A Complete Newbie Buys a WAX NFT
At NFT Insider, we believe NFTs are for everyone – but we also realize that newcomers often don’t know where to start. To show how anyone can go from NFT newbie to chain champ, we’ve asked a curious writer to chronicle her adventures and misadventures as a beginner. Here’s her first dispatch!
If you asked me to describe my relationship with technology, I’d be forced to admit that I’m closer to the grandma who’s afraid of breaking her smartphone by pressing the wrong button than the tech-savvy zoomer with her finger on the pulse.
How, as a millennial, have I gotten this far in life with the tech skills of an octogenarian, you might ask? I haven’t, at least, not on my own.
I’ve been fortunate to have spent much of my adult life surrounded by tech nerds, which means that not only have I learnt to press smartphone buttons with more confidence, but I’ve also witnessed the early adoption of certain technologies.
As a result, my first exposure to crypto was back in 2012 – relatively early in the scheme of things. At the time, my circle of friends was abuzz with the mention of Bitcoin – this strange new computer currency that I didn’t understand at all and, if I’m honest, am still kind of wrapping my head around.
Back in 2012, the concept seemed way out of reach for me, and I was happy to stick to my ‘real-world’ hobbies while my friends tinkered with their computers and counted their crypto coins.
Oh what I wouldn’t give to have paid a little more attention, to have asked a few more questions, and to have taken seriously then what I now recognise could have been a pivotal point in my life. Had 21-year-old Jazz taken her friends’ advice, I’d be rolling in it right about now.
That didn’t happen though, and I remained happily disinterested for the better part of the next decade. It wasn’t until some fellow tech-luddites started to invest that I realised maybe crypto could be for people like me, too.
So, ever the late adopter, I bought my first BTC and ETH in September 2020 and found, to my surprise, that the barrier to entry wasn’t anywhere near as high as I had once thought (or, perhaps, as it had once been).
For a couple of months I absorbed what I could on the topic before relinquishing the responsibility to my partner who, in the meantime, had become obsessed with the crypto sphere and had easily overtaken me in both knowledge and enthusiasm.
Again, I sat back, happily attending to my ‘real life’ while my partner fell deep down the rabbit hole and came out the other side raving about bear markets and stonks and some newfangled invention called an NFT which I found thoroughly confusing. “It’s like digital art”, he began, and my comprehension ended right about there.
Once again, though, I’m finding that NFT is the word on everyone’s lips, and this time I’m determined not to get left (too far) behind. After finally absorbing some of the lingo that’s been flying around our house of late, I’m starting to see what all the hype is about.
As an artist myself, I’ve become thoroughly intrigued with the potential that NFTs have of overhauling the way art is bought and sold, the decentralisation of commerce, and the democratisation of previously monopolised industries.
Finding an NFT home
There are plenty of marketplaces out there being pushed onto new NFT enthusiasts, to the point that it can be a little overwhelming. In all honesty I stumbled upon AtomicHub circumstantially, through my partner’s recommendation, and, despite still being very much wet behind the ears, I immediately felt at home.
There are a few reasons for this, which culminate to make for a very user-friendly approach, even for those of us who don’t have a clue what we’re doing.
For me the two biggest factors are the WAX currency that AtomicHub primarily runs on, and the WAX community. These are two sides of the same cryptocoin, feeding into each other by virtue of their respective natures.
Firstly, WAX has the enviable characteristic of being gasless – that is, there are no fees for transactions on the WAX blockchain.
This makes for a very low barrier to entry for anyone venturing into the NFT space for the first time and that, in and of itself, was enough to convince me that WAX was the way to go.
In contrast, Ethereum-based transactions attract enormous fees, and, for me, it made no sense to spend a bunch of unnecessary extra money on something I was only just starting to understand.
I briefly looked at OpenSea – one of the better known marketplaces – but I ran for the hills the moment I recognised it would cost me 100€ just to join. That alone is enough to deter any noob from the NFT space, and sent me straight back into the arms of AtomicHub and away from financial ruin.
