With the recent buzz around the NFT world one name keeps coming to the top of the pile, the Worldwide Asset Exchange platform, most commonly referred to as WAX. As well as having one of the easiest non-crypto onboarding setups WAX offers a substantially more efficient chain validation mechanism than offered by other NFT hosting platforms (such as Ethereum). This is because WAX is built on the EOSIO platform which means it benefits from a delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS), boasting substantially lower the energy consumption than proof-of-work chains. Furthermore, because WAX opted for an EOS-like design the transaction fees are non-existent, which makes it a much easier place for new users to get up and running. Instead, the way this platform works is by allocation of resources CPU, NET and RAM which are used to perform operations. For most everyday users, if you don't plan on making that many transactions, you can happily carry on as you are making the odd transaction here and there without any difficulty (as some wallets often have some resources pre-allocated for you). However, if you are someone that is keen to perform a few more operations than the average user then we have the options to stake (or buy) additional WAX in order to increase the availability of resources. In this article we're going to take a look at how we can stake or buy additional resources and how to benefit from earning more WAXP at the same time.
As mentioned previously one of the key benefits of using the WAX platform is that the WAX cloud wallet (WCW) has one of the easiest onboarding mechanisms around for a crypto wallet. You can simply sign up with either an email address or you can log in via another account (google for example) and in just a couple of clicks you're into the platform and ready to go. This however, can be a bit of a double edged sword so it is important to understand the risks with this type of wallet. Because WCW is (as the name suggests) a cloud wallet it means that you as the user don't actually hold the keys. Instead, the key to the wallet are stored for you by WAX meaning that it is as easy as resetting a password to get access again, but on the flipside also means the crypto-age old saying "Not your keys, not your coins" holds true. Furthermore, I've noticed recently in a few of the project channels that I follow that people are compromising their security somewhat by using the WCW approach. One of the good things about the WCW is you can use your regular email to sign up, but one of the bad things is you can use your regular email to sign up. In the past it has been common place for individuals email and password combinations to become compromised, this means that as a result with folks re-using passwords the WCW can also easily become compromised. It is definitely, advisable to activate 2-factor authentication (2FA) on your accounts for a bonus security boost. However, this wont solve the other concern "the ownership of your keys". For this, we need to look else where which is the other focus of this article (along with staking WAXP), we're going to look at setting up your very own bespoke account via the Anchor wallet and then show how we can use that for our transactions on WAX.
Setting up a wallet: App
The first and easiest way to set up an Anchor wallet and new personalized account is actually through using the phone app. Anchor is developed and maintained by Greymass and is currently available on iOS, with Android coming soon. While we will focus on using it for the WAX chain today, this process can also be followed for EOS and TELOS. It is worth noting here that because we're going to use the quick account creation functionality of the wallet there is a small cost associated with this as an in-App purchase. Personally, I was happy to pay this since it meant I could get up and running with the account quickly.
Set-up and Get our Bespoke Account:
- 1.) Start off by heading to the App store or to the Greymass Anchor website - https://greymass.com/en/anchor/
- 2.) Once the App is installed you'll be faced with the main screen below select 'Add account'
- 3.) Moving to the next screen you'll have multiple options (this is where you can add existing account to the app). For now though we want 'Create account'
- 4.) Next up we have the quick account creation options and the associated costs to set these up. For this example we want to choose 'WAX Account'
- 5.) You'll be taken to a screen now where you can either enter a specific account name or generate a random one
- 6.) Complete the account name (this will be your future wallet address) and make sure the account name is available before clicking 'Next'. Note here that all name have to end in '.gm' this is because we're using the quick account functionality provided by Greymass.
- 7.) Finally review the details of your account making sure the network is correct and then select 'Pay & Create'
That is it, congratulations! You've now set up your own account with your own keys that has a bespoke address. What I recommend here is to export your private keys and save them securely in case you need to recreate the account. Next we'll look at setting up the desktop version before moving onto using the Anchor wallet to sign transactions.
