NFTs dominated crypto headlines this year with amazing volumes and Hic et Nunc (HEN) was looking like the coolest market in the Tezos NFT space when it was launched in March this year. By May, it had surpassed even OpenSea as the biggest NFT platform by daily active user count. The Company branded itself as a clean and minimalist market that relied on the low-cost Tezos built upon a consensus mechanism in contrast to that of Ethereum and its extraordinarily high transaction costs. Last week the HEN team shut down the website and updated the company’s Twitter profile bio to “Discontinued”. Details of exactly what is happening with HEN are unclear, but rumour has it that lead developer Raf was spurred on by negative messages received from the community, which led to an impulsive decision.
The frontend for the NFT marketplace, which uses the domain hicetnunc.xyz, went offline on November 12. Shortly after the HEN webpage disappeared, its Twitter page bid the community a final farewell by tweeting the smart contract address for the marketplace.
Since smart contracts are immutable, the assets and data on the marketplace will not be affected.
This is not the first time we have faced a marketplace shutdown and the potential loss of work from talented artists that relied on the market for distribution. Since HEN’s closure, clones have sprung up to give collectors the ability to buy and sell HEN NFTs. For one, many believe that Objkt can capitalize on this situation and replace HEN as the market of #cleanNFTs, but many others are trying to replace HEN, including https://hicetnunc.art/.
ClubNFT founder Artnome and his team stepped up to help collectors protect their NFT artwork and decided to pay the pinning fees for all 500K+ NFTs minted on HEN to make sure the off-chain assets associated with user collections wouldn’t disappear: “HEN's pinning service, Infura.io, and we have agreed to pay for HEN's pinning contract. Every single HEN minted artwork that HEN was pinning through Infura will be covered,” ClubNFT assured. This incident is a perfect example of why a nearly-centralized blockchain and a centralized marketplace is less than ideal for long-term NFT projects.
Here’s to hoping that this was nothing more than a short-lived publicity stunt.