When Benyamin Ahmed learned to code from his dad when he was just five years old, he was instantly hooked.
Now, aged 12, he’s become somewhat of a crypto expert.
His money-making venture started last year, when he released his own whale-themed collection of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) – one-of-a-kind digital artworks that can be bought and sold.
Benyamin’s colourful pixelated whales sold out in hours and netted him around £110,000 – a fortune which, along with his other investments, has risen to £750,000 in months.
Now his Weird Whale collection of NFTs has traded (gone on to be sold over and over by other people) for more than $5 million.
However, the 12-year-old still hasn’t withdrawn a single pound of his fortune.
All of Benyamin’s money is tied up in a cryptocurrency called Ethereum, which some argue could become worthless if investors don’t withdraw it in time.
But the schoolboy – who has lectured at Oxford University on NFTs – thinks it’s the future of currency, and believes he’s actually sitting on a huge future fortune.
Benyamin, from Pinner, London, said: ‘My friends at school know what I do and they have congratulated me.
‘Although I don’t think everyone really understands it.
‘But lots of people now know my story and it makes me happy to see that lots of people are learning about NFTs because of me.
‘I want to continue to introduce lots of people into the NFT space.’
NFTs can take the form of anything from artworks and collectible cards to GIFs – but no two are identical, so it’s possible to trace them back to exactly where they came from.
So far, buyers have shelled out thousands, even millions, in the hope they will one day be worth even more.
But Benyamin jumped on this trend early and thinks there’s a bright future in it.
He continues: ‘I think with every industry, the digital versions of things always perform the best.
‘With digital art it has a lot more utility and certification – I can just hop online and see where anything came from.
‘Here, anyone can join the network – you can be a refugee or a rich person sat in your mansion and it doesn’t make a difference.
‘Everyone has the same rights and permissions as anyone else.’
Eventually, Benyamin plans to convert his money from crypto into pounds and start his own business – although he doesn’t yet know what this will be.
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