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Dentists Who Invest

How I Made £300k Selling NFTs with Benyamin Ahmed

Full Transcript

Dr James : 

Fans of the Dennis who Invest podcast. If you feel like there was one particular episode in the back catalog in the anthology of Dennis who Invest podcast episodes that really, really, really was massively valuable to you, feel free to share that with a fellow dental colleague who’s in a similar position, so their understanding of finance can be elevated and they can hit the next level of financial success in their life. Also, as well as that, if you could take two seconds to rate and review this podcast, it would mean the world. To me, what that would mean is that it drives this podcast further in terms of reach so that more dentists across the world can be able to benefit from the knowledge contained therein. Welcome, welcome to the Dennis who Invest podcast. What is up everybody? Welcome back to another episode of the Dennis who Invest podcast, and I know I say every episode is special, but, whoa, this one is super special. This is one I’ve been looking forward to for a while. I have sat in front of me a young man, 12 years of age, called Benjamin Amid, who has achieved an incredible level of fame because of his success in the NFT world, and most people will know Benjamin from that BBC article that was going around not so long ago about a young man who raised 300,000 pounds from selling his own NFT range, and I am so privileged to be sat here in front of that gentleman today. Benjamin Amid Ben, how are you, my friend?

Benyamin: 

I’m doing great. It’s also a pleasure for me to be on here as well. How are you?

Dr James : 

You are so kind, my friend, I am 10 out of 10. Since I sat down this podcast, I’m not 11 out of 10. Like I said, I’ve been looking forward to it a lot. So, ben, you are becoming a dab hand at these media appearances. You’ve been on Pomp podcast. You’ve spoke at Oxford University. Those are the two big ones I know of. I’m sure there’s some more big ones in there as well. Maybe you’d like to tell us a little bit more about the big ones you’ve been on, just so people know where to look you up and find out more about you, and also which one of those was your favourite, because I’m so curious what those personalities are like behind the camera.

Benyamin: 

So I’ve been on many big and great podcasts and news articles. The BBC one was especially a lot of fun to do because I got to know the behind the scenes of how making an article worked. I’m going on the video call and seeing how video editing worked for some of the articles I’ve been in and I enjoyed all of them. But the Pomp one was special because he was a very nice and kind person and his questions were amazing and he invited me to the podcast if I ever wanted to go on again. So I really enjoyed the Pomp podcast, which is on YouTube.

Dr James : 

That’s so awesome. Is that your favourite one? Then would you say yes. That’s cool. What’s he like behind the camera? Because he’s really on camera. He’s really high energy, right, you know, and he’s really bubbling. He’s really energetic. Is that who he is behind the camera as well? He probably is.

Benyamin: 

Yeah, he’s really. He’s got that high energy behind the camera as well. Yeah, he gives off a lot of really good vibes.

Dr James : 

Good vibes. I love it, my friend. That’s cool. So, as well as that, I wanted to ask you you’ve obviously now achieved this amazing level of fame and I know, because you’ve got such a good head in your shoulders, you’re never going to let it go to your head or anything like that but how has life changed for you, apart from fame, after having created this NFT range? What else are the noticeable changes, and maybe things that have changed, that other people wouldn’t necessarily think from the outside, looking in, that you weren’t expecting through this journey, through this process?

Benyamin: 

So my online life has definitely changed massively. I’ve made lots of new friends and I’ve had many great interesting opportunities come my way. But offline things are pretty much the same school friends. They’ve largely not mentioned my success, apart from saying well done initially.

Dr James : 

That’s cool. So you don’t find that you have like a little bit of an entourage, you know at school, people kind of following your rounds, maybe admiring you from a distance, anything like that. Nothing’s changed on that front. You’re just the same old Ben in your friend circle. Yes, maybe that’s a good thing, you know, because it’s your friends that keep you real and down to earth. So if they change, then maybe that that would maybe not be the most pleasant thing in the world. But yeah, that’s awesome, man, I’m glad to hear it. That’s cool, Awesome. I wanted to ask as well. A lot of people will be listening to this and they will maybe not even necessarily know what crypto is, never mind an NFT. So maybe it might be nice to start from the bottom up and just explain a little bit about crypto. And let’s explain this to a total layman who’s never heard of crypto in the whole wide world. I want to hear how you put that in your own words, ben.

