Guide to Bitcoin Ordinals Collections: What is Bitcoin Puppets?

Guide to Bitcoin Ordinals Collections: What is Bitcoin Puppets?

Guide to Bitcoin Ordinals Collections: What is Bitcoin Puppets?

May 7, 2024

General Wallet Use

5 min

Have you noticed an influx of hand-drawn, Microsoft Paint-style profile pictures floating around Crypto Twitter? Then you’ve probably been looking at Bitcoin Puppets, an Ordinals project that has quickly become one of the most valuable collections in the web3 sphere. In a sea of Ordinals, Bitcoin Puppets stands out for its collection of 10,001 (not 10,000!) unique monkey profile pictures, or PFPs.

Bitcoin Puppets were founded by the pseudonymous Le Puppeteer Fou, and in the short time since their debut, they’ve become known as one of the most valuable collections in the crypto space. Like them or not – and they don’t particularly care if you do – Bitcoin Puppets have quickly made their mark through a combination of memorable visuals and heavy engagement.

But there’s more to this Ordinals collection than just its imagery; a much bolder thesis is beneath the surface.

History of Bitcoin Puppets

Bitcoin Puppets went live in January on InscribeNow, and at the time of this writing is a top-5 collection on MagicEden. But their success wasn’t immediately obvious. Initial public response to the collection was mixed. Though it minted out quickly, many found the collection polarizing.

Those who love it, love it. There are many who appreciate the vibes that underpin the artwork and others who may be less enthusiastic about the designs, but hold a different appreciation for the collection as a concept. Then there are those who are not on board with the project – many of them have made their distaste known on social media. But whether you love them or hate them, the Puppets have so far been a resounding success. 

The art quickly became the most recognizable element of Bitcoin Puppets, but it’s also simplistic in nature. The Puppets were hand-drawn on Microsoft Paint. Bitcoin Puppets, along with O.P.I.U.M., are “esoteric and absurd” collections that Le Puppeteer Fou gleefully acknowledges were “created with basic tools, lots of effort and passion.”

In spite of the artwork’s simplicity, the designs weren’t developed overnight. The Puppets’ creator and several other key figures in their development reportedly met in a Discord server back in the early days of Ethereum NFTs. They also collaborated with the community when it came to designing the Ordinals, drawing their art inspiration from others.

Another notable touch is that the Puppets are available under what’s known as a VPL – or Viral Public License – which allows others to use the work for their own purposes and endeavors as long as they retain the VPL in derivative works. 

Concept of Bitcoin Puppets

Much of the discourse that surrounds blockchain and its various innovations has to do with expanding use cases. Many PFP projects have been criticized for failing to improve on unsuccessful predecessors – instead essentially recreating the same thing with new wrapping paper.

Bitcoin Puppets bucks this concept, specifically noting that the collection is “not intended for use as anything but art.” They are not providing any roadmaps for use. They’re not interested in you taking them too seriously. They want you to embrace whimsy. The collection website’s cursor is literally a middle finger.

In a Puppet Manifesto posted to X, they talk about the desire to reflect the inherent “absurdity” of the crypto space (particularly with respect to meme tokens) and their belief that culture cannot be manufactured. They feel that a true culture can only be built from an emergence of shared perspectives – rather than by marketing new collections as part of a community and hoping one forms.

It’s an ideology that proponents of the collection have flocked to. A common rallying cry for the Puppets is “Send them to zero!” And it’s the rule, not the exception. While there are undoubtedly those enjoying the reality that Puppet value is currently strong, ideological proponents enjoy the counterintuitive slogan for more than just the laugh. They believe that everything – including fiat currency – will eventually go to zero, so why not dance until the music stops.

Projects Associated with Bitcoin Puppets

Bitcoin Puppets wasn’t Le Puppeteer Fou’s first collection – it was predated by Lasogette on Ethereum and Ord Puppet Inu Undoxxed Millionaires, a Bitcoin Ordinals collection of 777 that’s more commonly known as O.P.I.U.M. In particular, O.P.I.U.M. is considered to be a predecessor of Bitcoin Puppets, with a strong visual resemblance and similar ethos that ties together the two collections. The O.P.I.U.M. and Bitcoin Puppets collections even share a website.

Like many other Ordinals projects, Bitcoin Puppets have spawned their own tokens. $PUPS, which was launched as a BRC-20 token through Solana, planned a migration to Runes with their ticker minted during April 19’s halving. These memecoins have shied away from any promise of utility and aren’t affiliated with O.P.I.U.M. or Bitcoin Puppets – but they’ve been welcomed by Puppet aficionados. Additionally, a collection known as Rune Puppets (or Rune Pups) was airdropped free in mid-March to those with Bitcoin Puppets, rewarding those who went in early. 

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