The Ultimate Guide to Bitcoin Puppets: All You Need to Know

BY Kaylan Sliney

April 22, 2024

If I’ve done my job correctly, this will be the most unhinged “comprehensive guide” you’ve ever read. Anything less would simply be dishonest – so buckle up, folks.

Bitcoin Puppets, a collection of 10,001 unique PFPs (profile pictures) hand-drawn in MS Paint by a 12-year-old, has taken web3 by storm. At the time of publication, its floor price sits at 0.408 BTC ($26,775).

But what many may view as a surprising, relative “overnight” success has actually been years in the making. Come along for the ride as we explore the intersection of culture, community, and crypto.

A Brief History

In an effort to respect the privacy of the project’s undoxxed founder, Le Puppeteer Fou (hereinafter, “The Puppetmaster”), we’ll keep this history like a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee: light and sweet. 

Legend has it that The Puppetmaster has been an artist for many years – previously leaning more toward abstract portraiture. He and a fair few key Puppets first met in the Wassies by Wassies Discord server back in the original heyday of Ethereum NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Going on to create their own private chat, this collective of blossoming friendships would form the foundation of a community that we all now know and love. 

Before creating Bitcoin Puppets, The Puppetmaster had already produced collections such as Lasogette, an ‘esoteric fine art project of 7,777 generative PFPs following a net-art aesthetic’ on Ethereum, and Ord Puppet Inu Undoxxed Millionaires (O.P.I.U.M.), an ‘esoteric and absurd collection of 777 hand puppets created with basic tools, and lots of effort and passion’ on Bitcoin Ordinals. 

O.P.I.U.M. is widely considered the predecessor to Puppets, not least because of the resemblance between the two collections. But as it turns out, the famed private Discord we reference above also made some wonderful contributions to each collection. 

For example, everyone in the chat was able to submit text for the signs that O.P.I.U.M. puppets are holding, resulting in traits like: “Thicc Goddess Connoisseur,” “Hustlin Apothecary,” and “Digital Prophet.” 

Designing the Puppets

The Puppeteer continued to involve his community when designing traits for the Bitcoin Puppets. In the process, he stayed true to the pure whimsy, sheer creativity, and patent absurdity evinced by the original O.P.I.U.M. collection. 

For a few examples:

  • The two chairs t-shirt trait is an evolution of Puppets’ “KomUNiTy MaNAgEr” W4nkpire submission of Michael Saylor’s “How many chairs are you sitting on?” rhetoric (regarding going all-in on Bitcoin), with The Puppetmaster layering in a twist turning one red, and one blue (a reference to the choice between outcomes by taking correspondingly colored pills in The Matrix).
  • The pink pipe trait is a reference to work by BennyTheDev, where after releasing $TRAC, he went on to develop the PIPE protocol, and some overlapping members of Discord groups started calling it “trac pipe” (referencing a ‘crack pipe’).
  • The “coffee time” mug trait in Puppets comes from a hiccup akin to a classic ‘What I Ordered vs. What I Got.’ OG crew member Hillshills ordered a physical mug reading “Rise and Grind,” to match her favorite O.P.I.U.M. trait. After a painstakingly long delivery process, what she ultimately received instead disappointingly read “Coffee Time.” But alas, new lore was born.
Credit: Discord screengrab by @hillshills, aka @castles

Initial Mint

The Puppets mint went live on January 3 on InscribeNow. After minting out quickly (with some suspected bot activity), public reaction to the art was decidedly mixed. Even camps in favor were divided: some proponents absolutely loved and resonated with the art of the collection (including the Cursed Puppets therein), and others who may not have personally appreciated the fringe aesthetic recognized there was something special about the collection. Those against it were not shy in their criticism

The polarity of opinions, however, seemed only to fuel the believers’ fervor. Early community members doubled down and bought more of the peaceful little chaos agents at scale, while FUDders continued to lurk the timeline and infiltrate spaces on X. 

In a rare journey of consistency, the Puppets continued trending upward with very few hiccups along the way, leaving non-believers in the dust. The proverbial anti-hero of 2024, bucking traditional norms like obsessing over floor price, in favor of ceaselessly promoting world peace all over the timeline, Puppets became an unexpected phenomenon. 

But should it have been so surprising? 

The Puppet Manifesto

Web3 is at once an ever-evolving and unpredictable space, yet simultaneously prone to relentless ‘copy pasta’.  With so many PFP (profile picture) projects looking to “get it right,” they more often end up replicating the unsuccessful elements of those that came before. 

Commonly, PFP projects are designed and marketed as representing a “community,” before any true community has had the proper time to be identified, curated, or nurtured. Ten thousand strangers buying into a mint, expecting “number go up,” does not a community make. Some groups are able to identify their common thread and band together, and with enough attention, resources, and effort, may be able to build some scaffolding. Plenty of others, however, become little more than diluted cash grabs, bogged down by unfulfilled promises and unmet expectations. 

The Puppetmaster turned this rhetoric on its head. No roadmap, no promises, no board of directors. He’s neither taken the spotlight nor disappeared into the ether (…hah); he just positioned himself as a steady, supportive presence, letting holders form the bonds – with the art and each other – that suit them best. If you pay a little bit of attention, you’ll find cleverly planted easter eggs like a middle finger cursor on the Website or the poetic whimsy of the O.P.I.U.M. White Paper, that serve as gentle reminders not to take ourselves so seriously. 

