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Tweens are crazy about blockchain technology: 12-year-old Benyamin Ahmed’s Weird Whale NFTs sold out in less than 24 hours.
We introduced you to Gajesh Naik, a 13-year-old boy from Goa, India, who created his own cryptocurrency investment management programme last month.
A 12-year-old sold a series of original NFT icons for more than $160,000 this week, indicating that there is a market for tweens interested in crypto.
The NFT collection is Weird Whales—a set of pixelated whale icons inspired by a stock image—and the kid is Benyamin Ahmed. He’s based out of a London suburb that one of Decrypt’s English staffers described as “small, quaint, and dull.”
“I became interested in the NFT space because I initially thought it was cool as an online flex,” Ahmed explained. Only later, after developing a “respect” for the digital-first art style of popular NFT collections such as CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club, did he decide to create his own collection.
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 the past six months that they’ve achieved mainstream recognition; in March, the $69 million sale of an NFT by the digital artist Beeple made the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
As with CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club, each Weird Whale image comes with a set of distinct “traits,” some rarer and more valuable than others. The 1205th image in the collection, which RaritySniper.com ranks as the eighth rarest of the 3350 total Weird Whale NFTs, recently sold for around $6,000 on the secondary market.
Ahmed’s father, Imran, works as a web developer for a financial services organization; he introduced Benyamin and his brother to HTML and CSS at the age of “5 or 6.” Recently, the siblings have been honing their skills on an online coding platform called Codewars.
Weird Whales began when Ahmed received an annotated Python script with a template for creating his own tiered images from one of the developers behind another alliterative NFT project, Boring Bananas.
“I told him, ‘Look, you need to replace the variable names here, so where they’ve got bananas and backgrounds and stuff, you need to replace it with yours,” his father explained.
Thanks to some clever networking with the Boring Bananas team, Weird Whales went viral, and Ahmed made 80 ETH in about nine hours. “I’ve also made some money from royalties on OpenSea,” he added. “Whenever someone buys a whale, I get 2.5% of the amount of money it sold for.”
It’s difficult to imagine that the traditional financial system, with its annoying safeguards and consumer protection laws, would have allowed $160,000 to fall into Ahmed’s lap without the approval of a parent or guardian.
But Ahmed insists he’s not interested in spending the money anytime soon.
“[I’ll] probably just HODL,” he said.