Beyond that, WAX is a carbon-neutral blockchain, so we can all sleep a little easier knowing our NFT purchases aren’t setting the world any more on fire than it already is.
Then there’s the AtomicHub community, which really got me to start taking NFTs seriously before I’d even signed up for a wallet.
Venturing into the Discord server, I didn’t really know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised to find an incredibly welcoming and open community. For a complete noob like me, entering a highly specialised space like this can be pretty intimidating, but I immediately saw that people there were very patient and accommodating to new members.
What struck me the most, however, was the presence of the creators themselves.
Because of the lower barrier to entry than other marketplaces (by virtue of WAX), AtomicHub is vastly populated by small, independent makers, giving it a grassroots feel. Not that there aren’t big players too, but the atmosphere of the community seems to be set greatly upon this kind of personal access to artists and makers.
There’s something exciting about the fact that the creator of the AtomicHub community mascot is the same guy hanging out daily in the general chat and posting cat memes in his spare time. This is the kind of presence and connection that really drew me in and got me to recognise the value of the NFT space itself.
Creating a Wallet
Equipped with this newfound enthusiasm, I trotted off to open my very own WAX wallet and see if I couldn’t figure out how to buy an NFT.
I found that the easiest option by far was the WAX Cloud Wallet (WCW). This required little more than using my email or social media account to sign up for the service, and while I definitely don’t recommend this as the most security-conscious option, I do see how it’s useful for bridging the gap while newbies like me learn the ins and outs of the NFT space.
Now I had my shiny new wallet, I needed to figure out how to use it. Handily, the WCW leads you to its resources tab.
It took me a little while to wrap my head around these resources, and the finer points of the theory is still lost on me, but I have at least managed to understand it on a practical level.
The use of resources – CPU, NET and RAM – all comes back to WAX being a gasless blockchain. Rather than me paying fees for every transaction, I’m instead asked to stake WAX in exchange for CPU and NET, and buy RAM, to enable my activity on the blockchain.
In practice, all this meant was that I needed to buy a little bit of WAX to get some resources before I could frolic around AtomicHub and start buying NFTs.
Again, I was convinced that I’d found the perfect blockchain for beginners. Because of the WCW credit card payment options, I was able to painlessly buy my first 15 WAX and threw a couple of those at some RAM, CPU and NET.
If ever I decide I’m sick of this NFT business, I can reclaim this WAX and walk off into the sunset, never to be seen again.
For the time being, though, I was excited to get into the market and buy my very own NFT. The wallet was ready, the resources were charged up. All that was left was to decide where to spend my money.
Over the course of this journey into AtomicHub and the WAX community, I’d really come to appreciate the notion of owning an NFT which, until not long earlier, had seemed slightly farcical to me. Being amongst the creators, though, I’d become convinced that this was the future of art, and I couldn’t wait to get my proverbial hands on a blockchain-backed digital creation.
The AtomicHub marketplace is, on the surface, just like any other online store, and I scrolled through just a fraction of the enormous sum of assets on offer.
I even got a little lost in it – following collections to individual assets, to wallets, to block explorers – charting the trajectory of a single random NFT from its conception, through its entire transaction history, and then back onto the market. For me, this part was fascinating – quite unlike any shopping experience I’ve ever had, and intriguing for someone who enjoys the stories behind things.
However, I already knew what my destination was, even as I wandered through these digital logbooks.
The question of what my first NFT would be had already been answered throughout my travels – I’d become a little bit enamoured with a certain cartoon bee, as well as the constant presence of its creator on the Discord server, and, encouraged by the desire to belong to this exciting new community, I bought my very first NFT.
With the click of a button, I became the proud owner of a Waxy – the AtomicHub community mascot.
Opening my newly-filled wallet, I gazed warmly upon him, this symbol of a group I was happy to now be a part of.
Remarkably, I really did experience pride of ownership – something I had only experienced with physical possessions until then, and I got a glimpse of what all the fuss is about. I already can’t wait to expand my collection, and see what other treasures I can tuck away in my newfangled computer wallet.