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Token Takeaway: IMX;
Immutable X is a Layer-2 scaling solution that focuses on developing the NFT infrastructure and overall Web3 gaming experience on Ethereum. It is a purpose-driven platform that allows developers to build highly scalable and secure games that offer seamless gameplay and an overall great user experience. This Token Takeaway will explore the history and motivation behind Immutable X and analyse its fundamentals and the value proposition of its native token, IMX.
Immutable X was launched in 2018 by siblings James and Robbie Ferguson along with Alex Connolly with a mission to fuel the future of Web3 games. Its parent company, Immutable, headquartered in Sydney, is one of the crypto industry’s top blockchain gaming and technology companies with over 300 employees. Immutable is also behind some of the most popular web3 games, including Etherbots and Gods Unchained.
Immutable began its journey with a $2.4m seed funding round in July 2018, followed by a Series A funding round in September 2019 that garnered $15m, led by EOS VC Fund and Naspers. Building on this momentum, Immutable secured $60m in a Series B round in September 2020, with BITKRAFT Ventures taking the lead. In March 2022, Immutable X achieved a fundraising milestone, securing a remarkable $200m in a Series C round led by Temasek Holdings.
The inception of the idea behind Immutable X came to life after the launch of their in-house game, Etherbots. Launched in March 2018, Etherbots is a robot-war game based on Ethereum. According to their website, it is the first strategy game on a blockchain. Every part of the robot (Etherbot) is a unique ERC721 token (or an NFT), giving users full ownership of their robots.
With what they learned from Etherbots, the Ferguson brothers launched a digital card trading game called Gods Unchained, which was a massive hit. For the first time in gaming history, players could fully own their in-game assets. These assets hold real value, meaning that gamers’ hard-earned in-game assets are no longer just relevant within the game but can be sold as NFTs. As more users started playing the game, Ethereum's scalability issues became a serious limitation. This is not just isolated to Gods Unchained; any successful game on Ethereum would have faced similar limitations, opening room for a platform that can solve this issue. Enter Immutable X - a purpose-built Layer-2 platform for NFT infrastructure development that focuses on offering seamless gameplay and cheap, in-game asset ownership and management on Ethereum.
How Does Immutable X Work?
Immutable X harnesses the cutting-edge Rollup technology developed by the renowned blockchain scaling company StarkWare. StarkWare's products utilise Zero-Knowledge (zk) technology-based Rollups to enhance scalability on the Ethereum Network. Rollups, an ingenious approach, involve batching multiple transactions and processing them off the main chain (Layer-1), where zk Rollups employ zk proofs to establish consensus. These proofs enable the system to mathematically verify the truth of a given statement without divulging additional information. Zero-knowledge proof demonstrates that the given batch of transactions is valid and adheres to the predefined rules without revealing any sensitive information about individual transactions. This approach achieves impressive speeds while upholding security and anonymity. For a more in-depth exploration of Rollups, refer to our previous article.
Empowered by this technology, Immutable X achieves an impressive throughput of 9000 transactions per second (TPS), a significant leap from Ethereum's comparatively modest 15 TPS capacity. Notably, the minting of NFTs on Immutable X functions without gas fees, allowing users to mint NFTs on the platform for free.
In addition to Immutable X, the Immutable ecosystem also has a dedicated chain to build high-quality games called Immutable zkEVM. Immutable zkEVM is an EVM-compatible solution that is powered by Polygon. It allows developers to build low-cost, large-scale Web3 games.
The Immutable X Ecosystem
Immutable X has over 150 games, multiple NFT projects and 20+ marketplaces built on it. Notably, Immutable also offers a product catalogue that extends beyond Immutable X and Immutable zkEVM. Additionally, their wider product offering includes Immutable Passport for instant wallet onboarding, Immutable Checkout for payments, an Orderbook and Marketplace Network for improved liquidity for NFT trading and SDKs for building and launching new projects swiftly.
There are seven main game categories on Immutable X, including sports simulation, shooting, puzzle and adventure.
While researching Gods Unchained, I came across some mixed player reviews. While it wasn’t hailed as a ground-breaking new game, the in-game graphics were praised, but there were some mixed thoughts about the gameplay, with some calling it repetitive. When it comes to play-to-earn games, the long-term success will ultimately depend on the overall user experience, or it risks falling flat when the lack of enjoyment trumps the earnings, which is what happened to Axie Infinity. However, based on the data, Gods Unchained is still going strong. According to DappRadar, Gods Unchained generated $19.1m in volume in the last 30 days, making it the most popular game on Immutable X. Followed by another trading cards game, Cross The Ages, which generated $608.6k, and Guild of Guardians, a mobile multiplayer blockchain role-play game (RPG) with $112k in the same period.