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Here's how a student took a selfie every day for five years, and ended up with $1 million in NFT sales

Published Jan 18, 2022 11:46 am

An Indonesian college student has become an internet sensation after the digital rights to his selfies fetched more than $1 million (about P51 million) on a platform for non-fungible tokens or NFTs.

Sultan Gustaf Al Ghozali, who studies computer science at a university in the central city of Semarang, has taken a picture of himself sitting in front of his computer almost every day for the last five years.

He intended to use the collection of nearly 1,000 selfies 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 Everyday".

"I was thinking it might be funny if one of the collectors collected my face," Ghozali told reporters at his university's campus on Thursday. 

Indonesian college student Sultan Gustaf Al Ghozali, who became an internet sensation after turning hundreds of his selfies into non fungible tokens (NFT) for $1 million, poses at his college in Semarang on Jan. 14, 2022. Daffa Ramya Kanzuddin / AFP

"I never thought anybody would want to buy the selfies, which is why I only priced them at $3," he said.

But demand shot up, and the value of the selfies increased to as much as 0.9 of the cryptocurrency ether, which is equivalent to $806 (about P154,000)

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.

As of Friday afternoon, 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 5 years of effort paid off," he tweeted on Tuesday.

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.

On his Twitter account, Ghozali only asked buyers of his selfie NFTS not to "abuse" his photos, lest his parents become "very disappointed."

"You can do anything like flipping or whatever but please don't abuse my photos or my parents will very disappointed to me," Ghozali said.

"I believe in you guys so please take care of my photos."