What Will It Take For WAX To Go Mainsteam?
The WAX blockchain facilitates more transactions on a more consistent basis than any other chain – however, it’s yet to acquire the mass appeal of its rivals. Rob examines why, and what needs to be done for WAX to join the upper tier.
The WAX blockchain is close to my heart, and that of NFT Insider.
Token Gamer is a block producer for WAX, and has been involved in the ecosystem for 4 years. NFT Insider was born as a direct result of WAX’s NFTs and its community almost 18 months ago.
Nevertheless, despite a foray into the top 100 cryptocurrencies back in December, it hasn’t garnered the attention it deserves.
The decentralized, untethered nature of crypto might lure you into the belief that the industry is a meritocracy. Sadly, it’s anything but.
The winds of change are social relevancy, underpinned by macro-level adoption. Technological accomplishments and the efficacy of industry problem-solving plays second fiddle to Elon’s latest tweet.
That said, I have to believe that being the best in key areas will be rewarded over time, and so I want to highlight what I think will bring WAX to the fore.
First however, here’s a rough overview of why WAX is an important blockchain in my eyes, and why its current standing is irrelevant.
In What Way Is WAX A Giant?
Let’s start by highlighting what isn’t relevant: price and coin ranking.
You might argue that WAX’s low price and ranking outside the top 100 means I’m simply an apologist, but there’s objectively fair reasons for not valuing price and the lauded rankings list.
Firstly, there’s the economics side of the discussion – like total supply. If that number is large – and if it is, it’s likely by design – the price will be lower as a result.
Also, the top 100 is decided by market capitalization, not by genuine value to crypto. In fact, several reports over the years have found that between a third and a half of the cryptocurrencies in the top 100 have no utility or working products.
We’ve also seen that price is not a reliable indicator on several occasions, most recently – and most devastatingly – with the Terra Luna collapse.
So, how is WAX a giant?
Well, it hosts the most transactions of blockchain in the world – and by a large margin. Despite being far busier than its competitors, it’s not suffered outages like Solana and Polygon. This is crucial for any chain that wants to host blockchain games, as WAX does, because games are so transaction-intensive.
What’s more, WAX has proven its prowess in this area as it’s hosted several of the top 5 most popular blockchain games by Unique Active Wallet count since Play-to-Earn exploded into the public consciousness late last year.
As of writing, in the last 30 days, WAX is home to 4 of the top 5 most played blockchain games – Alien Worlds, Splinterlands, MiningNetwork, and Farmers World.
WAX is also carbon-neutral, gasless (no outrageous fees for transactions), and is run by elected guilds who contribute directly to the ecosystem – not just farmed out to the highest bidders for nodes.
Furthermore, WAX has had some of the most impressive partnerships in crypto, working with Sony, AMC, Spiderman, Atari, Funko, Hasbro, Mattel, Street Fighter and many more.
Despite that, WAX isn’t a household name – not even within crypto.
Why that’s that case would be difficult to fully unpack and likely above my station. What I can discuss is what WAX needs to round out its offerings and establish a position reflective of its value to crypto.
3 Things WAX Needs
1. High-Quality Studios and Projects
I want to begin this point with a crucial caveat: WAX has some excellent projects, studios, developers and artists.
This isn’t a slight aimed at those currently in the space – there’s some real gems – but rather highlighting that what we currently have is not enough. WAX Studios’ own Blockchain Brawlers has acted as an important first step, but it is still a first step, and that alone will not be enough.
What we need are more AAA-quality projects and studios working with WAX. Many big names in gaming have already began to explore blockchains, and so far WAX hasn’t been one of the flagship pairings.
WAX has almost everything required for a prospective project or studio, no matter their size. The network has ample data to show it can safely and reliably run even the most popular titles, performing millions of transactions without trouble. There’s one element missing, however.
2. An SDK
An SDK (Software Development Toolkit) is a tool that helps developers to better interact with a specific platform.
They’re a staple of gaming, providing the crucial link between game studios and the platforms, engines and consoles they build on. You don’t need to know how they work, just that they make it far easier, quicker and cheaper for developers to build.
With the old adage “time is money”, making development as easy as possible is crucial. This is even more important in blockchain.
Onboarding in crypto is infamously poor, but that extends past basic users. Implementing blockchain into your game is difficult, requiring both blockchain and game-dev technical knowledge. This is where an SDK comes in.
Developers are saved myriad headaches and man hours if a blockchain has an SDK for the two most popular game engines, Unity and Unreal, that allow for seamless integration of NFTs and wallets.
Several gaming-centric blockchains already have SDKs, but WAX currently doesn’t.
However, these are in development and nearing completion. This is an important moment for WAX, however underappreciated it will likely be within the collector community.
One of the few barriers dissuading developers from choosing a tried-and-tested blockchain will be removed, and with WAX’s track record of stability, popular games and an engaged community, it could become the best path to take for devs, studios and publishers alike.
3. Playing the Game of Crypto
If WAX facilities the most transactions in crypto and has an SDK to easily onboard developers, would it receive the attention it deserves?
It’s hard to say, but I believe there’s another necessary step that’s needed for WAX to go to the next level.
I believe WAX needs to play the game of crypto.
As I’ve mentioned, crypto flows in the direction of public attention; whichever project or blockchain has the most eyes upon it will reap the rewards. Many blockchains are intimately acquainted with this truth and invest heavily into generating hype.
WAX however has spent the last four years being a sort of quiet genius. It’s solved countless problems and overcome many barriers within crypto – yet too many haven’t heard of the chain. This is a criticism of WAX itself, but an extremely reluctant one.
In an ideal world, WAX could continue to be the best at everything it wants to be the best at and let nature take its course – but despite having the most popular current blockchain games, it doesn’t have anywhere near as many exciting next-gen projects in the works as rival chains do.
I want to see WAX singing from every rooftop, inserting themselves into every conversation, and fighting for a place in every debate. They’ve achieved what many more popular chains have been unable to, but WAX needs to play the game of crypto. It might be uncomfortable, and it might make people cringe at times, but hype generation is par for the course if you want mainstream adoption for your chain.
WAX is a giant of crypto by many different metrics, but to maintain that title it needs to be truly seen by the masses. Price and coin ranking are far less important metrics, but they do indicate how aware the world is of your chain. That’s one of WAX’s only real flaws – but if they want to hit the big time, they’ll need to find out how to solve it.