NFT 'Weird Whales' earn 12-year-old $250,000 in just nine hours

The 12-year-old also makes a percentage of every sale on the secondary market.
The 12-year-old also makes a percentage of every sale on the secondary market. Photo credit: Weird Whales

A 12-year-old from England has earned around NZ$250,000 worth of ether cryptocurrency in just nine hours by selling his own Weird Whales non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Weird Whales are similar to CryptoPunks in that each NFT is a unique image with its own characteristics, in this case based around a pixelated whale. A rare CryptoPunk NFT sold for NZ$16.4 million at auction in June.

NFTs are assets held on the blockchain and record ownership of a digital item such as an image, video or text. Anyone can view or download that asset but only the buyer can say they are the official owner.

Benyamin Ahmed from London is the latest to take advantage of the popularity of NFTs after creating 3350 of the whales, inspired by both CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club, where the NFT doubles as a website membership.

"I got interested in the NFT space because originally I thought it was cool as an online flex,"  Ahmed told Decrypt.

But that interest sparked the youngster into action along with some help from Boring Bananas, another NFT project.

They supplied Ahmed with a template and some annotated code, allowing him to replace the existing images and create his own quickly, with his father Imran helping him through the process.

Each Weird Whale was then sold for 0.02 ETH (NZ$62) on OpenSea, a marketplace for NFTs.

"I was just playing around with code and testing. And then I remember looking at the website and the 'sold out' message had shown and that was really the turning point," Ahmed told ONE37pm.

And that's not the end of the money-making for the youngster.

"I've also made some money from royalties on OpenSea," he said. "Whenever someone buys a whale, I get 2.5 percent of the amount of money it sold for."

That could end up being a substantial amount of money. Website NFT Stats says Weird Whales have been sold 4517 times in the last week for a total sales volume of NZ$2.1 million.

That includes Whale 956, which sold on the secondary market for NZ$8000. It's now valued at around NZ$31,000 on OpenSea.

And while many would be tempted to spend the earnings or even invest it further, Ahmed isn't interested at the moment.

"[I'll] probably just HODL," he said, referencing a misspelling of the word 'hold' which has also come to stand for 'hold on for dear life' in the online investment world.