Twelve-year-old coder reportedly slated to earn more than $400K from NFTs

Benyamin Ahmed's NFT collection Weird Whales launched just last month.

Abrar Al-Heeti Technology Reporter
Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
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Abrar Al-Heeti
2 min read
Benyamin Ahmed sits at a computer with Weird Whales on it

This young coder has seemingly struck gold with his NFT collection.

Benyamin Ahmed/YouTube

Benyamin Ahmed, a 12-year-old coder based in London, is getting a lot of attention lately thanks to the flurry of press he's gotten for creating a collection of digital whales that are selling as NFTs. According to CNBC, Ahmed is on track to earn over $400,000 from the collection, which launched just last month. 

The young entrepreneur started learning to code at 5 years old after being inspired by his dad Imran, a web developer. Earlier this year, Benyamin became interested in NFTs, those ubiquitous nonfungible tokens tied to everything from videos to artwork to tweets. Like cryptocurrency, NFTs are recorded in a digital ledger, so there's a listing of who owns what.

Ahmed launched his first NFT collection earlier this summer consisting of 40 avatars called Minecraft Yee Haa he coded and designed himself. While that collection didn't sell right away, he started work on another in June called Weird Whales, featuring 3,350 pixelated whales with attributes like different colors and hats. He learned to code the collection from online tutorials and people he met on gaming chat app Discord, he described in a Q&A video on YouTube. 

The collection launched in July and reportedly sold out in nine hours. That day, Ahmed made more than 80 ether (another cryptocurrency like bitcoin). According to CNBC, he's kept those profits in ether, which with today's pricing amounts to over $255,000. With the additional 30 ether he's earned from resales (he reportedly gets a 2.5% royalty on each secondary sale), Ahmed has now made more than $350,000, and told CNBC he's slated to reach over $400,000 (roughly £290,592, AU$547,046) by the end of the month. 

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian tweeted about Ahmed on Friday, writing, "Ya'll paying attention yet?" along with a link to CNBC's story.

Ahmed, who currently has more than 10,000 followers on Twitter, told the publication he only has a cryptocurrency wallet, not a traditional bank account, adding: "I plan to keep all my ether and not convert it to fiat money. It might be early proof that, in the future, maybe everyone doesn't [need] a bank account and just has an ether address and a wallet." 

He's reportedly already working on another NFT project.

"If I carry on as I've been," he told the publication, "I might end up like other tech entrepreneurs out there like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos."