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Hicetnunc Returns, Begins Transition To DAO

Popular Tezos NFT Marketplace Hicetnunc.xyz Transferred to Artist Community in first-of-its-kind Web3 Saga on the energy-efficient Tezos blockchain.

Hicetnunc.xyz Founder Rafael Lima stepped back to allow the Hicetnunc community to continue the popular platform on Hicetnunc.art. Hicetnunc completes Platform-owned to Community-owned transition, an example of Web3 principles in practice.


Hicetnunc.xyz was an online, open-source, and community-driven digital art marketplace built on the energy-efficient Tezos blockchain.

From its launch in March 2021, Hicetnunc.xyz grew dramatically — attracting thousands of artists from across the globe and becoming one of the largest NFT marketplaces.

Users of Hicetnunc.xyz founded a community out of the open, inclusive, and diverse atmosphere of the indie platform. Low minting fees, clean NFTs, and a supportive collecting culture of artists buying from artists displayed the best of what Web3 has to offer. 

Today, Hicetnunc is fully-operational at Hicetnunc.art after Founder, Rafael Lima decided to step back, allowing the community to begin transitioning Hicetnunc to a DAO.

The Tezos ecosystem has worked together to find a path forward in an open, transparent process, a first-of-its-kind Web3 transition from platform-ownership to community-ownership.

On November 11, Rafael announced the experiment of Hicetnunc.xyz was over. As a grassroots, open-source developer from Brazil, he grew frustrated that despite building a platform that had empowered so many creators from regions that typically did not have equal exposure and opportunities in the art world, the community he helped foster had consumed this safe artistic space. ​​

Hicetnunc did not die on November 11. The Tezos ecosystem builds in open-source by default and all metadata, image files, and sale data were stored on the Tezos blockchain and IPFS directly, not on the Hicetnunc.xyz website which allowed anyone to access the data.

Within hours of the discontinuation of the Hicetnunc.xyz website, over 50 mirror sites went live where artists could continue to browse, mint, and collect NFTs on Hicetnunc.

Hicetnunc.xyz itself still remains in the hands of Founder and developer, Rafael Lima. A majority of the community has consolidated around the mirror site Hicetnunc.art as the new home for the Hicetnunc movement where the look and feel of the original site still exists and artists can continue to mint and collect in that safe space.

Tezos infrastructure provider TezTools has become the caretaker of the original Hicetnunc.xyz smart contract until a DAO is ready to oversee the operations.

Further, Rafael has lowered his platform fee to 1%, the lowest level the smart contract will permit, to enable other mirror platforms to thrive. 

As the Hicetnunc.xyz platform grew, the Hicetnunc community, consisting of digital artists, major gallerists, avantgarde AI creators, climate activist-artists, major-label musicians, and artists searching for equal representation in the art world began exploring what was possible in this new Web3 paradigm of building web applications on decentralized public blockchains.

Much of the community shared Rafael’s vision for a low-barrier to access NFT marketplace that enabled a diverse community of artists, previously excluded from the NFT space, to start exploring Web3.

A hackathon in late May, dubbed the hicathon, kicked-off an effort to explore these new Web3 paradigms including proposals to transition Hicetnunc.xyz to a DAO and to incorporate features such as improved token contracts, auctions, and new display formats.

Rafael expressed openness to these improvements to the notoriously experimental and low functionality site, but was hesitant to go farther than the most basic improvements and resisted calls for a DAO.

This signaled to other developers and community members that there was an opportunity to meet the needs of the Hicetnunc community that had grown greater than the centralized platform that spawned it (at the time Hicetnunc.xyz had overtaken OpenSea in daily active users). 

Since then, the Hicetnunc community has engaged in, at times, heated debates on Discord and Twitter over what the future holds. The community maintains a strong commitment to carry on the legacy of Hicetnunc as an open-source community that empowers a diverse set of global artists. 

Matt DesLauriers stated on (Hicetnunc and the Merits of Web3):

“This unexpected shuttering of the website is proving to be a real-time stress test for decentralized applications (“dApps”) and the lofty claims of web3: an idealized vision where users remain in control of their content and assets, rather than locking it into a centrally owned platform (Instagram comes to mind).

And, in the case of HEN—an ecosystem built on a radically different set of paradigms and technologies than what we have previously been exposed to on the web—these pillars of decentralization seem to be working.” 

The experimental Hicetnunc.xyz was discontinued — Hicetnunc lives on.

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