The History of Teia.art: A Marketplace Salvaged by the Community
DeFi projects with DAO and self-governance were originally conceived as decentralized. The story of hic et nunc is different: the centralized marketplace was left without a creator, disappeared, and recovered under community management.
The result: HEN changed its name to Teia.art, exemplified the benefits of decentralization, organized a DAO without tokens, and gathered probably the most active community in Tezos. This is the story of Teia.art’s transformation.
A Brief History of hic et nunc
The marketplace hicetnunc.xyz was created by one developer, Rafael Lima. He also was the one who deleted it in November 2021. However, all NFTs remained in the smart contract ledger, and the artifacts attached to them remained in the decentralized file system (IPFS.) Only the frontend, the interface for interacting with the contract and IPFS, disappeared.
The teztools creator nicknamed Manitcor, who helped Lima maintain hicetnunc.xyz, made a mirror of the marketplace on the domain hicetnunc.art. At the same time, the community launched three more mirrors and came up with the idea of creating a DAO to manage the resurrected project.
Manitcor supported the idea of decentralization. According to him, Rafael Lima used hic et nunc to experiment with the creative economy and thus challenged traditional decentralized finance. But only the community of artists, collectors, and enthusiasts will determine whether the new incarnation of hic et nunc will follow this principle further and whether it can survive the blow.
A Launch of a Proto DAO and Renaming
Hic et nunc’s Discord was joined by developers, strategists, and managers. They organized the development of a DAO and a multisig wallet for voting and decision-making, creating a new smart contract for the marketplace, and recruiting volunteers to fight against copy-minters.
Not everything was smooth: hDAO management tokens were left over from the old hic et nunc. In the first months of the marketplace’s operation, participants in NFT deals received them for free. In December 2021, the community began discussing whether to use hDAO in self-management and to reward participants, or to issue new tokens.
Using the examples of the U.S. War of Independence, the citizenship process, and Huawei’s organization, a user nicknamed jackyang explained that the tokens would not make a whale a full member of the community, but would be suitable as a reward for active participants.
While there were discussions about the future of hDAO, the developers launched a vote for the new name of the marketplace. All that was needed to participate was an address that had previously interacted with hic et nunc, and some tez to pay transaction fees.
SYNQ and TEIA made it to the finals, and eventually TEIA won having got five more votes.
On February 1, the developers launched Teia.art and a channel for choosing a new logo. The discussion ended with the developers adding a tool for downloading logo packs, and the logo changes every time the page reloads.
While tokenless voting and Discord discussions are not like classic DAOs with tokens and reaching a supermajority, the Teia community has accomplished the task of making decisions and improving the marketplace.
Development Plans for Teia
The community discusses the shortcomings of the marketplace and how to solve them in Discord and Discourse. Discourse usually brings up the results of discussions on important topics like testing that DAO with tokens, implementing the new TezTok universal indexer, and registering Teia as a legal entity to distribute commissions and pay taxes. You wouldn’t believe how often the Tezos community discusses taxes.
One of the main discussions is the launch of the new minter contract. Teia is still operating on the old hicetnunc OBJKT contract to create NFTs. Essentially, the independent marketplace project remains just an alternative frontend.
The launch of the new contract will mean the launch of an independent ecosystem, not tied to the old hic et nunc code. In addition, developers will be able to update the contract: add new features to NFT, improve the security of the contract and the token standard, release their own “teia genesis” tokens. There is a disadvantage, though: the new contract will lose compatibility with indexers and old tools to work with NFTs, so they will have to be refined.
The developers got themselves busy with the DAO, improving the UI and speeding up the loading of NFTs with IPFS. Most likely, the minter contract will be the topic of the first vote in the DAO. Discord discussions are cool, but counting votes is the best way to find out the will of the community.
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