How a 12-year-old boy earned more than R$800,000 in Ethereum (ETH) in just one day

Charlie Taylor


Last month, we introduced you to Gajesh Naik, a 13-year-old boy from Goa, India, who has created his own cryptocurrency investment management program. Apparently, there is a big market for teenagers looking to break into the crypto market. Last week, a 12-year-old boy sold a series of icons on original NFTs for about $160,000. The NFT collection is Weird Whales – a set of pixelated whale icons inspired by an image from Shutterstock – and the child is Benyamin Ahmed. He lives in a suburb of London that, according to one of Decrypt's British officials, is "small, quaint and drab." “I got interested in the NFT space because I originally thought it was cool,” Ahmed said. Only later, after developing a “respect” for the pioneering digital art style of popular NFT collections such as CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club, did he decide to make his own work. For the uninitiated: An NFT is a kind of cryptocurrency that can be attached to files on the Internet and sold as proof of ownership. They've been around for years, but it's only been in the past six months that they've achieved mainstream recognition; in March, the sale of an NFT by digital artist Beeple for $69 million made the front page of The Wall Street Journal. As with CryptoPunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club, each image from Weird Whale (which in Portuguese means weird whale) comes with a set of distinct “features”, some rarer and more valuable than others. The 1205th image in the collection – which RaritySniper.com ranks as the eighth rarest of Weird Whale's total 3,350 NFTs – recently sold for about $6,000 in the secondary market. Ahmed's father, Imran, works as a web developer for a financial services organization; he introduced the programming languages ​​HTML and CSS to Benyamin and his brother when they were “5 or 6 years old”. Recently, the brothers honed their skills on an online coding platform called Codewars. Weird Whales started when one of the developers behind another NFT project, Boring Bananas, sent Ahmed a Python script (a file containing code written in Python) with a template for creating his own layered images. His father guided him through the process of connecting his own assets: “I told him, 'Look, you need to replace the variable names here, so where they have bananas and backgrounds and stuff, you need to replace them by yours.” Thanks to a smart grid with the Boring Bananas team, Weird Whales went viral and Ahmed made 80 Ethereum (ETH) in about nine hours. “I also made some money from OpenSea royalties,” he added. "Whenever someone buys a whale, I get 2.5% of what it was sold for." It's hard to imagine that the traditional financial system – with its cumbersome safeguards and consumer protection laws – would have allowed $160,000 to simply fall into Ahmed's lap without the approval of a parent or guardian. But Ahmed insists he is not interested in spending the money anytime soon. “I'm probably going to hold (keep the value in the wallet),” he said. *Translated and edited by permission of Decrypt.co

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