Benyamin: 

So personally, I only got interested in crypto early last year. However, what led me to crypto and entities was my background in coding. I’ve always loved coding since the age of five and my dad. He would often come home, bring out his laptop and start coding and me and my brothers would explore to see what he was doing. He noticed our curiosity, so he got a set up with a few laptops and we just started coding. It was just a small fun thing that we would do now and then, but we enjoyed it so much that we were getting more serious. We started doing it more consistently and we’ve kept on this path for a few years, doing our coding challenges. And what really brought me to crypto and entities was I love that crypto was permissionless and censorship resistance. Anyone could join the network. It doesn’t matter who you are, whether you’re a refugee walking barefoot from one country to another or you’re a rich man sitting on a throne in America. You have the same rights and everyone has financial freedom.

Dr James : 

Democratized money, as they call it right.

Benyamin: 

Yes.

Dr James : 

I believe that’s the terminology. So, ben, does that mean you’re a Bitcoin boo?

Benyamin: 

Well, I don’t like to be bullish on just like one crypto currency and say, oh, I’m following this, I don’t care about the other coins, I like to look at other coins, and I only like to make decisions about other coins once I’ve done my research. So the two coins that I’ve mainly done research on is Bitcoin and Ethereum, so that’s why I’m big Bitcoin and Ethereum boos.

Dr James : 

Love it, my friend. And, of course, ethereum is where most of your wealth that you accrued from your NFT range is, of course, held at the moment. Are you someone that trades Ethereum? Are you dipping in and out of the market or are you a long-term holder? What would your advice be on that one?

Benyamin: 

So I’m a long-term holder and my money split across different assets. So it’s split between NFTs, some’s in Bitcoin, some’s in Ethereum, and I’m just planning to hodl, as I definitely think that in the future we’ll start to see the real utility behind these coins and the price now is going to be way different than the price in a few years when we see mainstream adoption.

Dr James : 

Top stuff, my friend. And what do you think about these usurpers to the Ethereum throne? What about Solana? What about Eda? Do you think there’s only one true king, and that’s ETH, or do you think that these other smaller cryptos with similar functionality have a bit of a shoe in or a look in?

Benyamin: 

So, like I mentioned before, I don’t really make judgments on other coins that I haven’t studied. So, personally, myself, I haven’t studied Solana or Cardano, although from the things that I’ve heard from friends in the crypto space, they’re loving these new coins. But I would personally want to do research before I make a decision whether ETH will stay on top or Solana or Eda might come and take the throne.

Dr James : 

Do you know what? There’s a good lesson in there for everybody who’s listening, and that is that it’s sometimes OK to not have an opinion until you’ve done some research on it, and I think that is completely reasonable, my friend. So thank you for that. Bitcoin and ETH the two the king and queen of the crypto space were bulls on those, and then after that, we have to do your own research, as everybody says Ben, we have used the acronym NFT multiple times now and we’ve been very careless because we haven’t even explained fully what an NFT is. Maybe it might be nice for you to explain what an NFT is, giving your knowledge on the space.

Benyamin: 

So an NFT stands for non-fungible token. Everyone understands that, not in the token part, but the real world where they struggle on is fungible. So fungible means an item can be replaceable. So think of money. Money is fungible. If I give you 10 pounds today, next week you can return any 10 pounds. It does not have to be that exact 10 pounds I gave you. However, non-fungible items can’t be interchanged. So an airline ticket, I would say, is a real world example of an NFT. It’s very specific Airline, destination, passenger, date and time. You cannot use that airline ticket to travel anywhere in the world. So the reason why I think NFTs have disrupted the collectibles in digital art market is because this is the first time you can really authenticate behind an NFT. You can see what happened to this NFT, the transaction history behind it. I sent it to you. You might send it to someone else. This transparency is key in crypto and NFTs. I definitely think that gaming, brands, culture, the metaverse and off-chains assets are all to come to the world of NFTs.

Dr James : 

Well, I heard a really nice use case or way of explaining an NFT the other day and that was that, effectively, there are contracts because they’re totally unique and you can use them to signify an agreement between any two people. Let’s say, if it’s a piece of art or a baseball card, there’s an agreement between two people, whether conscious or unconscious, that that is a unique piece of art and it portrays a specific individual or a piece of art. And then therefore there is a subconscious contract between those two people that that is a thing and therefore that definition of contract extends beyond what we might conventionally associate with a contract being a written piece of paper to this more broad thing, a social contract. That was the terminology that I was looking for just then, which is an interesting way of looking at it, and you’ve probably come across that explanation as well.

