Opepen PFPs Are Taking Over NFT Twitter—Here’s What’s Going On

By Decrypt July 19, 2023 In Ethereum, NFTs, Twitter

Opepen Edition, a Pepe meme-themed Ethereum NFT series from conceptual digital artist Jack Butcher that went live in January, has seen a massive uptick in interest and value since the collection became the focal point of a viral trend this week on social media.

In the last 48 hours, Opepen Edition’s floor price—or the asking price of the cheapest listed item in the collection—surged to a new all-time peak of 0.85 ETH or about $1,625, according to data from NFT Price Floor. Currently, the floor sits above 0.75 ETH, or about $1,440.

The pieces were originally minted for free earlier this year as an open edition collection, meaning there was no cap on how many could be created within a certain time frame. All told, 16,000 NFTs were ultimately claimed.

opepen threadition


for provenance purposes only, and to redirect some economic energy to a massive contributor to this ecosystem

0.001 (~$2)

all proceeds to @notthreadguy

https://t.co/CAgkKSXc5g pic.twitter.com/H9wzKz6nLT

— Jack Butcher (@jackbutcher) July 16, 2023

Why has the collection suddenly skyrocketed? The answer lies in the depths of Crypto Twitter, where a friendly feud of sorts between two crypto influencers sparked a viral sensation that ended up reshaping Opepen’s legacy.

Last week, a vocal fan of Butcher’s artwork known as the pseudonymous influencer Bored Elon—the top holder of Opepen NFTs—offered to trade one of the earliest minted NFTs from the project to Michael “ThreadGuy” Jerome, another prominent Crypto Twitter presence, for that influencer’s prized Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT.

The deal ultimately fell through, however, but not before ThreadGuy expressed a non-zero amount of interest in switching his Twitter profile picture to an Opepen.

This is literally so amazing wtf lmaoooo

— ThreadGuy 👑 (@notthreadguy) July 13, 2023

That spark was enough to light a fire, apparently. After observing the days-long exchange between the influencers, Butcher created a custom Opepen for ThreadGuy based on the color scheme of the influencer’s Mutant Ape. Overwhelmed by the gesture, ThreadGuy immediately changed his profile picture to the new image.

Soon after, Butcher took the further step of debuting an open edition mint of the custom ThreadGuy Opepen, with all proceeds from the Opepen Threadition sale (roughly $2 a piece) purportedly sent directly to ThreadGuy as a gesture of generosity. Over 42,000 of the NFTs—created on Zora’s new Ethereum scaling network—have been minted thus far.


The goodwill spurred by Butcher’s involvement in the saga soon sent denizens of Crypto Twitter into giddy overdrive. Noted digital artist Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann commemorated the moment of camaraderie within the often-fraught Web3 ecosystem with multiple digital compositions shared to Twitter.

FOR THE CULTURE pic.twitter.com/5buTkIVQss

— beeple (@beeple) July 17, 2023

Long-running NFT marketplaces OpenSea and Rarible even changed their own Twitter profile pictures to customized Opepens avatars in solidarity with the trend, which soon found a catchphrase: “For the culture.”

To many, Butcher’s act of kindness represented the true—or perhaps ideal—nature of the crypto community, one that should be prioritized over the ever-dominant impulse to maximize profit over all else.

Opensea and Rarible changing PFPs to opepen is the culture. It’s happening pic.twitter.com/EnsbIe93Do

— ThreadGuy 👑 (@notthreadguy) July 17, 2023

Butcher’s generosity regarding the Opepen saga has led to a boost in value for the primary Opepen project, however, and its more than 4,100 unique NFT holders. His original Opepen collection has, since Sunday, been embraced, referenced, and adopted by many of crypto’s top companies and celebrities.

While the artist takes only a modest creator’s fee of 0.5% on all secondary sales of his pieces, those royalties add up: the Opepen Edition collection has, to date, tallied nearly $44 million worth of sales, per CryptoSlam. It’s also the second most-traded collection over the past 24 hours in terms of trading volume, with some $853,000 worth of sales during that span.

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