I'm only 13-years-old and I've made £290k with my side hustle – here's my tips and tricks on how to get started | The Sun

WITH the cost-of-living crisis putting a huge strain on many people and their finances, it appears that more and more people are looking into side hustles to make ends meet. 

But what if you could make a fortune by creating digital artwork of colourful whales online?

That’s what Benyamin Ahmed, 13, from North London, did when he became interested in NFTs – or digital collectable art – in 2021. 

The 13-year-old spent some time learning about the space before creating his side hustle, his own collections, Minecraft Yee Haa and Weird Whales.

The youngster made headlines in August 2021 after making a whopping £290,000 from the Weird Whales collection, and he hasn’t stopped since then. 

Speaking to money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk, Benyamin shared how he got started in the tech world, how to tell which NFTs could be profitable and his tips and tricks on how beginners can get their start with trading crypto and NFTs.

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He explained: “I started learning to code when I was five years old. I know it sounds insane, but my dad is a programmer. He would work at his computer and me and my brother would sniff around to see what he was doing.

“We initially started playing around with web technologies like HTML/CSS and making pretty web pages. We then started a daily coding regime. I do one coding challenge every day religiously, even on holidays. 

“I use a platform called Codewars and my language of choice is JavaScript. I am currently ranked in the top 0.6% on that platform. I am also learning Python at school.

“I bought an Arduino when I was about nine years old. It comes with a circuit board and a whole bunch of tutorials that teach you how to program alarms and LEDs.

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“I am currently looking at purchasing a 3D printer. My parents have never held back when it comes to tech purchases as they view it as educational.

“I’ve worked on crypto projects alongside artists from Disney and Marvel. I’m a developer and that’s where my interests lie. I'm very selective about the type of projects I work on.

“I want to use the opportunity to grow as an individual. It's more important than financial gains.

“I've worked on educational content for the BBC, CNBC and Business Insider. I enjoy teaching and sharing what I learn on my Twitter account, @ObiWanBenoni.

“My dad taught me about Bitcoin and Ethereum. He gave me some crypto and just told me to play around with it. From there, my journey into NFTs was inevitable as I’m a big Pokemon collector and also enjoy playing Lego and computer games.

“A friend of my dad’s bought a Rare Pepe NFT for $27,000. It sounded ridiculously expensive at the time, but he sold it a few months later for half a million dollars. I became fascinated that someone was willing to pay this much for a digital image!

“I taught myself how to use OpenSea, and then I met a radiologist from South Africa online. He was crazy about NFTs, and he taught me how to create a profile picture collection similar to Bored Apes and CryptoPunks.

“My Weird Whales collection has traded around 2000 ETH, over £2M at today’s prices. 75% of NFT projects never trade more than 10 ETH (£20,000). It's in a select group of NFT projects, and I'm very proud of that.

“It has historical relevance as I was the youngest person in the world to launch a generative art NFT collection at the time.

“It was an exciting time, many projects were launching, and I felt I had a unique story that could capture attention. I did not expect it to go viral and feature so heavily in the international press.

“NFTs are an attention game. You have to buy and sell into the hype. They are the riskiest assets in the world as the barrier to entry has become so low. 

“You now have fully automated no-code tools that can generate thousands of NFTs without requiring any coding skills”. 

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For those looking for advice on how to get started, Benyamin advised: “People are regularly looking to begin investing and trading in crypto.

"I always advise people to start buying some Bitcoin on a regular schedule with an aim of becoming a ‘whole coiner’ – someone who owns one whole Bitcoin. If crypto survives as a technology, it's guaranteed that Bitcoin will play a central role.

“When it comes to the NFT space, I’d advise beginners to start by just buying a very cheap NFT to familiarise themselves with the technical aspects. The first NFT I bought was for a charitable raise to help elephants in Africa. It was not for profit.

“Crypto is a completely different tech stack to the current internet. You need to take self-custody of your own assets, invest in a hardware wallet and ensure that you do not lose your passwords.

“Before investing financially, it's wise to spend some time getting comfortable with the tech stack, billions have been lost due to user errors: lost passwords, phishing scams and hacks, it’s wild out there.

“100% of my net worth is stored in NFTs and crypto, mainly blue-chip stuff like Bitcoin and Ethereum and NFTs belonging to top web3 brands like Cool Cats and Yuga Labs, the developers of Bored Apes.

“It's a risky strategy as there is no guarantee that crypto will survive and, if it does, which protocols will succeed. I plan to hold my crypto portfolio for around ten years and then use the profits to seed a business.

“When it comes to advising others on how to invest their money smartly, I can only speak of what I am personally interested in. I love exploring exponential technologies as I’ve had an early taste of how powerful this sector is. Crypto, robotics, AI, quantum computing and even stuff like BioTech.

"It’s high-risk, but the returns are much greater than traditional asset classes”.

The youngster revealed that due to his success, he may never need to get a ‘normal’ job.

He concluded: “I may not ever need to work a traditional job, but I love to learn. I enjoy school a lot.

"I go to a good school with lots of amazing facilities: lakes, cricket pitches, mountain biking, archery, horse riding, you can do absolutely whatever you want.

“I would love to study maths, computer science, Latin and history for my A levels, a mixture of technical and humanities subjects.

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“Overall, I want to keep learning and become a better programmer. If that means working a traditional job before I get there, then that’s the route I’ll take”. 

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