This complete and utter ban on expectations meant that anything to come would be purely organic, community-driven, and equal parts surprise and delight. 

Let us not forget the OG crew who’d spent years building rapport, forming sticky, irreverent narratives, and stacking lore. Their emotional investment in the founder, the project traits, and each other meant the scaffolding of community already existed by the time “outsiders” joined in. Leaning on what is ultimately a mutual “no expectations” narrative, newcomers are welcomed with open arms, but their approval is decidedly never sought.

Send Them To Zero 

With the insatiable hunger for all things Puppets, a noticeably counterintuitive maxim echoes throughout the chambers of X: “Send them to zero!” Perhaps it seems an ironic rallying cry, but it is instead a good-natured reminder that we’re all aboard this train to the end. This is the only place on the internet where objective success is viewed as a failure. 

Even where a sarcastic foot-stomp as prices continue to soar, the oft-repeated offshoot “I was promised zero!” serves as a reminder that Puppets offer their holders no expectations: just art, fun, and good vibes. When they do eventually go to zero (as all things do), one can only hope they enjoyed the ride. 

No Collaborations; Plenty of Derivatives

The Puppets are subject to the cheeky VPL (Viral Public License), which is similar to (but preceded) the more familiar CC0 (Creative Commons zero) license. The VPL copyleft means that anyone, at any time, is welcome to use the work for their own purposes, creative pursuits, including products and derivative projects. 

The Puppeteer holds a firm “No-Collab Thesis,” as a way to avoid compromise, dilution, and commodification of art. 

However, he not only permits, but encourages the broader use of Puppet IP pursuant to the VPL. In their short time out in the public ecosystem, the Puppets have been countlessly derived. Some of the most resemblant collections to date include: 

Credit: @shak0sama

The excitement runs high for each new derivative and its promise (or not!) to add to the lore of the Puppets:

Le Puppettes Mint Announcement by Queen Arf

Memes, Products, and Playlists, Oh My!

Puppets are already regularly meme-ified, productized, manicured, and playlisted (albums, even!) – all of which are actively encouraged by both The Puppeteer and the community writ large. The collection even inspired an AI-coauthored radio (“RAIDIO”) station called Puppet Public Relations Radio by Lukas Kalmar

Community activity isn’t just limited to making the world’s best master thread of memes and printing merch (although the stickers are particularly good). Members have met up across the country at ETH Denver, NFT.NYC, and are planning ahead for Bitcoin 2024 in Nashville, TN. 

Sticker courtesy of @hillshills

Photo courtesy of @dopabtc

Photo courtesy of @DegenSoles

Life-sized Puppet Painting (banana for scale), photo courtesy of @HookerNFT

World Peace Album by @EldrisArt

Handmade Puppet for @Kuyamark by @Sixtyfine


Although The Puppeteer has made it abundantly clear he is not interested in “running a project” in the traditional sense, one can’t help but notice how enthusiastically he supports and engages with his community.

The Puppeteer has created an ever-growing collection of 1-of-1 Puppets to honor individuals he views as making contributions to either the Puppets community, and/or the blockchain space as a whole — including Ordinals creator Casey Rodarmor and figures like DeeZe and ThreadGuy.

These mostly custom pieces are crafted lovingly as tributes to the intended recipients, while a small few are created without a recipient in mind, but eventually find a home with their rightful owner. The Puppeteer recently revealed a slew of new honoraries on X, including Puppets custom-tailored for Ansem and BGS.


The power of the Puppets has spilled over into fungible tokens. $PUPS was launched as a memecoin promising no roadmap, no utility, just memes (and assumedly the metric of the decade, vibes). Originally a BRC-20 with a Solana bridge, $PUPS is preparing to migrate to Runes with the ticker PUPS•WORLD•PEACE being minted at the halving on April 19,

While the project is affiliated with neither O.P.I.U.M. nor the Bitcoin Puppets, it has been adopted into the ecosystem and embraced by the Puppet community. The tokenomics honor early Puppet holders, as a collection called Rune Puppets (more commonly, “Rune Pups”) was airdropped to Bitcoin Puppet holders on March 17, 2024.

A chunk of the $PUPS supply (22.3%) was reserved for allocation to Rune Pups on migration. Holders were airdropped one of two rarity ranks, common or rare, with rare Rune Pups receiving a multiplier for their $PUPS allocation. The remaining supply (77.7%) will be distributed to BRC-20 and Solana-bridged token holders at a 1-for-100 split.

Closing Thoughts 

Puppet culture centers on purity of intent and offers an artistic expression that mirrors the volatility, and sometimes patent illogic, of financial activity in the crypto markets. While not without their detractors or some who might call their art crass, Puppets proudly defy conventional categories and celebrate their creativity and (counter-)culture. And they still wish you world peace, by the way. 

At the time of writing, the Puppets are barely three months old. In human years, that’s a baby barely lifting its head up during tummy time, but it’s already an angsty teenager in crypto years. There will inevitably be twists and turns through the impending froth of a bull market, but as a project that has already minted some unsuspecting millionaires out of a “no expectations” populus, the attitude of gratitude seems still to reign supreme. 

It will be fascinating to see how the collection and community continue to evolve together (or apart), but they are currently an incontrovertible zeitgeist.

Special thanks to: @lepuppeteerfou, @w4nkpire, @hillshills, @kuyamark, @queenarf51621, and @goodthings for their warm conversations about all things Puppets, and the entire community for sending memes on demand (and not nudes). 

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