One of the most popular NFT marketplaces on the Tezos blockchain, Hic et Nunc (HEN), randomly disappeared from the Internet recently. Its disappearance sparked some confusion and worry over what happens to everyone’s assets who used the marketplace. And for that reason, the discontinuation of HEN provides a great learning opportunity on how Web 3.0 works.
Anyone who had used HEN to mint and buy NFTs has by now probably realized that their assets are safe. Furthermore, since they were minted on the Tezos blockchain, they can access those assets on any website or wallet that is built on that blockchain.
It’s best to think of NFT marketplaces as windows onto the blockchain. Your assets aren’t actually on HEN, OpenSea, or any of the other popular NFT marketplaces. Instead, the marketplace provides an interface for buying and selling assets on the blockchain. Similarly, some crypto wallets such as MetaMask or Temple provide ways to directly display your NFT collection within the wallet interface.
All of this is possible because of the blockchain layer, known as Web 3.0, built over the Internet protocol used today. Below is a quick primer on what Web 3.0 is.
What is Web 3.0?
With the advent of blockchain technology, we can now categorize past “versions” of the Internet in retrospect.
Web 1.0 is defined as the dial-up era of the Internet. People signed onto the web to do relatively simple tasks like email, chat, or to look up information.
Web 2.0 is where social media comes into play. Individuals can create a personal or business account for posting just about any kind of content. Users can monetize and distribute this content across the Internet via social media.
Web 3.0 adds the blockchain layer to the Internet. Blockchains further personalize the web browsing experience by allowing you to take all content and assets to any pocket of the Internet. More and more sites will enable users to connect to their blockchain wallets and access their digital assets. As a result, individuals can monetize their content outside of centralized social media platforms. Web 3.0 is also the foundation of the Metaverse.
What comes after HEN?
As for why HEN was discontinued…
It apparently had to do with a dispute the main dev had over the direction of the site. You can read more about that here. In any case, this goes to show why decentralization is an excellent hedge against centralized control.
Even though the original dev discontinued HEN, the idea lives on. A handful of mirror sites have come online, and there are a few other Tezos NFT marketplaces with similar design features. So if you’re someone who had used HEN and is wondering how to reaccess your assets, just make sure to sync your wallet with any of these other Tezos marketplaces, and your things should auto-populate.