Benyamin: 

Yes, I’ve come across many great explanations about NFTs.

Dr James : 

Cool man, that’s really cool. Then, ben, this leads us on, very naturally, to the next thing I would love to hear about, which is, of course, your NFT range, which is weird whales. Can you tell us a little bit about the whales, and why are they weird, what makes them weird and what are they? I’d love to hear this.

Benyamin: 

So weird whales is an early profile picture collection, like board apes and cryptopunks. So the collection is 3,350 pixel whales which mimic the style of cryptopunks and come in four main formats, so normal, zombie, ape and alien. The collection cost around $300 to build, largely in Ethereum transaction fees, and to date has traded around 1800 eth, which is just mind blowing in volume, which is approximately $5 million in VAT money. And many people have asked me where did I get the name weird from? So I looked at the other collections, like cool cats, and they had the animal that the collection was, which had an adjective describing that animal before it and the first adjective that came to mind was weird. So that’s why I went with the weird whales.

Dr James : 

That’s awesome, and they certainly swam, as opposed to say didn’t they these whales? Because they took off. They’re absolutely huge, aren’t they? Well done, my man, well done, and were you anticipating that you were going to achieve this success? Did you know? Did you really know you were on to something, or was this just an unbelievable surprise whenever this happened? Or maybe a little bit of both.

Benyamin: 

So this was probably an unbelievable and one of the best surprises ever. I wasn’t expecting any return. I just made the collection because my passion for coding and the curiosity that led me to the NFT space it was all just a big learning experience. I just wanted to learn about smart contracts, learn about making a DAP, and I never expected this big return. So I’m happy that people connected with my story.

Dr James : 

That is so awesome, and what do you ascribe that success to? Was there one particular thing that set weird whales apart from other NFT collections that caused it to set off, or was it a multitude of things? What’s your theory on that? Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint.

Benyamin: 

So I often get asked about how do you make your NFT collection succeed With weird whales? I didn’t understand at the time, but art is always about the artist and the story behind the art. So there’s a painting called the Bridge by Robert Ryman. It’s just a blank white canvas, but it sold for $20.6 million at Christie’s. So it’s easy to say that I could do that, but it’s for the artist and his reason for painting a black canvas that attracted buyers. Crypto art is the same. You need an original idea that captures the zeitgeist. So there are two reasons why I personally think weird whales story succeeded. Crypto was, as I mentioned before, designed to be permissionless. Anyone can join and transact. Unlike the legacy financial system, there is no KYC or no your customer. Historically, crypto has been dominated by trading coins or fundraising tech projects, but both areas are too difficult for young people like me to enter, and digital art seemed like the perfect entry point for me to get my feet dipped into the space and I just happened to be the first, and that’s why people connected with my story. It was also validated. I did that. Crypto is truly commissionless and that was what made my project, weird whales, historic. What I like to think is imagine if I try to do this outside crypto. I need to set up a bank account, incorporate a company, register for tax, join a centralized platform with age restrictions and so on. However, in the crypto land, I just need to wallet, with some effort and I’m ready to test my product. So the second reason was my background. I was learning to code in part of various online coding communities and the NFT space is dominated by coders and architects and builders. Some coders told me that they just bought my collection because they were happy to support and help my coding journey. So story background are definitely important, just like traditional art. However, in crypto, we have another dimension that we can add utility. Am I going to be able to use this NFT in gaming or another application? Many collections have released a roadmap with their NFTs stating that once we sold out, we’ll work to make a game or make an animated series, and I think this is definitely an aspect that attracts buyers and this is a cool art that is unique to crypto. There’s no other space that I’ve seen with this level of utility that you can add, and that’s what I think is the key differentiator between the traditional art world and NFTs.

