The first NFT marketplace to use NeoFS, Sky Hut, has launched on the Neo N3 network. Sky Hut allows users to mint, auction, trade, transfer, and burn NFTs stored on NeoFS. Behind NeoFS Send, Sky Hut is the second dApp to utilize the NeoFS distributed storage network. For the month of Jan. 2022, Sky Hut is waiving the 1 GAS fee for minting and storing on NeoFS.

Sky Hut supports collections that use Neo’s NEP-11 NFT token standard. Users can purchase or trade NFTs from Neo-supported projects like Humswap or Neoverse and community-spun projects like Neo Candy NFTs and CryptoUFOs.

Source: Sky Hut

NFTs can be put up for sale or auction at a specific price, denoted in a NEP-11 token of the seller’s choosing. Sky Hut natively supports NEO, GAS, bNEO, NUDES, and FLM for purchases. However, anyone can propose an offer on a listed or unlisted NFT with other NEP-17 tokens by inputting the script hash. Users will still require GAS for network and system fees.

Minting an NFT on Sky Hut

A unique feature of Sky Hut is that it allows users to mint NFTs that use NeoFS to store the content. This can provide an advantage over using centralized cloud providers such as AWS, which make it possible for the owner to swap an image with a different image with the same file name, effectively replacing the NFT image. NeoFS on the other hand is comparable to IPFS, which uses content-addressed storage so that users may always know they are accessing authentic content.

However, NeoFS also offers a built-in advantage over IPFS, which is that incentivization is baked into the architecture. Files stored on IPFS are immutable, but they are only available on the network as long as a node is still taking care to store it; a process called pinning. Nodes will only cache files temporarily unless they are pinned. If a file isn’t frequently accessed, nodes will not pin it, and the file becomes unviewable. To circumvent this issue, file hosters must run their own IPFS nodes and pin their own files to keep them available on the network, or pay a centralized provider to pin files for them.

NeoFS solves this issue through its integration with the Neo blockchain, allowing it to automate the incentivization process. As long as an account balance is kept topped up with GAS, the owner can be assured that the container and any objects inside (such as NFT images) will remain available.

When Sky Hut mints an NFT, the 1 GAS fee the user pays is sufficient for minting roughly 150 NFTs and storing them on the NeoFS network for a generally long time. If a user mints less NFTs, the 1 GAS fee will store the file for a longer period of time. Though NeoFS is still in its early stages, according to Sky Hut’s developer, it is unknown how long the 1 GAS fee will continue to store the 150 NFTs.

Who Made Sky Hut?

A pseudonymous developer, Sky, built the decentralized NFT marketplace. Sky is Sweden-based and has a Bachelor of Computer Systems Engineering from an Australian University. He has been developing for five years, primarily in C#, and has been following the Neo project for some time. When he began exploring blockchain ecosystems to build in, simplicity led him to Neo. Sky said:

I looked into building on Ethereum before, but remember having to do so much to get everything up and running that I got tired of it! But then, the Neo Blockchain Toolkit was released by NGD Enterprise, and it took less than 10 minutes to set it up!

The Blockchain Toolkit made everything so much easier. It was just like a walk in the park! The fact that NeoFS also has C# as an option to interact with it through gRPC made everything so much fun!

At the time, Neo announced the Frontier Launchpad just as Sky was delving into the Neo Blockchain Toolkit. He submitted a project proposal, which became the seed for Sky Hut. By the end of the hackathon, Sky had submitted an NFT marketplace prototype, Meerkat.

Sky Hut is the first blockchain project Sky has built, but he claims it’s not too far off from traditional development. He could code in C# for the back-end and Angular for the frontend and UI. Whenever confronted with blockchain-related development issues, the Neo community assisted. Sky said:

I have asked probably a million questions on the Neo Discord channel. So far, I have gotten extremely helpful responses from everyone! The Neo community is really helpful in every area! I would strongly suggest everyone try Neo out. It is not that hard once you get started and understand the basics.

Looking forward, Sky intends to add support for all the wallet providers in the Neo ecosystem (i.e., Neon Wallet/Wallet Connect, O3, OneGate), add more NFT collections on N3 (i.e., GhostMarket, FTW Rune), audit the smart contracts, and include a NEP-11 NFT collection generator. Beyond these first implementations, he also seeks to move and host the entire Sky Hut NFT marketplace on NeoFS.

The Sky Hut website can be found at the link below: