WAX Leading the Way in Sustainable Blockchain Technology

Marcel Deer
By Marcel Deer
Head and shoulders photo of Michelle Meyer
Edited by Michelle Meyer

Published September 15, 2022.

A 3D-rendered image of a WAX Blockchain token.

One of the major critiques of blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum is their high energy consumption. Because of the amount of processing power required to maintain the ledger and secure the network, these blockchains can use as much energy as a small country, thereby producing a significant carbon footprint.

But WAX is different: it's the first blockchain designed to be carbon neutral and is focused on making sustainability part of blockchain technology. Unlike Ethereum and Bitcoin, which currently operate on a proof-of-work (PoW) system, WAX works as a proof-of-stake (PoS) system and therefore consumes less energy. PoS shifts validation from miners to token holders, who stake their coins to validate transactions and secure the network.

WAX is committed to being a sustainable and eco-friendly blockchain with ethical practices. So far, WAX has offset all of the carbon emissions from its network by investing in renewable energy projects around the world, such as:

  • Lifestraw Carbon for Water, Kenya
  • India Wind, India
  • Gyapa Efficient Stoves, Ghana
  • Xinyang Landfill Gas Recovery Project, China

What Is WAX and How Does It Work?

WAX, or the World Asset eXchange protocol, is a blockchain designed to facilitate digital asset trades. WAX uses a delegated proof-of-stake (dPoS) consensus mechanism, allowing it to provide high throughput while maintaining a high degree of decentralization—and a very small carbon footprint.

WAX was founded in 2017 by OPSkins marketplace co-creators, William Quigley and Jonathan Yantis. It was initially meant to provide a scalable, user-friendly solution that allowed fiat onboarding and app integration. Its user base has since expanded, with the latest tallies showing 6 million users.

Under the dPoS consensus mechanism, users can stake their native tokens to vote for proportionate amounts of delegates, called WAX Guilds. These representatives are responsible for validating new blocks. Upon validation, blocks are confirmed by the rest of the delegates.

What Are the Applications of WAX?

WAX can be used for a variety of applications, the most popular one being gaming. The WAX network is also home to many non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces, such as AtomicHub, where users can buy, sell, or trade digital assets.


The Binance Chain and Ethereum are the most popular platforms for GameFi (gaming and DeFi) applications. However, the number of GameFi apps on WAX continues to increase exponentially as it offers a user-friendly platform with fast transaction times. This is because WAX's underlying focus on NFTs and gaming allow for a more seamless user experience. Additionally, WAX's dPoS consensus mechanism provides the high throughput needed to support resource-intensive gaming applications. Some of the most popular play-to-earn gaming applications built on WAX, for example, are Alien Worlds and Farmers World.


WAX was created with NFT management in mind, with a specific focus on scalability. For creators, this meant creating a user experience similar to the Web2 gaming platforms they were used to. They created an NFT standard that would work for a variety of future use cases, such as augmented and virtual reality, as well as a gaming wallet with fiat onboarding.

The use of Guilds also allows for a more decentralized governance model that can still support a high degree of transactions per second. The popular NFT marketplace Atomic Hub is built on top of WAX. So far, it has hosted 104,000 NFT collections that include digital assets and play-to-earn tokens.

In addition, trading NFTs on WAX isn't financially burdensome as the network doesn't charge gas fees. This means that all sorts of peer-to-peer trades are virtually free.


Virtual in real life (vIRL) NFTs separate NFT ownership from the digital world by bringing it into the physical world. This is done by minting an NFT backed by a physical item, such as a piece of art or a limited-edition collectible.

The vIRL standard was created by WAX and allows for the tokenization of physical items. This means any physical item can be turned into an NFT and traded on the WAX network. So far, there have been a variety of vIRLs minted on WAX, such as art, tickets to concerts, and even sneakers.

The WAX team has tokenized unique physical assets with NFTs by partnering with Topps, Atari, Funko, and other companies. The end-user has the right to ownership of a physical thing like a pair of shoes, a set of tickets, or headphones if they buy the NFT.

As a result, vIRL NFTs eliminate the expense of packing, shipping, and delivery, further reducing the carbon emissions typically associated with these added steps.

Final Thoughts

WAX is a relatively young blockchain with a unique vision. Its focus on NFTs and gaming, and its unique features like Guilds and vIRLs make it a blockchain to watch in the coming years. With its team continuing to build its roadmap, WAX has the potential to become a major player in the digital asset space.