Setting up a wallet: Desktop
As well as using the phone app for Anchor we can also set up the desktop wallet to make it easy to manage the wallet and transactions. It also allows for connection with hardware devices like Ledger.
- 1.) Starting back on the Greymass website we can download and install the relevant desktop version of the Anchor wallet and go through the basic setup features.
- 2.) Once install the first thing we'll want to do is add the WAX blockchain, start by clicking 'Home'
- 3.) Then from the dropdown choose 'Manage Blockchain'
- 4.) From there select 'Add/Remove'
- 5.) Once the list of available chains appear, scroll down to find the WAX mainnet chain and select it.
- 6.) With the blockchain setup we need to go back to now import the keys from the Anchor account that we just created in the app. To start go back to the 'Home' screen in the wallet.
- 7.) Making sure that the WAX chain is selected in the dropdown then select 'Manage Wallets' from the next dropdown (this is where your active wallet will be displayed in future)
- 8.) Click on the 'Existing Account' tab because we want to add our account from the app
- 9.) Then select 'Import Private Key', this will take you to another screen where you can enter the private key and import the existing wallet.
- 10.) To extract your private key simply click on your account in the mobile app and then select the 'Export private key'
Congratulations! You've no imported your anchor wallet account and can access it both form the desktop and the phone app. Remember back up your private key somewhere secure. DO NOT EVER share it with anyone, no-one from any of the project teams will ever ask for it and if they do then immediately flag this to administrators.
Performing transactions: Atomic Hub
Just to quickly show how easy it is to connect via anchor to Atomic Hub.
- 1.) When you go to log-in (desktop or mobile) choose the 'Anchor' option from the list instead of WCW as normal
- 2.) Then when it pops up with the QR code to log in just click on the 'Launch Anchor'
- 3.) On the desktop you'll see the following wallet screen, simply log on to confirm the transaction
- 4.) On the mobile wallet click 'Login'
This is it, just as easy to confirm transactions via the Anchor wallet as it is for the WCW.
Staking and Un-staking WAXP
As mentioned in the introduction we are able to stake WAXP in order to increase our available resources for interacting with the blockchain. The best way I've found to do this so far is via the WAX chain block explorer https://wax.bloks.io/. There is also an incentive to staking as well, you earn around 4.5% APR currently on staked WAX so it isn't a bad idea if you're planning on holding some.
Before going through the steps please be aware there is a 72hr unstaking delay for WAXP so you need plan ahead if you need access to your WAX by a specific date. On the flipside it does also help prevent me from spending too often as well!
- 1.) On the wax.bloks website go to the account section and sign in
- 2.) Click on 'Wallet' in the top right
- 3.) Select Stake CPU/NET
- 4.) Complete the amounts of WAXP you want to stake and click 'Stake', sign the transaction and there you have it you're staking
- 5.) To unstake click on the 'Unstake' tab and then enter the amount and click the button/sign the transaction.
- 6.) For RAM you need to buy this resource, though I've found you don't need to spend a lot. I have around 2.9 WAX which has me at 57% capacity and have never had issue with my transactions so for now I will leave it at that.
My initial thoughts when I was going to take a look at the Anchor wallet were to cover it in a whistle-stop tour as I usually do. However, this wallet really doesn't have any bells and whistles by itself. Instead, I think it is more important to see how to use it to both set up our own bespoke named account and to manage our resources/transactions while holding control of the keys.
This doesn't mean that the WCW doesn't have a place, personally I use both of them, one as an 'active' wallet and the other as a 'vault', it is nice to have the reassurance that I wont lose control of my vault account where I store some of the more rare NFTs in my collection. When it comes to the everyday purchases and listings etc. I still go ahead an use the WCW since I can connect to it from just about any computer without needing my Anchor app to hand.
As for the resource staking, currently I'm using it as a funds management tool. It is a solid way to hold funds and earn interest while not being too tempted to spend it all at once. What I would recommend though is always have a bit ready to go in your wallet in case a bargain crops up, you'd hate to miss out.
Hope you enjoyed the article and it useful for setting up your own non-custodial account, good luck y'all!