What is Immutable X (IMX)?
Immutable X (IMX) presents itself as a layer 2 scaling solution for non-fungible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. The project aims to improve Ethereum's limitations such as scalability, poor user and developer experience as well as illiquidity issues.
To do this, Immutable X uses a technology called StarkEx ZK-Rollup, a technology endorsed by the co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin. The goal is to create a user experience with zero gas fees for trading NFTs while avoiding compromising security.
The project markets itself as a "limitless exchange protocol", boasting scalability of 9,000 transactions per second (TPS).
- IMX is an ERC-20 token.
- The project uses layer 2 ZK-Rollup technology.
- IMX guarantees up to 9,000 TPS.
- It has a circulating supply of 240 million and a max supply of 2 billion tokens.
Who created Immutable X?
Immutable X was founded by James Ferguson, a Forbes 30 Under 30 entrepreneur who previously worked as a software developer in the eCommerce company ShopYak, and his brother Robert Ferguson, a Peter Thiel fellow and entrepreneur.
The team consisted of over 100 members from various backgrounds, including people from FAANG, traditional finance, fintech and management consulting areas.
In total, IMX raised $15 million in its 2018 seed round and Series A funding round in September 2019. This included "who's who" crypto and blockchain investors such as Coinbase, Sapers, Nirvana Capital, Apex Capital Partners, Continue Capital and Mike Novogratz' Galaxy Digital.
How does it work?
Immutable X purportedly solves the scalability problem of Ethereum through ZK-Rollups.
Essentially, transactions are processed and finalised in the following way:
- Thousands of trades are batched off-chain.
- Owners of the assets digitally sign the transactions.
- These batched off-chain trades are transferred on-chain in a single proof.
- A smart contract then verifies this single proof on-chain.
The technique allows the protocol to compress or batch thousands of trades off-chain into one single on-chain transaction while maintaining the immutability of decentralised transactions. The fixed gas cost is paid by Immutable X, which in turn guarantees ultra-fast transactions and near-zero trading fees.
Besides having a chain for NFT projects, Immutable X also has a marketplace that solves the user experience problem. The idea is to lower the barrier to entry for content creators and developers, who can still participate in the ecosystem regardless of skill level.
IMX also hosts a tool for minting on Immutable X, which enables the creation and distribution of NFT assets.
The platform boasts:
- Zero gas fees for peer-to-peer trading.
- Custom trading fees.
- Possibility for users to keep their private keys.
- And more
With a shared global order book facilitating liquidity, NFT marketplaces can be created without a backend. This approach caters to different levels of expertise with a simple application programming interface (API).
What is the IMX token?
IMX is an ERC-20 utility token that functions as the platform's growth and expansion mechanism.
There are three main use cases for the IMX token: fees, staking, and governance. 20% of the protocol's fees are paid in IMX by design, and users can stake tokens to receive a proportional share of network fees.
Additionally, token holders have voting rights on IMX improvement proposals.
The total supply of IMX is two billion tokens, with a current estimated circulating supply of 235,284,001.
A breakdown of token distribution:
- 51.74% for ecosystem development; includes user rewards, developer grants, liquidity provision, and marketing purposes.
- 25% for project development
- 14.26% for private sale; included a one-year cliff (i.e. founders weren't vested until the first anniversary) and a monthly unlock over two years.
- 5% for its public sale with a six-month unlock period.
- 4% reserved for the foundation; includes ecosystem development-related initiatives such as providing liquidity, a one-year cliff, monthly unlock over four years.
IMX also hosts a play-to-earn project, where users can play a game called Gods Unchained and earn IMX tokens in return. Users can win 100,000 IMX tokens as a distributed reward.
At the time of writing, IMX is priced at $1.55 (10/03/2022).
Putting it all together
Immutable X attempts to bridge several gaps in the crypto industry by leveraging layer 2 Ethereum-based technology. The project aims to cater to users of all experience levels but focuses primarily on entry-level crypto users while building a platform for NFT businesses to grow.