Back in late May, I was chatting with an NFT creator called Ge1Doot. I asked him why he was moving away from Ethereum to a coin that wasn't in the top 30, on a marketplace with a weird name.
"HicEtNunc is where the hackers and the grassroots creators are. No diamond hands, to-the-moon, laser eyes here. Just art". I followed his advice, and a few days later I owned hundreds of NFTs and chatted with just about as many artists. It was awesome.
Earlier today, the founded of HicEtNunc.xyz decided to shut down the site. Our team was shocked, and sad. We didn't want to lose the place for hacky NFTs. We didn't want to go to a more polished platform. We started chatting within our team, and with the TezTools team, and we decided to combine our technologies and infrastructure to bring HEN back up.
Web3 is about openness. Anyone can port their data. Your NFTs are yours, even if the site you bought them from goes down. HicEtNunc was built with that same vision: it is an MIT licensed, single page webapp on IPFS.
We love the HitEtNunc community. It's not possible for a single person to take that down. The community can bring the site back up. The community can vote for its next features. So we see this not as the end of HEN, but simply at passing the torch.
We joined a Twitter Space, and asked people what name they would like for the new instance. It would be 100% the same as the previous code. The name hicetnunc.art was picked by the community. We want to keep the grassroot spirit of HEN alive. We're making sure that all your NFTs, all your profiles load, and quickly. Already, HicEtNunc.art is up to 5x faster than .xyz was.
We are doing this to give people the option to keep using HEN. The entire Tezos NFT ecosystem exists thanks to that site, so we're going to keep it alive! This is a collaborative project. TezTools is helping with the infrastructure, providing the latest Hicdex work, and DNS is helping make things fast, take care of IPFS, hosting and fix bugs.
From a code perspective, here's what we did together with TezTools:
We're going to have to pin every single IPFS item that has ever been pinned by HEN. This is over 500,000 NFTs, with ~1.5M IPFS links. Luckily, our team has worked on IPFS for the past 5 years. (I myself held a number of workshops at IPFS Camp!). We have to do this to ensure everyone's data remains up for good. Currently, HEN data is only on Infura.
We're also going to be running additional indexers with the help of TezTools. This is to help scale the site. You might have noticed HEN being slow at times. This is both due to IPFS being run from one place (!) and from using one indexer. We're solving this, and it's going to get a lot faster.
Lastly, we're going to be increasing our partnership with TezTools. They will keep providing the public free resources such as HicDex. HicEtNunc.art itself is built on the same code as https://hen.teztools.io. DNS will be keeping HEN hosted, true to form and easy to use. We'll also be dealing with large infrastructure issues such as IPFS, contracts, and general bugs.
We're going to make sure this HEN stays alive for good, and that its contracts remain the same so that other platforms such as OBJKT can also showcase its content.
We love the idea of more people running HEN alternatives. We love the OBJKT team. We're going to be around to help.