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Why WAX didn’t implement REX

Nov 13, 2019
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You may have heard the numerous discussions taking place about REX recently, the EOS feature that allows stakers of EOS tokens to rent out their unused system resources to other users.

Since any feature changes can have a major impact on chain operations, the WAX Blockchain development team carefully considers which features to build, add, or omit. We chose not to implement REX, and in hindsight, this was the correct move.

Why WAX didn’t implement REX

We didn’t implement REX because we believed that doing so would disincentivize people from staking their WAX Tokens since they could simply rent resources cheaper instead. It was also clear that implementing REX would add some volatility to the cost of transactions.

As a result of not implementing REX, the WAX Blockchain today is a much cheaper and more stable system from a resource perspective than other EOSIO sister chains that added REX.

What is REX?

When you stake EOS tokens, the system resources CPU and NET are allocated to you which enable you to execute transactions on the blockchain. If you’re like most people who stake EOS tokens though, you don’t actually use those resources, usually because you’re not interacting with a dApp.

This is where REX comes in. REX allows you to rent out your unused CPU and NET to people who actually need to use them, Like dApp developers. It was designed as a way for people with unused resources to earn money from renting them out, and for people who needed those resources to acquire them at a lower cost than buying EOS tokens.

What is the problem with REX?

The actual result though is that since people can inexpensively acquire resources, it’s led to an increase in malicious transactions such as bugs being exploited in dApps, and mining smart contracts getting spammed to acquire a greater number of valuable items. Without REX, those attacks would require the malicious actor to own enough EOS to have the resources to commit the attack and therefore be a deterrent since the attacker risks losing money if the attack causes the EOS price to drop.

Also, since people who otherwise would have purchased EOS tokens in order to acquire CPU and NET no longer need to actually own the tokens, it negatively affected the price of EOS. For example, a recent airdrop spiked the price of CPU, causing an increase in renting CPU and NET from REX instead of staking EOS tokens. Here is a detailed look at how it was done. It actually caused EOS to lose tens of thousands of daily active users.

Source: https://twitter.com/stellabelle/status/1193162367430987776?s=21

“REX is an amazing tool to acquire resources for apps,” says Dallas Rushing, CEO of the social network KARMA. “It’s been exploited to some extent by a project called EIDOS having people borrow from it to mine their token. Even with 65,000 EOS borrowed it’s made our app unusable for the most part because of the artificial 80% cap on borrowing from REX. A major change is necessary so that EOS remains an affordable place to run your app.”

What does this mean for WAX Blockchain?

The community is asking us about the REX situation, so I want to respond here. Because WAX did not implement REX, the WAX Blockchain today is more stable (from a resource perspective) and a less expensive system than the other EOSIO sister chains that implemented REX. However, in the past we’ve been among the first chains to deploy updates including upgrading to EOS v1.8. As EOSIO continues to release new features, WAX will rigorously evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of implementing them to determine whether it will be beneficial for WAX developers, token holders, customers, Guilds, and other participants of the ecosystem.

In the interim, if you’re a developer that uses EOS, you can port your dApp over in hours. To get started building on WAX, visit the WAX Developer Hive.


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