Hi all, this week we are going to be writing about an emerging project known as Immutable X. In a nutshell, Immutable X is a Layer 2 Ethereum scaling solution whose main purpose is to provide Ethereum users with speedy and cost efficient NFT minting and trading. Immutable X is also powered by StarkWare technology, who are responsible for the brilliant teams behind solutions such as StarkEx and StarkNet.
An Overview of Layer 2
As we all know, the current problem facing Ethereum users is its excessively high gas fees. Luckily, we now have a solution to this issue through what’s known as Ethereum’s Layer 2 ecosystem. The Layer 2 ecosystem is made up of various other networks known as ‘Rollups’. Generally, there are two types of rollups. We have Optimistic Rollups, and Zero-Knowledge Rollups. Both of these solutions handle transactions in a different way, however, what they do have in common is that they both handle the transaction ‘off-chain’, which in turn alleviates the pressure on Ethereum Layer 1. In this instance, Immutable X is a Zero-Knowledge Rollup. If you would like to learn more about rollups, you can do so through one of our previous articles here.
The most important feature to discuss when breaking down the benefits of Immutable X is going to be the transaction fees. The reason why we want to move to Immutable in the first place is to escape the high costs of minting and trading an NFT on Ethereum Layer 1. Well, not only does Immutable X offer much more affordable transactions, but they are also able to get the cost of trading an NFT so low, that the protocol just pays the gas fee for the user.
IMX is the official native ERC-20 token of Immutable, and it comes with various benefits for its holders. The purpose of IMX is essentially to incentivise the early adopters of the protocol by giving them a financial incentive for being there, while also accelerating future growth and adoption of the protocol in general. The total supply of IMX is 2,000,000,000. A portion of these tokens have been allocated to various areas including the early community supporting Immutable. If you would like to read up on the handling of the token distribution, you can do so here.
Play to Earn
‘Play to earn’ is a newly created model that has been adopted by various video game publishers. While this is mainly limited to Web3, we have seen some particular games from the traditional gaming world begin to utilise this same model. The purpose of play to earn is a way in which the project behind the video game is able to incentivise its community in exchange for them simply playing the game. Immutable utilises this model by awarding IMX tokens to developers, contributors and of course users who actively trade on their marketplace, or who interact with the video games that are currently available on the Immutable X network. This is of course subject to which campaign Immutable is running at that time.
How to get started with Immutable X
Now that the technicalities are out of the way, let’s talk about what you, the end user, can do on Immutable X, and what the future holds for the project going forward.
As we outlined above, Immutable X is an NFT platform, and the project is still mostly under development. However there is already a variety of NFT collections that are available for trading via the Immutable X marketplace. Among the currently available collections are the highly anticipated ‘Guild of Guardians’ NFT’s. These NFT’s are quite interesting, because unlike most ordinary collections, these NFT’s are actually tied to a mobile game that is set to release sometime in 2022. Among the other collections, there are the ‘Gods Unchained’ NFT’s, which are also tied to an Immutable X native trading card game. If you are interested in checking out the collections that are currently available on Immutable X, you can do so here.
Aside from Immutable X’s current suite of NFT’s and blockchain based games, there are still many more things to look forward to from the network, most notably blockchain gaming. As I’m sure you are all well aware, the blockchain gaming industry absolutely exploded during 2021, starting with the well known Axie Infinity game. Well, guess what? Immutable X has its own line-up of blockchain based games that are set to go live in 2022. The two biggest and most highly anticipated are without a doubt Illuvium and Guild of Guardians. However, because Immutable X is completely open source, there will be many more games deploying onto the protocol for years to come. What makes these games so special is that it will cost the end user almost nothing in fees to play and interact with these games.
Of course, since Immutable X is technically a separate network, you will still need to set up a new wallet via the Immutable X interface in order to access its products. It is very convenient and easy to set up and literally only takes minutes. What makes it super simple is that you can deposit funds into your Immutable wallet straight from your usual MetaMask wallet which you would normally use when interacting with Layer 1 Ethereum.
For the reasons stated above, but particularly the zero-gas fee proposition, Layer 2 is the future of blockchain technology. People want to interact with this new technology, but it needs to be affordable for them to do so, and in order for us to achieve mainstream adoption with the NFT and blockchain gaming industry, we need to be able to make these expenses very cheap to the point where they are virtually free. When we can achieve such an incredible feat across our entire industry, that’s how we will onboard the next billion users to Web3.
Thanks for reading, everyone!