Ethereum, the number one blockchain network on which most NFTs and play-to-earn games operate, has limitations regarding scalability. This layer 1 blockchain can only process between 5 and 15 transactions per second (TPS), resulting in high transaction costs and gas fees.
The upcoming transition of Ethereum to the proof-of-stake consensus, The Merge, will not solve the scalability problem. Because its primary function will be to decrease energy consumption, not to expand the network capacity. Consequently, the transaction speed will mostly remain the same.
This is why many layer 2 technologies emerge that run on Ethereum to help scale it. Immutable X protocol is one such solution, and its focus is on accelerating NFT-based applications.
What are Ethereum rollups?
Immutable X uses rollups to increase scalability. Rollups decrease transaction costs by batching a large number of transactions into one single transaction.
There are two kinds of rollups: optimistic and zero knowledge (zk). The former assumes all transactions are valid until proven otherwise. A fraud-proof mechanism takes place only if a network participant suspects fraudulent activity.
Immutable X deploys zk rollups. These rollups are always verified before the transactions are sent to the Ethereum mainnet through a “validity proof.” A method called Zero Knowledge Proof is used for the validation.
Immutable X partners with Starkware for the implementation of zk rollups. As a result, the protocol can manage 9,000 NFT transactions per second, ensuring many benefits for game applications.
Implications of Immutable X solution for web3 games
Leveraging its own technology, Immutable, the company behind the Immutable X protocol, publishes some of the most popular web3 games, such as God Unchained and Guild of Guardians.
Immutable X provides the same tools to other web3 developers to build their games by enabling gas-free minting without sacrificing security. This way, minting millions of NFTs for free is possible, and games can be built in hours. In addition, NFTs can be distributed to multiple marketplaces efficiently thanks to Immutable X’s orderbooks.
It also bears mentioning that Immutable X supports all desktop Ethereum wallets, eliminating the need for switching networks as opposed to the case with other scaling solutions, like sidechains. This creates a much better user experience for gamers because the NFT transaction process is much less complicated.
IMX is an ERC-20 token used to reward participants for their activities. It’s the native utility token of the Immutable X protocol. There’ll be 2,000,000,000 IMX tokens in total, and the anticipated allocation is as follows:
- 51.74% for ecosystem development
- 25% for project development
- 19.26% for public and private sales
- 4% for foundation reserve
Utilities of IMX
Fees: Users must pay 20% of transaction fees in IMX. Should the user doesn’t hold any IMX at the time of the transaction, Immutable swaps the payment currency for IMX.
Staking: The fees paid are transferred to a staking pool which Immutable uses to reward protocol participants.
Governance: IMX holders with a certain threshold of tokens will be able to vote on future proposals, which will be published on Snapshot.
How to earn IMX rewards
IMX staking happens on 14-day cycles during which the collected fees are distributed to token holders. There’re two eligibility requirements. First, you must stake IMX on the staking platform.
The second requirement is to trade at least one NFT within the 14-day cycle on one of the marketplaces that use the IMX order book. Compatible marketplaces include the native marketplace of Immutable, Okx, Mintable, and Tokentrove. You can view a list of the eligible collections here.
Immutable distributes 100,000 IMX tokens daily through its trading program. To participate, you must buy or sell an NFT worth at least 10$. At the end of the day, your IMX rewards will be delivered to your wallet based on the proportion of your trading volume to the total trading volume.