Guide To WAX Blockchain - CPU, NET, RAM

This morning, I logged in to my Alien Worlds account and was excited to mine some Trilium when I got an error message saying that I had "run out of CPU" and couldn't claim my TLM. Unlike chains such as Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum, which use a single native token to perform all on-chain actions, WAX users must always ensure they have an adequate balance of three separate resources. In this post, I'll explain what you need to know about RAM, NET, and CPU on the WAX blockchain. 

The WAX Trinity: NET, CPU, RAM

One of the first things that surprised me when I started operating on the WAX blockchain was the concept of different resources for different tasks. As someone who primarily used Ethereum, I was used to paying all of my transaction fees in ETH. By contrast, users on the WAX blockchain must use three separate resources depending on the tasks that they want to conduct.


I'd like to start this article by talking about the three different resources and what they do, then I'll show you how to check your status of different resources and how to get more resources so you always retain the ability to interact with the blockchain. 


One of the resources that you need to operate on the WAX blockchain is CPU. Just as your desktop or laptop computer uses a CPU to process transactions, the CPU resource on the WAX blockchain processes transactions and allows you to interact with various decentralized applications and play blockchain-based games. CPU is measured in milliseconds, and different tasks on the blockchain use different amounts of this resource. For example, the more intensive a process is, the more milliseconds of CPU time you will need to have dedicated to your account. Likewise, the more frequently you interact with a process, you will need more CPU. 



RAM is the second major resource of the WAX blockchain and is used to store data on the blockchain. This can be thought of just as RAM in your computer as it allows you to store files, NFTs, and other data that should be kept permanently on the blockchain. Obviously, the more NFTs or other items that you want to store, the more RAM you will need. 



Last on the list is a resource called NET. An official article from WAX states that NET is the throughput capacity of the WAX Network and is measured in bytes. Although this is an important resource, I put it last for a reason. After operating for several months on the wax blockchain, I have never run into an issue with not having enough NET. In this article, I'll show you how to get more NET in case you need it, but most users probably won't have to worry about NET.

Monitoring Resources

At first glance, you're probably looking at all these different resources and wondering how anyone could keep up with all the different resources that they need to conduct different actions on the blockchain. Thankfully though, it's pretty simple, and if you don't have enough resources to complete a certain task, the dApp will tell you. For example, when I didn't have enough CPU, Alien Worlds threw an error message telling me that I didn't have enough CPU and how to fix it by staking. When I didn't have enough RAM to create an NFT, Atomic Hub was sure to let me know. 


That being said, if you do want to monitor how much RAM, CPU, and that you have available for your account you can easily do so by checking either the resources tab under your WAX Wallet Dashboard or by checking on 

Renewable vs Non-Renewable Resources

If you get to the point where you don't have enough resources to complete a certain task, you can purchase/rent them using WAXP. Either your WAX Wallet Dashboard or will allow you to complete the process.

I like to call NET and CPU “renewable resources” for two reasons. First, certain transactions will cost CPU and NET, however, if you take a break from conducting transactions, these CPU and NET balances will slowly recharge over time. On the other hand, if you need CPU or net to conduct an immediate transaction, you can easily purchase this by staking WAXP. At some point in the future, if you find that you are conducting fewer transactions and don't need as much CPU or net, you can easily un-stake your WAXP, and recover those tokens.


By contrast, RAM is a “non renewable” resource. Because RAM is used to store data on the blockchain, we want this data to be stored permanently. Thus, we can't simply rent RAM and the same way that we can rent CPU and NET. Rather, we have to pay for this outright and we can’t unstake RAM in the same way that we can do with NET and CPU.


Although it can get confusing, the important thing to remember is that all the underlying resources that you need to carry out transactions on the WAX blockchain are still derived from the underlying WAXP token. Although it can be slightly more complex, some would say the system is more efficient as it allows you to execute some transactions by staking instead of having to permanently spend crypto for every transaction. 

As NFTs grow in popularity, the WAX chain has become more well-known. Although the chain is growing in popularity and does offer several benefits, that isn't to say that it can't be confusing at times. The key takeaway is that although WAXP is still the native token that fuels the platform, it must first be converted into one of three resources: NET, CPU, and RAM. Each resource is needed for different tasks, but they can all be purchased with WAXP through or your WAX Cloud Wallet interface

Bonus: The first five people to comment their WAX address on the YouTube Video will receive a Part Time Economist NFT. Its completely worthless, but its a little something to show my appreciation for your support. 

As always, thanks for reading, nothing is financial advice. 


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The Part Time Economist
The Part Time Economist

Hi everyone. I'm just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe. I am passionate about cryptocurrency and hope that I can make at least some small contribution towards promoting wider crypto adoption and understanding.

The Part Time Economist
The Part Time Economist

Hi everyone. This is just a place for me to post some of my thoughts and analysis. I hope that someone finds them useful.

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