On Thursday, the website for leading Tezos NFT marketplace Hic et Nunc suddenly disappeared with no explanation. The only breadcrumb was an update to Hic et Nunc’s Twitter bio, which simply reads “discontinued”.
Shortly after Hic et Nunc disappeared, its Twitter page bid the community a final farewell by tweeting the smart contract for the marketplace.
— hicetnunc2000 (@hicetnunc2000) November 11, 2021
Outside of Hic et Nunc’s Twitter activity, no formal explanation has been given for the marketplace’s sudden disappearance, though speculation is rife. According to crypto artist @MrRudeManners, Hic et Nunc’s developer ‘Raf’ may have taken the decision on a whim, spurred on by negative messages they were receiving.
Raf is (thinking) of discontinuing HEN(even tho he changed twitter bio right away), He got upset about some messages then decided this on a whim. Trying to keep up with their discord rn
— 𝕯𝖆𝖑𝖙𝖔𝖓.𝖙𝖊𝖟 (@MrRudeManners) November 11, 2021
In spite of the total disappearance of the marketplace’s front-end, the smart contracts for the NFTs that were listed are, of course, immutable, and the NFTs can now be seen on objkt.com.
Hic et Nunc launched in March this year, and by May, it had surpassed OpenSea as the biggest NFT platform according to daily active user count.
In the past month, Hic et Nunc had 30,000 unique active wallets, more than double the number of active wallets on the current biggest Tezos NFT marketplace, Objkt. However Opensea trumped both, boasting just shy of a quarter of a million active wallets in the past month.
The Hic et Nunc marketplace, which is built on Tezos’s open-source proof-of-stake blockchain, boasted far cheaper minting fees and much higher energy efficiency (by a factor of two million, according to company) than Ethereum.
The first acolytes to migrate to Hic et Nunc from Ethereum marketplaces were AI artists like France’s Joanie Lemercier and Turkey’s Memo Akten. Both rely on a lot of computing power to generate their work and both cited environmental concerns as the key factor for their decision to abandon Ethereum.
So today, as we mourn the sudden loss of Hic et Nunc, it’s important to remember that its cleaner, cheaper ethos still lives on. Once Ethereum upgrades to 2.0, the network will have a much greener carbon footprint and lower transaction fees. In the meantime, Solana is blowing up–you can mint NFTs on it–and it already boasts the features above.
So while one project goes down, a few others spring up. Few things can halt the tide of eco-conscious crypto. It’s an impetuous thing called progress.