Dr James : 

Love it and you know what I can tell. You feel so strongly about it because you speak with such energy, and that is really. I can tell that you’re really into it and you really believe in it, and that’s also under witness. My friend Question about weird whales you talked about functionality and we’ve talked about weird whales. Have you incorporated some sort of functionality into your weird whales project? Real quick, guys. I’ve put together a special report for Dentist entitled the Seven Costs in Potentially Disasters Mistakes the Dentist may acquire whenever it comes to their finances. Most of the time, dentist are going through these issues and they don’t even necessarily realise that they’re happening until they have their eyes opened, and that is the purpose of this report. You can go ahead and receive your free report by heading on over to wwwDentistInvestcom forward slash podcast report or alternatively, you can download it using the link in the description. This report details the seven most common issues. However, most importantly, it also shows you how to fix them Really. Looking forwards to hearing your thoughts.

Benyamin: 

So at the time I just launched Weird Welles as I mentioned before, it was just a learning experience. I never expected any return or for it to go viral, and I’ve kept it as a historical artifact as it’s like an early example of the NFT boom. However, currently I’m working with some people in some devs to try and add utility to the collection.

Dr James : 

I see, and you’re very tight-lipped on that at the moment, are you? Is that not something? Yes, oh, I see. Okay, fair enough. Yeah, fair enough. You’re being coy intentionally on there and intentionally on that one. And you know what? I won’t pry. That is completely fine, my friend. So NFTs you believe in them really strongly? How do you think that they will be integrated into society and over what time frame do you see this happening? Is this like a next year thing, a 20 year thing, a 10 year thing, or feel free to say? It’s hard to put your finger on. Just a question, just a thought, just curious.

Benyamin: 

So when I look at NFTs, I see three main groups. So the first one is high-end arts that people are willing to pay loads for, for example, crypto punks and art blocks. These NFTs just serve as artwork that outlines the crypto relations. The second group I see are brands that will, like accumulate billions of dollars or distributed back to the NFT holders. So think of like board tapes and cool cats. These NFT collections will move into gaming, merch, tv series, and this is a main group. However, the last group that I see is utility. These are entities that are really cheap but have lots of utility. So think about NFTs that will serve as skins or weapons that you can use in games. And I think in this last group is where billions is lies and billions will be put into businesses for funding. And another reason that I think NFTs and crypto started to boom recently is because of the convergence of technologies. So we’ve got AI, machine learning, robotics and internet of things, virtual augmented reality, and all of these are underpinned by crypto as the main payment rails. There’s this quote that I love by Tyler Winklevance, who founded Gemini, and he said that crypto currency is the native currency of machines, and there are vastly more machines on earth than humans, and when I think of that it’s just mind blowing. My dad. He works at the London Stock Exchange and he says that we are the start of a 25-year journey and the entire economy will transition to crypto.

Dr James : 

You know what? I’ve never actually heard anybody put it in those words before that crypto is the currency of machines and of course we already are outnumbered by machines and that trend is going to continue in all likelihood, given in how technology You’ve heard about. Oh, what is that terminology? Well, technology exponentially grows faster. The rate of technology acquisition and development grows faster. I think it’s called Moore’s Law, and that also transfers through to how many machines we have in society as well. The quicker and smaller you can make those computers, and then they make more computers on top of it, the whole thing becomes exponential, whereas humans, we’re kind of linearly increasing in population, maybe even leveling off a little bit. So that is an interest and thought, and I’ve never thought about that before. Crypto obviously still has its fair share of naysayers, as we all know. What do you say to those people? Would you encourage them to open their mind, open their eyes, begin reading? Is there any way that they can look to begin to learn about this?

Benyamin: 

So what Billy Nez and great thinkers like Iira must say is that they believe in first principle thinking, where you go down to the basics of what you know is 100% true, and then you do your own judgment on something. So many people who are against crypto and NFT. They haven’t done their own research, they’re just based in what they believe, on what other people have said, and I think they should definitely be open minded. But it’s the same with every revolution. So when the internet came out, we’ve got people saying we’ve got radio, we’ve got TV what’s the point of the internet? But they didn’t realize that internet will consume both TV and radio and become probably the most influential and important things of society today. So I definitely think there will always be some skeptics at the start of a whole shift that will happen in the world 100%.

