Layer 2 solutions are the big thing currently in the crypto space. They are independent blockchains, built on top of Ethereum. We call them ‘solutions’ because they solve some well-known Ethereum issues. So, L2s are fast and offer low-cost transaction fees.
A few samples of L2s are Polygon, Optimism, or Arbitrum. But lately, Immutable X has grabbed our attention. Its partnership with GameStop has been one of the most talked-about events. With Immutable X, it’s all about P2E games and NFTs and is expected to power the next generation of web3 gamers. Will it become the next big thing in crypto? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Immutable X?
Games and games need fast and cheap transactions. That’s why games can’t run on Ethereum. Immutable X does offer all this and lots more with up to 9000 TPS and no transaction fees. And they’re 100% carbon-neutral. This platform has its origins in the God’s Unchained game.
Source: Immutable X
Moreover, Immutable X designed itself for games and created the perfect setup:
- Appeal to mainstream gamers.—Their wallet UX has integrated credit card payments.
- Free NFT minting—Closing in on 28 million, just for this year. With absolutely zero gas fees.
- Build new games within hours—With their special APIs, developers can build games in hours. For example, P2E games.
- Instant NFT distribution—Immutable X sends your NFTs instantly to all connected NFT marketplaces.
Also, they have a brand new, exciting feature to offer. That is their noncustodial staking option. Their first cycle runs from July 1st to July 30th. The second staking phase starts in September.
Moreover, Immutable X is built on top of Ethereum, so they enjoy Ethereum’s safety and security. They use zk-rollups to send transactions to Ethereum. This means that they bundle many transactions into one transaction. In other words, Immutable X combines Stark technology for this with the Validium zk-STARKs.
In addition, they also have the Immutable X Link. With the X Link, you don’t have to switch networks when using the protocol. It takes care of all transactions between Ethereum wallets and Immutable X.
More About Immutable X
Their NFT Marketplace is also worth mentioning. Here you can trade all NFTs on the protocol. Projects that don’t have their own NFT marketplace, can use this as well. They also boast a global order book. This immediately distributes your NFTs to a variety of marketplaces. As a result, it boosts the liquidity of their NFTs.
Also, in Mid-June, Immutable X launched a $500 million Developer & Venture Fund. They spread the grants out over 4 years. Mostly in tokens, but selected projects will get cash incentives. This will boost the growth of their platform even more. This can also have a positive impact on investors. The token may start to perform well. This is what happened to Avalanche and Near when they started their respective funding.
On July 5th, Immutable X announced a fiat off-ramp for every game, marketplace, or app-building on Immutable X.
Continue below👇 pic.twitter.com/Uhm214oy2E
— Immutable | $IMX ⓧ (@Immutable) July 5, 2022
Immutable X Team
Immutable X is an evolution of God Unchained and StarkWare. They have a steadily growing team. Their LinkedIn page currently shows almost 300 employees. Each week, new people announce on social media that they start a job there. Great to see in these bear market conditions.
They started as ‘Fuel Games in Australia. That’s where they are still based. They were heavily backed by Coinbase. So, under the ‘Fuel Game’ name, they launched Gods Unchained.
The three co-founders are:
- James Ferguson—CEO
- Robbie Ferguson—President. They are brothers. Both have backgrounds in blockchain and technology.
- Alex Connolly—CTO
Also, StarkWare has its home in Israel. They look after the blockchain scaling options. Here are their 3 co-founders:
- Eli Ben-Sasson—President and Chairman of the Board.
- Uri Kolodny—CEO
- Michael Riabzev—Chief architect
Immutable X Ecosystem
Immutable X has a rather stunning roster of games that they can show off. For example:
- Illuvium—Open-world RPG adventure game built on Unreal Engine 5. They use never-before-seen 4D holographic shading methods. One of the big triple-A blockchain games in the making.
- Gods Unchained—P2E tactical card game. Although it’s in beta, it has 450,000 registered players.
- Guild of Guardians—a mobile RPG game
- EmberSword—MMORPG with PvP and PvE players’ experiences. Ember Sword is on fire since their move to Immutable X. The game’s user number increased by a stunning, 1,292% in June. DappRadar reports that during June 2022, all other games dropped in user numbers. As a result, Ember Sword made a surprise #1 position in the DappRadar Game of the Month chart for June.
- PlanetQuest—sci-fi fantasy exploration game
- Wagmi—Sci-Fi Tower Defense Game
- VeVe marketplace– integrated with Immutable X.
Delighted to showcase our latest in-game trailer video 🔥
Which character do you want to try the most?
