As Boofer mentioned, I've quite some experience with this type of coating, in fact as long as I make cheese, however that's not longer than 3 years
First of all I have my doubts about the expression "traditional wax coating of Gouda cheeses". I live in a town next to Gouda, I'm eating Gouda cheese all my life (I'm 57) and the the only waxed coated cheeses I've seen are the small Edam and Gouda they sell in the souvenir-shops, or the Cheddar a friend of ours brought back from the UK. As far as I'm aware, ALL Gouda cheeses from the big automated factories (and they produce Gouda's all over Europe) are coated with this type of cheese coating using special machines. Take e.g. a look at http://www.doeschot.nl/index.php?category=kaasbehandelingssystemen&id=14&lan=en
Artisan cheese makers use it also and they apply it (like I do as a hobby cheese maker) with a brush, or with a sponge or even by hand. I use 3 thin layers, some apply it in one thick layer. See the picture taken at a children's party on the farm where I buy my milk...
And yes, opposite to vacuum packing, they are supposed to breathe with this coating, just like a natural rind does. That's why in "the dutch bible about making artisan cheese", which originates from the 1950's, there is a distinct difference in making baby Gouda's which are called "consumer cheeses" and making "storage cheese", the wheels up to 20 kg that can mature for more than one year. A baby Gouda coated with plastic is not supposed to last that long, but a baby Gouda with a natural rind neither.
I find the coating easy to peel off, when the cheese is not straight out of the fridge and assuming the coating is not too thin and the rind was smooth. Sometimes when herbs are applied the coating will stick a bit more to herbs that are directly in the rind, one of the reasons that Leiden originally is made with curd without cumin at the outside of the mould