Dr James : 

And you know what, even if you’re not fully a believer, what’s the harm in getting some exposure, maybe even owning a tiny bit of Bitcoin not too much money, just a little bit and then what that means is at least you’ve got some skin in the game, right. And here’s the thing if it goes to zero tomorrow or it goes to a million, we only know that that’s happened. When that’s happened, if you’re with me, yeah, and when it hits a million, it’s already too late. You know, at that point it’s already done, it’s already achieved most of its upside. So for me, my greatest thing is to say to these people, or people who maybe think along those lines number one, open your mind and read and learn, and if you still don’t agree with it at that point, fair enough. And then number two, even if you’re unsure, double a little bit, and then at least that way you’ve got some exposure to it, right, and then you can find out later. But it’s always going to be horses for courses, isn’t it, my friend? Because no one not everybody’s going to be involved. Not everybody’s going to think it’s cool, not everybody’s going to invest in every single asset, and that’s totally fine, but I still think we’ve got some way to go on that one, and there definitely are a few people out there listening today that from your words and hopefully my words as well, ben their crypto journey will be being ignited. And I just think as well, with the energy the house passionately you speak about it as well, that will come across to people too and that will cause them to think, hmm, why is this so interesting? Why do people think so strongly about this? Maybe I should do my own research, but anyway, that was just my little opinion, soliloquy, on the matter. Next thing, ben I’d love to know what’s on the horizon for yourself, because you’ve achieved so much at the age of 12. Do we stop here? Do we kick back? Do we take it easy, or is there the next thing for you, ben? What’s the next thing and what does it look like? Where do you expect that all this success might take you?

Benyamin: 

So many people have said to me that, because of my success, there’s no need to go to school. However, I disagree with them, as this success has powered me more to carry on with my studies, carry on doing my coding, and if I keep doing this, it’s like a sign that something definitely bigger will prevail in the future. So currently, I’m just carrying on learning, getting my alpha from Twitter, and I just want to stick to this path.

Dr James : 

I love it. So you’ve really got your head screwed on, ben. It’s been so awesome to listen to you today. Thank you so much for your time. I have one final question have you even spent a teeny, teeny, tiny bit of your ETH profits on anything, and if so, what was it? Or are you a true passionate, long-term crypto holder?

Benyamin: 

So I’m planning to hodl, and I’ve only spawned myself with a few really cheap NFTs that I’ve bought at the mint stage. However, I’m just planning to keep it all in investment, whether that’s ETH or BTC or NFTs or any other investment, and I’m just planning to hodl, which is crypto. Speak for not selling, and I don’t need the money, so there’s no reason to take it out into the real world, but one day, if I do set up my own business, it will definitely be a great way to fund it.

Dr James : 

I love it. Are you looking forward to Ethereum 2.0, for that dynamic to come into existence and then, therefore, the theory is that ETH becomes deflationary and then, just like what you were saying, that’s when the long term hodlers really get paid off, do you think?

Benyamin: 

that that’s gonna happen. Yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to ETH 2.0, because then people realise that this is not just something that’s speculative when you’ve got staking. This is actually something where you can earn money just from holding. So ETH 2.0 will definitely attract a lot of big names and a lot of people into crypto and ETH. So I’m definitely looking forward to that update next year or this year.

Dr James : 

That’s cool and for anybody who’s curious what ETH 2.0 is, feel free to give that a browse, give that a search on Google. It’s probably slightly beyond the remit of what we’ve got time for today in that podcast, but it’s an exciting development on the Ethereum front and it’s why many people believe that Ethereum is going to mimic Bitcoin, insofar as it’s a deflationary asset which becomes a skersher and, as we know, supply and demand. Something becomes a skersher, its value goes up, food for thought and something to think about. And again, you’ve been so generous with your time today. Thank you so much, and you spoke incredibly well on the topics of NFTs and crypto. Is there anything that you’d like to say in conclusion?

Benyamin: 

just to wrap things up today, Well, I would just like to say thank you for having me and I want to end on a key point so many people have asked me about. Oh, I want to get into the end. I want to get into NFTs or crypto. I always say, do something that you like, whether that’s cooking or dancing. It doesn’t necessarily have to be programming, just do it to the best of your ability and work on a skill that makes you happy, and it’s something that you could come home and do it to give you happiness.

Dr James : 

Love it, my man, Ben. Thank you so much for your time today. We’re going to draw a line on your proceedings just there. Thank you for coming on the Dentistry Invest podcast and I look forwards to us releasing this podcast and also future content that we’ll be able to create. Thank you so much for your time, my friend. We shall catch up very soon.

Benyamin: 

Thank you.

Dr James : 

I look forward to improving their finances, well-being and investing knowledge. Looking forward to seeing you on there.