— Cyber Galz | Trouble Punk (@CybergalzNFT) July 6, 2022
This brought among others Disney and Marvel NFTs to their platform.
IMX is the native ERC-20 and utility token of Immutable X. Its use cases are:
- Paying for transaction fees.—You must pay 20% of the protocol fee on every Immutable X transaction in IMX. This goes to their staking pool.
- Governance—Have a part in Immutable X’s future. More tokens mean greater voting power.
- Staking—This is one of their exciting new features. As of July 1st, the first staking cycle started. You need to move your IMX to your Immutable X layer 2 wallets before 1st July. The first staking cycling lasts until July 30th.
Moreover, during each staking cycle, you will need to stake at least 10 IMX tokens and trade at least 1 NFT. At the end of this cycle, the protocol distributes IMX tokens pending on your staking share. In September, they start with noncustodial staking. They will offer an interactive staking dashboard. These staking cycles will last 14-days. This gives more value to new investors.
On the other hand, the current price of the IMX token is $0.9214. The market cap is relatively low at $216 million. However, only 235 million tokens are in circulation out of a 2 billion max supply. IMX reached its ATH on November 26, 2021, with $9.52. However, with all the current positive news, the price moved up again.
Moreover, in the altcoin fear and greed index, IMX fares well given the current market circumstances. It’s holding out in a neutral position. Well done to IMX.
Immutable X Fear and Greed Index is currently 46 – NEUTRAL
— Altcoin Fear and Greed Index (@AltcoinFGI) July 4, 2022
Risks and Challenges
Immutable X faces some standard blockchain risks. These include smart contract bugs, hacks, or flash loan attacks. However, a bigger risk may be when Ethereum completes the Merge. Is there a future for L2s? Rest assured. Vitalik Buterin himself said this in late October 2021: “Layer 2 is the future of Ethereum scaling and the only safe way to scale Ethereum while preserving decentralization that is so core to the blockchain.”
This was at the Shanghai International Blockchain Week. He also mentioned this: “The Ethereum ecosystem is likely to be all-in on rollups as a scaling strategy for the near and midterm future”. This is most certainly reassuring and shows the strength and impact that L2s make and have.
Therefore, their challenge will be to keep their eyes set on their roadmap. They certainly are ambitious enough. However, they also need to keep delivering. And this also looks good. They just started their funding and grants plan. Almost as we speak, they started their staking options.
However, it’s also important to get more games on their platform. They will also need to attract more players to their games. Currently, on DappRadar, Gods Unchained is their first game in the rankings. It only comes in at #35. This brings us to their competitors.
Their competition is in gaming. There are very few other L2s actives in this field. We exclude sidechains like Ronin. Let’s have a look:
- Polygon—They have a few games in the DappRadar top 20. They are the biggest L2 in TVL according to DeFiLLama, at #6 for all chains. Their TVL is at $6 billion. However, they not only aim for the gaming market. To clarify, Immutable X isn’t even listed in DeFiLlama. They’re about games, remember.
So, there are of course plenty of blockchain games around. However, they are mostly built on L1 chains. In the L2 segment, Immutable X doesn’t have too much competition. Another reason why they need to cement their position in the blockchain gaming space.
Immutable X doesn’t work with fixed dates on their roadmap. They have however three categories: Next, In Progress, and Done. Currently, in progress are, for instance:
- Staking—Rolling out the noncustodial dashboard in September 2022.
- Off-ramp L2 Eth and USDC to fiat
- Detailed withdrawal statuses
- Full mobile support for Immutable X Marketplace features
- ERC20 and ERC721 transfer support
Next coming up are for example:
- Wallet registration gas fee removal—As a result of upgrading to StarkEx v4.5, users will no longer need to pay the one-time gas fee to register their L1 wallet with Immutable X.
- Trading information and tools—Users will be able to view information. Like the trading volumes. Or floor prices on collections in the Immutable X Marketplace.
Excited to announce staking! The first cycle will start at *1 July 2022 0:00 UTC*. Move your IMX tokens to your Immutable X layer 2 wallet before then.
Recent events like Celsius highlight the priority for self-custodial staking. Your assets should always be yours.
— Immutable | $IMX ⓧ (@Immutable) June 29, 2022
A few things that stand out about Immutable X are their recent staking options. And of course, free minting of NFTs. Interestingly, Immutable X doesn’t look at Ethereum as a competitor. They rather use its security and safety.
So, the future may look bright for Immutable X in the P2E field. No gamer wants or needs a slow and expansive blockchain. Even with the Merge in place, the question will be if Ethereum will offer a fast and cheap option. On the other hand, Immutable X proved itself already in this field.
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