Discovering Tezos NFTs on Hic Et Nunc: The Low Gas Experience
After months of collecting NFTs on Ethereum, one day, I felt burned out from Ethereum NFT gas prices. The fun of minting started to fade for me when gas — or a transaction cost on the Ethereum blockchain — spiked to hundreds of dollars during a popular new mint. I had heard of lower gas NFTs on other blockchains, so I decided to learn about HEN (Hic Et Nunc) and Tezos NFTs.
I remember the early days of NBA Top Shot, when we spent our days buying and listing Moments in a young, simple, and experimental marketplace. My experience with Hic Et Nunc (HEN) and Tezos so far has given me that same feeling of the Top Shot marketplace, with its low fees and easy discovery process.
What are Tezos NFTs and HEN?
HEN is an online marketplace where users can buy, sell, trade, and mint NFTs on Tezos, a Proof of Stake blockchain with a $4+ billion market cap. HEN stands for “Hic Et Nunc,” which is Latin for “Here and Now.” It uses the Tezos (symbol $XTZ) blockchain network for buying and selling NFTs.
Benefits of Tezos Proof of Stake Blockchain for NFTs
Because Tezos is a Proof of Stake (PoS) network, $XTZ token holders are the ones that become verfiers of the blocks on the network. This eliminates the often exorbitant gas fees which are found on Ethereum. Tezos transaction gas fees are about 10 cents, compared to… well, currently days, about $100 USD to much higher on Ethereum.
In addition to being cheaper from gas savings, Tezos is “greener,” using about 2 million times less energy than Bitcoin annually. Bitcoin and Ethereum are Proof of Work (PoW) networks which rely on miners, using much more computer power to complete transactions.
Tezos also has cheaper minting costs than Bitcoin or Ethererum, due to its superior scaling efficiencies — which means that the cost to buy art on HEN is also cheap (at XTZ’s current price). The deals are plentiful, even on the secondary market.
Just like Ethereum domains, you can also have a Tezos domain. I registered corporatetrash.tez for three years for only a few tez. This makes it simpler for others to send you XTZ instead of remembering or copying a long alphanumeric wallet.
Tezos NFT Marketplaces
Although OpenSea has announced its plans to add Tezos NFTs in the future, for now there are many marketplaces to buy, sell, and mint Tezos NFTs:
- HEN (mentioned above) is an open marketplace to buy, sell, and mint NFTs
- Kalamint is similar to SuperRare, in that it is a collection of only verified artists.
- OBJKT is good for auctions, Dutch auctions, and primary/secondary market sales
- ByteBlock offers minting gas rebates, although those fees are already minimal
- Bazaar Market provides funds to charitable programs from NFT sale proceeds
- OneOf is a music-focused platform, with NFTs from artists like Doja Cat, H.E.R., John Legend and more
- MinterPop appeals mostly to comic books and pop art fans
There are NFT bridges in the works to bridge NFTs between Ethereum and Tezos, but as of publishing, they’re all highly experimental, so take caution if you choose to use one.
HEN Marketplace for NFTs
When I signed up for HEN and loaded my Tezos wallet with a whopping 10 tez (about $60), I really didn’t think there was much I could afford with that. I mean, that’s not even a gas fee on an Ethereum transaction!
But that was before I learned about the #OBJKT4OBJKT event.
In this event, which at the time was in its third edition, HEN artists give away NFTs for extremely cheap, or even free! I couldn’t believe it, as I browsed the incredible artwork on HEN. I collected hundreds of them, all for just tiny Tezos gas prices.
Discovering art that I enjoyed was really fun, and I had no worries about gas prices. I used some tools from NFTBiker to enhance my experience browsing the minimally-equipped decentralized application.
HEN Artists and Popular Projects
There are so many lifelong artists on HEN that finding quality art and artists with potential never seems too hard. One of my fellow HEN collectors and artist superk1ck put it best:
“I believe some of the best of crypto art lives on the Tezos blockchain and the hic et nunc marketplace. The art on HEN repeatedly exceeds my expectations. The HEN interface is unusually pleasing to me, and collecting feels a bit like browsing your favorite digital GIFs on Pinterest. I have a few methods of finding new artists, but nothing beats browsing the HEN hashtags on good ole’ Twitter where the best of the NFT community lives.”
It’s simple for artists to quickly start minting on HEN (guide to minting on HEN here), and they can also burn their work to make releases more rare. Many artists mint on a variety of platforms as they experiment with what works best.
Artists using Tezos for NFTs also benefit from secondary market royalties, just like Ethereum NFT artists do. The cheaper Tezos minting costs make it easy for artists to get started selling NFTs.
One of my favorite things about art on HEN is the wide variety of styles. It truly is like a Pinterest board; you gravitate to whatever catches your eye. Many of them are animated, some have sound or music, and some are photography.
Tezzardz was the first generative PFP Tezos NFT by omgidrawedit, and the floor is 570 tez (about $3,420) as of writing. Doesn’t that seem like a bargain compared to some early Ethereum projects — cough, CryptoPunks?
Conclusion on HEN NFTs
As we see NFTs grow and evolve over time, there will be many blockchains that artists and collectors can choose from. Each of them has their own unique quirks, pros, and cons, and nobody can see the future to see if there will be “one to rule them all.”
But sticking your head out of the Ethereum NFT echo-chamber every once in a while can broaden your horizons to new digital art and artists. Other blockchains can also be kinder to the environment, with less gas fees to worry about for consumers and artists.
Who knows, maybe branching out will inspire you to create an NFT collection of your own.