who works in traditional finance.
Benyamin is storing his earnings in Ethereum, a cryptocurrency that was also used to sell the whale artwork.