Friday Jan 21, 2022
An Indonesian student accidentally made fortune after he turned a collection of selfies into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — unique digital items that are bought, sold and stored on a blockchain — in what was supposed to be a “funny act”, The Independent reported.
Sultan Gustaf Al Ghozali, who studies computer science, transformed nearly 1,000 pictures of himself into NFTs — which he took sitting in front of his computer over four years.
He intended to use the collection to create a timelapse video for his graduation day.
But after learning about blockchain technology, the 22-year-old decided to upload the photos to NFT trading platform OpenSea under the title "Ghozali every day".
Per reports, the original price of each one was set by the 22-year-old at just 0.00001 ether ($3); however, they soon sky-rocketed in value after gaining the attention of high-risk crypto traders, with individual images now selling for more than $10,000.
On January 10, he tweeted: “Uploading my photo into NFT lol.”
The next day, he tweeted: “Can’t believe people bought my photo NFT, 35 already sold in one day.”
"I was thinking it might be funny if one of the collectors collected my face," Ghozali told reporters at his university’s campus.
"I never thought anybody would want to buy the selfies, which is why I only priced them at $3," he said.
But the next day one selfie was available for 0.247 of the cryptocurrency ether ($806) after demand shot up.
NFTs have transformed digital items ranging from illustrations to memes into virtual collectors´ items that cannot be duplicated.
Ghozali started to upload his selfies in late December but it was not until a celebrity chef snapped some up last week and promoted Ghozali on his social media account that sales took off.
In the next few days, more than 400 people bought ownership of his expressionless photos.
Per the latest reports, Ghozali's collection had reached a total trade volume of 317 ether, equivalent to more than $1 million.
"To be honest I still haven’t got the courage to tell my parents, they would be wondering where I got the money from," Ghozali laughed.
On his Twitter account, where he has more than 16,000 followers, the student often offers updates on his OpenSea statistics.
"Today (I) sold more than 230+ (selfies) and until now I don´t understand why you want to buy #NFT photos of me !!! but I thank you guys for five years of effort paid off," he tweeted.
Ghozali, who dreams of opening his own animation studio one day, said he plans to invest the money and will continue to take daily selfies until he finishes college.
— With additional input from AFP