What did you get up to during the summer holidays as a child?
Go away? Vegetate in front of the TV? Skulk around parks with friends?
Well, prepare to feel utterly unproductive because one child used his break to make £290k selling Non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Benyamin Ahmed, a 12-year-old Londoner, created a series of 3,350 emoji-type pixelated artworks called Weird Whales and sold them as digital tokens for the massive sum, which he is keeping in the crypto-currency Ethereum – he doesn’t have a traditional bank account.
Speaking to the BBC, Benyamin and his father Imran, who is a software developer, spoke about how learning to code had helped the child make it big.
On teaching Benyamin and his brother Yousef, Imran said: “It was a little bit of a fun exercise - but I picked up on really early that they were really receptive to it and they were really good.”
Meanwhile, Benyamin said making the whale collection was “interesting”.
“It was interesting to see all of them hatch, as they appeared on my screen slowly generating,” he said.
Benyamin is not the only person to jump on the NFT trend in which people can own digital artworks by purchasing them using different cryptocurrencies.
Doge became an extremely expensive meme when an NFT of it was sold for $4m and the footage for the viral video ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ was also sold for a cool $760,000. Even some of Donald Trump’s tweets are being sold in this way so nothing is sacred.
Sharing his coding expertise, Benyamin added: “My advice to other children that maybe want to get into this space is don’t force yourself to do coding, maybe because you get peer pressured - just as if you like cooking, do cooking, if you like dancing, do dances, just do it to the best of your ability,” he said.
Weird Whales is Benyamin’s second digital-art collection. He previously made a Minecraft-inspired set that sold less well.
Benyamin is also already working on his third, superhero-themed collection and he would also like to make an “underwater game” featuring the whales.