Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are ‘apolitical’ says financial expert
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Benyamin Ahmed became involved with NFTs this year after hearing how one of his dad’s friends had bought one for $27k (£20k). NFTs are digital assets such as images with a unique certificate of ownership. He explained: “I instantly became fascinated that he was willing to spend this much money on a JPEG.” Benyamin had already been learning coding from a young age and began researching how to make NFTs and how they were traded. Benyamin started out making a selection of 40 Minecraft themed characters which he tried to sell through online marketplace OpenSea.
Unfortunately, this first attempt didn’t sell but Benyamin says the experience taught him a lot about how the NFT space and OpenSea works.
His big break came with the launch of his Weird Whales NFTs though.
Benyamin, from North London, explained how he came across a radiologist on Twitter who was interested in NFTs. He shared a script with him allowing him to generate his own collection of NFTs themed around pixelated whales.
He explained: “I posted a thread on Twitter on how I was able to do this and the thread blew up, went viral, even though I only had 50 followers.
“I think it was maybe because big NFT influencers such as this radiologist I met, he retweeted it, and many people were buying these whales, showing them off on Twitter and people were connecting with my story.”
12 year old Benyamin Ahmed has made hundreds of thousands selling NFTS (Image: Benyamin Ahmed/Twitter)
Benyamin’s Weird Whales collection sold out in the first nine hours (Image: Benyamin Ahmed/Twitter)
The first sale sold out within nine hours, leaving Benyamin with $160k (£118.91k).
He currently has no bank account though – and holds all of the proceeds in cryptocurrency.
Benyamin has made over $1m (£740k) in NFTs and crypto investments so far.
His father, Imran, who taught Benyamin how to code described it as “one of the biggest hustles”.
Imran said: “He picked up a little bit of knowledge from me, then he went and poked around on OpenSea himself and then he met this radiologist from South Africa.
“He’s not a friend of mine, I only got introduced to him after the collection went viral and he made so much money, he goes ‘yeah I’ve been talking to your son over the last few days and weeks telling him how to build this collection’.”
Benyamin gave a talk at Oxford University this year (Image: Pembroke College Oxford)
Benyamin explained community is key to succeeding in NFTs.
Benyamin said: “Mine just went viral mainly because of my age, but if you look at all the other amazing NFT collections who are doing really well they have built a strong community behind them who are ready to support them.”
Interested in coding from a young age, Benyamin is now hoping to encourage other young people to explore working in financial technology (FinTech).
He is working with the group Work in Fintech to release an NFT collection to corporate sponsors, using the money to build online courses, work experience and virtual internships.
This year, Benyamin became the youngest person to give a guest lecture at Pembroke College Oxford, detailing his experiences.
After the talk, the event organiser contacted Benyamin to say lots of people had approached him afterwards to say they weren’t even aware this was happening and would investigate further.
Benyamin has no bank account and has kept all proceeds in cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (Image: Getty)
While few classmates share an interest in NFTs, Benyamin predicts that, in the future, cryptocurrencies and assets will be taught from a young age.
Imran also believes younger generations will help drive the shift.
Imran said: “They don’t want to invest in stocks and shares that give you five percent return.”
“When we invest in the stock market we’re usually the last money on the table.
“Originally angel investors get involved, VC (venture capital) investors get involved, and they take all the risk but they take all the profits as well whereas crypto turns it on its head.
“It allows retail to be the first money on the table.”
For would be NFT creators, Benyamin advises: “There’re lots of resources online that I’ve learnt from, there’re incredible videos about crypto, Web3, NFTs.”
Above all, he advised people to follow what they enjoy, adding: “Always do what you like and don’t try and copy what someone else is doing.”