Opepen Captures the Culture

What is it and what does it mean?

I might have been struck by a little bit of FOMO this week by not owning a certain frog-shaped JPEG.

Opepen —the originally free NFT by Jack Butcher— launched to new heights when it was the main character in an influencer-centered challenge.

But why? What is it? What does it mean? And why was my highest engagement Twitter post in weeks just some Opepen picture (I’m not bitter)?

Here’s a quick rundown— and it’s only a day later than normal. 💅


Jack Butcher is the master marketer who started it all. The former creative director for Fortune 100 brands started a consulting agency called Visualize Value before moving on to creating NFTs.

Checks - VV Edition was an $8 January 2023 mint of simple colored checkmarks that symbolized the ridiculousness of the new Twitter verification process. Butcher started experimenting with changing the metadata (i.e. image) of Checks, and the floor price shot up when burn mechanics were introduced.

His next collection, Opepen Edition, was launched a week after Checks. It was a free mint that lasted for 60 minutes and about 16K were minted. This was a nod to the open edition meta in the NFT space that had a chokehold on us all in late 2022, and of course to the iconic Pepe meme.

After Butcher teased an Opepen PFP (profile picture), people started creating tools to “Opepe-fy” their own PFP and posted the results on Twitter. This means creating a new Opepen-shaped PFP based on colors from their existing one.

This simple and fun expression would become the basis for the entire growing Opepen meta. People also experimented with AI images to reimagine Opepen as other types of objects.


In April, it was revealed that Opepens would get Edition Sizes within the original 16K supply. There will be 200 collections within the collection — revealing just 80 Opepens at a time — in order to “map an infinite number of combinations of visual consciousness onto a recognizable symbol."

Holders can opt into each “pack drop” based on if they like the art or not. Some holders may have rarer Opepens, but they won’t know it unless they opt into a pack drop and get chosen to be revealed.

So far, there have been 9 drops out of 200, and 720 total have been revealed out of 16K. The floor for revealed Opepens is currently higher than it is for unrevealed.

All of this is driving towards “the idea > the image,” and trying to continuously hold and capture attention in a fast-moving space.


This week’s Opepen mania all started when influencer BoredElonMusk offered another influencer ThreadGuy his rare Opepen in exchange for his highly recognizable Mutant Ape.

The reason that BoredElonMusk wanted ThreadGuy to accept is because ThreadGuy is a highly popular NFT Twitter influencer, and BoredElonMusk owns a lot of Opepens. By having ThreadGuy rep an Opepen as his PFP, it would bring a lot of attention to the collection.

ThreadGuy didn’t end up accepting the offer, leaving about $40K on the table. But Jack Butcher stepped into the ongoing discussion to drop a ThreadGuy-themed Opepen picture. ThreadGuy ultimately decided to change his PFP to that instead, a move that surprised many in the space.

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After ThreadGuy changed his PFP, Jack Butcher created a special “Opepen Threadition” NFT mint for $2 to celebrate it. At the time of this post, nearly 50K have been minted, so ThreadGuy stands to earn at least $100K from it. It’s unclear when or if the mint will end.

Soon after the mint began, they had a massively attended (~7K people) Twitter Spaces discussion between the two of them, and talked about why Jack decided to create the 1 of 1 for ThreadGuy.

Why are people minting these if there’s an endless supply and no profit in sight?

They want to have a memory in their wallet of this unique moment in time and also want to have that provenance recorded in their wallet on the public blockchain. I minted some to feel something.


TLDR: Everyone on NFT Twitter soon after reimagined their own PFP in the style of Opepens. Like… everyone. 

People in the NFT space enjoy when big deals like Jack Butcher acknowledge the efforts of the greater community who show up on a daily basis. It’s a win-win for both ThreadGuy and Opepen brand awareness.

Efforts like these also bring together web3 communities that are normally somewhat competitive with each other.

Some of the web3 participants in the fun:

  • OpenSea changed PFP

  • Rarible changed PFP

  • Flow Blockchain changed PFP

  • CoinGecko changed PFP

  • Ledger changed PFP

  • Axie Infinity changed PFP

  • Magic Eden changed PFP

  • Beeple created different Everydays featuring the event

As a result of all the attention, the unrevealed Opepen Edition’s floor skyrocketed from 0.5 eth up to 0.85 eth. While it’s come back down to earth a bit, it remains in the 0.7 eth range ahead of the set 010 announcement.

Good news: you haven’t missed out yet on Checks or Opepens, which ultimately celebrate permissionless, distributed creative efforts.

Jack Butcher’s plans for Opepen and Checks are apparently just getting started, so if you want to know what’s next (Infinity Checks?), check out this video from Giancarlo.

I can only hope that this rising tide lifts all for this tough market. But I do love a feel-good story on NFT Twitter that anyone can participate in. It warms my lil frozen heart. 💙

we can only hope it was, tg


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