When we talk about decentralized finance and blockchain gaming, most of the time it's all about Ethereum. However, other blockchain protocols are knocking on the door in an effort to steal the spotlight. One of those is WAX, a blockchain project that recently caught the attention in the NFT market with the launch of Garbage Pail Kids collectibles. Their partnership with trading card company Topps is just a tip of the iceberg. We uncovered that they have a whole lot more coming.
WAX is based on the open-source technology stack EOSIO. After EOS it's the biggest blockchain build on the technology, but that doesn't mean that WAX is a sister-chain. WAX uses a delegated proof-of-stake system, which allows them to process much more transactions per second. On top of that all those transactions are free. Those who uphold the network are rewarded through a form of inflation.
To some extent WAX exists because of the online shooter Counter-Strike Go. "WAX saw this huge opportunity with demand for digital collectibles with skins and items, and we saw the cross-over between digital and physical as well", Evan Vandenberg from WAX told us in an interview. That's why WAX became a decentralized platform where players can grow in economy and trade digital items in a free manner.
Reaching out to businesses
WAX didn't want to wait for developers to create games on their blockchain. Even though Cryptokitties and Gods Unchained attracted quite an audience, they are not mainstream brands. "This technology allows existing brands to catapult into a whole new vertical they never know about", Vandenberg said. WAX wants to take brands people already know and love, and take blockchain technology to them.
When trying to get businesses to join the blockchain world, there's a lot of education involved. "They've heard about Bitcoin, and that's about it", the director of business development explained. Companies need to learn about the ways the technology benefits them and their customers. In addition WAX had to create an entire new infrastructure for accounting and a legal structure to be able to work with huge corporations like Topps.
Companies that put collectibles on the WAX blockchain, won't only benefit from sales. Ultimately their biggest moneymaker on the blockchain will be the secondary market. They receive a percentage on each sale on the secondary. As a result they get access to a whole new revenue stream they've never had in their one hundred years of selling collectible
GRAPH - TRANSACTIONS ON WAX JANUARY 2020 - NOW
"It takes a lot of time and convincing, but now we are at the point that massive brands are taking this very seriously", Vandenberg said. According to him all his work in the past few years is now paying off. WAX is a much easier sell to a mainstream customer with its easy on-boarding experience. Vandenberg emphasized that people don't need to pay crypto to play on WAX. In addition players don't need a cryptocurrency wallet with private keys or go through a KYC process to obtain currencies. "You login with Gmail and you get going", he added boldly. Obviously you do need a creditcard to be able to buy for example the Garbage Pail Kids card packs.
Gaming and collectibles
Soon WAX will be launching collectibles based on the life of William Shatner, who's a big fan of blockchain technology. The blockchain company has already been approached by other sports and entertainment celebrities for similar projects. However, Vandenberg has his eyes on something a bit closer to gaming culture. "The gaming space is great, we are doing something with Street Fighter and Capcom", he said. The NFTs will be based on the Street Fighter characters and there will also be some game mechanics tied to them. He explained that there will be ways to build better versions of each character, but refused to go more in-depth.
In addition WAX is looking at physical collectibles, like for example Funko Toys and their little collectible dolls. "Imagine every sold physical doll comes with a QR code that gives the buyer and random chance for a digital collectible with one out of five rarities", the business development manager told us. However, there are no official announcements about this type of partnership just yet.
GRAPH - DAU Prospectors on WAX
With approximately 2000 daily users Prospectors is currently the most active dapp on the WAX blockchain. However, Vandenberg doesn't consider it to be their killer app. Garbage Pail Kids is now the biggest eye-catcher, but more brands are coming to the blockchain as well. "There's a lot of IP we haven't announced yet," he said. Some of the yet to be announced brands are likely coming from Topps, which has rights to Star Wars, the Major League Baseball, WWE, and the UEFA Champions League. In the next two months WAX will be launching NFTs for brands like Street Fighter, Atari, William Shatner, Blockchain Heroes, and probably there will be more from Topps as well. Personally Vandenberg would love to see Pokémon collectibles on WAX. In addition he has high expectations for an upcoming project with Marvel.
GRAPH - Number of Wallets on WAX vs Wallets Containing at least 1 item
WAX is just getting started with its mission to bring digital collectibles to the masses. From a consumer perspective they offer an easy way to get started without the friction of having the pay for gas fees. At the same time businesses are allowed to keep earning from secondary market sales, creating whole new business opportunities that have never existed in the history of video games, toys or collectibles. "The key is getting things that people know and love on the blockchain, and not waiting for independent developers to create a game", Evan Vandenberg concluded.
Hoogendoorn (38) is a Dutch content optimization expert with a passion for decentralized technology and gaming. He's also the owner of blockchain gaming news outlet Play to Earn. In addition Robert writes independent articles for Dapp.Review and several magazines in The Netherlands. You can find him on Twitter @nederob