Public blockchain technology evolves at a rapid pace. Bitcoin, which officially released in 2009, already feels ancient compared to modern-day blockchain technology when looking at it from a technological perspective. In this article, we take a look at the WAX blockchain and what it has to offer, and look into if it is a suitable option for the next generation of NFT and GameFi projects and platforms.
What is WAX?
The King of NFTs
Let’s start with an explanation of the WAX blockchain first. WAX describes itself in the following way: “WAX is the most used and transacted blockchain ecosystem in the world for NFTs, dApps and video games — providing the safest and most convenient way to create, buy, sell and trade both virtual and physical items to anyone, anywhere in the world.
Known best as “The King of NFTs”, WAX is the leading NFT network and has successfully facilitated the trade of millions of NFTs from partners including Topps (Major League Baseball), Capcom (Street Fighter), Funko, Atari, Sony’s Funimation, and famous films (Princess Bride and SAW), world-renowned entertainers (Deadmau5, Weezer and William Shatner), and many more.”
Resource model and consensus mechanism
The blockchain distinguishes itself from other blockchains in various ways. The first and foremost is the resource mechanism. While a transfer of an NFT can cost tens of dollars and take minutes on a network like Ethereum, a similar transaction on WAX is both free and takes only 0.5 seconds.
This is thanks to the resource model and consensus mechanism the WAX blockchain uses. It uses a Delegated Proof of Stake (DPOS) mechanism, which is a third generation consensus mechanism in which token holders get to elect their top 21 block producers (miners). Thanks to the high efficiency of the consensus mechanism it is capable of supporting thousands of transactions per second.
Furthermore, WAX uses a staking model rather than a transaction cost model. On most blockchains, the user pays a fee for each transaction. The size of the fee is often dictated by the kind of transaction and how busy the network is at the time of the transaction. On WAX however, transactions are free. In order to perform transactions on WAX users need to stake some WAXP tokens. By staking their tokens, users are entitled to a certain portion of the available network resources which allows them to execute transactions on the networks. The more WAXP a user stakes, the more transactions they are able to make in a certain time frame (as the resources replenish again with time).
Network governance system
WAX also has a comprehensive network governance system called the Office Inspector General (OIG). The OIG monitors and collects data from block producers and provides an objective ranking of each block producer every month based on a comprehensive framework. This makes the block producer positions highly competitive and incentivises block producers to do more than just producing blocks. This has led to a stable infrastructure with a wide array of tools available for both developers and users. But what does all of this mean for WAX’s ability to support NFT and GameFi projects?
Benefits of Using WAX for NFTs
No transaction costs
Let’s start with the benefits of using WAX for NFTs! As is evident from the description of WAX above, there are various benefits to using WAX for NFTs over a blockchain like Ethereum. The most obvious benefit is the lack of transaction cost. This might not seem like a major difference, but this opens up a whole new realm of opportunities for NFT platforms and games. More on this will follow in the GameFi section.
Low cost of creating NFTs
Another major benefit is the low cost of creating NFTs. Creating NFTs on a blockchain like Ethereum can cost tens of dollars, whereas the cost of creating an NFT is 151kb of RAM on the blockchain, which at the time of writing corresponds to 0.09 WAX, which has a value of $0.03. This combined with free transactions makes creating and trading NFTs accessible to everyone, and also allows the creation of more interesting concepts which do not have to rely on a high price of the NFT(s) in question.
One of the most common ways in which NFTs are sold within the WAX ecosystem, for example, are packs. Packs can be seen as a bag of NFTs which can contain a certain amount of NFTs. The NFTs that are in the pack can be decided by the creator. These packs follow a rarity structure, which determines how likely a certain (kind of) NFT is to appear in a pack. A concept like this is possible on WAX since the cost of creating NFTs is very low.
Large and convenient marketplace
In addition to an ecosystem that is supportive of NFTs, WAX also hosts one of the biggest, and arguably most convenient NFT marketplaces in the crypto ecosystem, namely Atomichub. By having well-defined NFT standards and a swift and scalable network, Atomichub is able to support the instant selling and trading of NFTs. And in addition to this, they have an intuitive NFT creator which allows anyone with a WAX account to create an NFT in minutes at no additional cost. Additionally, tools like Neftyblocks allow the creation of packs for free as well, providing creators with all the tools they need to get started.
A blockchain on the rise
While there are many benefits to using WAX for NFTs, there’s also a downside to consider. The NFT ecosystem on a blockchain like Ethereum may not be as technologically advanced, the whole ecosystem surrounding it is bigger and more mature. However, WAX has been on the rise and has a fast-growing amount of projects being built on top of it.
Benefits of Using WAX for GameFi
Support thousands of users
But WAX is not just for NFTs, it’s proven to be a very viable place for the next generation of blockchain games as well. The fee-less transaction model along with a highly scalable network has allowed the creation of games that are able to support thousands of users without issue, and this also shows in the Dapp ranking by DappRadar, with many of the top games running on WAX.
Leveraging NFTs in-game
In addition to its ability to handle a high amount of transactions, the relatively cheap NFTs also provide a lot of opportunities for games. Games are leveraging this by including NFTs in a lot of aspects of their game, using them for governance, battles, and more. Some developers are even taking their game to the next level by deploying their game on multiple blockchains, allowing them to deploy the most demanding aspects of their game on the WAX blockchain, while also taking advantage of the user bases on other blockchains.
Lastly, the aforementioned marketplace, Atomichub, provides a trusted and convenient place for players of the games to buy, trade, and sell their in-game assets. The marketplace also uses a verification system, protecting users against counterfeit NFTs and allowing developers to add credibility to their project.
WAX is a solid blockchain targeted at the NFT and gaming sector and has been successful so far in creating an environment in which these kinds of projects can flourish. The transaction model and its ability to handle high volumes of transactions make it one of the most viable blockchains for any NFT and gaming project. Furthermore, the ecosystem surrounding the blockchain provides another layer of tools and marketplaces which make everything more accessible.