Immutable X

Immutable X

What is Immutable X?
  • A layer-2 scalability protocol for NFTs on Ethereum
  • This enables transactions much faster compared to Ethereum itself
  • Requires lower computing power and has less of an environmental impact
Challenges/Problems
  • Scaling (3–5 NFT trades/second)
  • UX (transactions take minutes to confirm)
  • Cost (fees for NFT trades are currently $30+)
  • Liquidity (most NFTs are never traded)
  • Developer Experience (NFT projects spend more time on technical challenges rather than improving their projects)
  • Environmental Impact (a barrier to mainstream adoption)

In the past, this would be solved by compromising security, custody, or decentralization of these assets

This would be switched to a less secure blockchain or sidechain

Solution
  • We know the NFT ecosystem desperately needs liquidity and scalability.
  • With Immutable X, we’re offering that scalability to everyone without forcing applications or users to compromise on the security of their assets.
  • When comparing scaling solutions, Immutable had a clear understanding of what it wanted:
    • Unlimited scalability
    • Instant transaction confirmation and mainstream-quality UX
    • No compromise on user security
    • Retaining access to Ethereum’s ecosystem and network effects
  • That’s why Immutable X is built as a ZK-rollup in partnership with StarkWare.
Architecture/Components Overview
Immutable X APIs
  • In Layer 1 blockchains there are no APIs, so any elements that require tracking are tracked individually, then recorded and stored in your own records.
  • The Immutable X APIs wrap the logic of Immutable X’s exchange engine so that developers do not need to interact directly with smart contracts via custom logic to build on the Immutable X platform.
  • Every interaction, from minting to trading to transferring, is performed via simple API calls.
  • The Immutable X APIs contain both the read and write functionality required to build applications without building a backend, meaning Immutable X abstracts the complexity of the blockchain to function as a backend.
  • The read functionality also offers various filtering options. This includes filters that can present a list of all orders submitted by a specific user, or more complete filters like metadata filters. Using the API’s read function we can give developers a list of:
ZK-Rollups
  • Immutable X combines NFT-specific exchange and proof logic with the cutting edge rollup technology developed by StarkWare to create one of the most advanced tools for trading NFTs ever built.
  • Rollups allow for world-class scalability and user experience while retaining the underlying security of Ethereum.
  • ZK-STARKs (Zero-Knowledge Scalable Transparent ARguments of Knowledge) are a type of cryptographic-proof technology that enable users to share validated data or perform computations with a third party, without the data or computation being revealed to the third party in a publicly verifiable way.
    • This is also known as a zero-knowledge proof (ZKP).
Prior to the creation of ZK-STARKs, ZK-SNARKs were used to create ZK proof systems.
  • This required a trusted party, or parties, to initially set up the ZK proof system, which introduced a vulnerability: those “trusted parties” could compromise the privacy of the entire system.
  • ZK-STARKs improve on this technology by removing the need for a trusted setup.
A ZK-Rollup requires an “operator”.
  • The operator is responsible for linearizing transactions, which means putting them into a consistent, global incremental order with no gaps.
  • In this instance Immutable X is the operator.
  • Immutable X’s rollup technology allows for more than 9,000 NFT transfers, trades and mints per second, meeting and exceeding the scale required by mainstream NFT projects.
  • To learn more, check out Vitalik's Incomplete Guide to Rollups.
Link UI
  • The Link is the conduit that we use to connect users to the Immutable X protocol.
    • This allows Immutable X to support a thriving third-party marketplace ecosystem, without presenting a security risk.
  • Unlike other blockchains or sidechains, Immutable X currently supports all desktop Ethereum wallets without forcing the user to switch networks.
    • All new Immutable X users are required to register as a user, which means setting up a Layer 2 wallet via Link.
  • Immutable X partners can embed the Link directly into their site’s transaction flow, making buying and selling NFTs more efficient and intuitive.
    • The Link screens will show up in the site’s transaction flow, allowing their users to authorize purchases, listings, and transfers of ETH and NFTs, all without leaving the page.
  • Learn more about Link SDK
Immutable X SDK
  • The Immutable X SDK, combined with the APIs, will allow partners to build NFT projects in hours rather than weeks
  • Currently, a Typescript SDK implementation is available, designed to make it easy to integrate the protocol into websites
  • The SDK allows for types access to the Immutable X APIs and wallet.
Distinctions to make when referring to Immutable X

Three distinctions to make when referring to Immutable X:

  • Immutable X platform: The core infrastructure that allows for the minting, depositing, withdrawing and trading of assets on Layer 2 blockchain.
  • Immutable X token (IMX): The ERC-20 utility token of the Immutable X protocol, used to reward users for their contribution to the platform.
  • Immutable X marketplace: The first exchange venue for gas-free minting and trading of NFTs, developed by Immutable and powered by Immutable X.
Challenges and Immutable X Plan
Currently, trading on the Ethereum network is broken.
  • The network currently supports approximately 150,000 non-fungible token transactions per day at 30% network usage.
Trades can fail occasionally, returning assets to owners instead of trading, and the time they take to process is inconsistent, sometimes taking upwards of an hour.
  • This is not only annoying for users who are attempting to trade, it can also cause problems for developers building on the network.
Developers are unable to mint NFTs sustainably
  • This is impossible for projects to properly fundraise to continue expansion and create more content for their users.

Immutable X has a plan to support more than 200 million trades per day while consuming less than 30% of Ethereum’s capacity.

What’s Immutable X goal?
  • Their goal is to make building games, applications and exchanges on Ethereum viable
  • To make minting and trading Ethereum NFTs even easier than trading traditional digital assets
Why Immutable X?
  • Zero gas fees for peer to peer trading
  • Set your own trading fees
  • Users keep their private keys
  • Huge scalability up to 9,000 transactions per second (TPS)
  • Decentralized L2
  • Secured by the Ethereum blockchain
  • 100% carbon neutral
Why did Immutable X choose Ethereum?
  • Immutable chose to build on Ethereum because it is the largest and most secure blockchain, with the greatest network effects.
  • Choosing Ethereum enables the deployment of smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps) to be built and run without any downtime, fraud, control or interference from a third party.
Why did Immutable X choose ZK-rollups?
  • They chose the ZK-rollups because it is the only solution capable of scale without compromise
  • This means whenever you mint or trade an NFT on Immutable X, you pay zero gas, and the validity of all transactions are directly enforced by Ethereum’s security using zero-knowledge proofs -- the first “layer 2” for NFTs on Ethereum.
How does Immutable X work?
  • Immutable X uses a ZK rollup:
    1. Take thousands of off-chain trades
    2. Generate a proof that these trades were all valid (i.e. the users who owned the assets signed the trades)
    3. Publish that proof on-chain
    4. The proof on-chain is verified by a smart contract
  • During this process, the on-chain user assets are held in the smart contract, and can only be released after a valid proof, including them, has been published in a batch.
  • Learn more about ZK rollups
tldr:
  • The first “layer 2” for NFTs on Ethereum
  • Whenever you mint or trade an NFT on Immutable X, you pay zero gas
  • Validity of all transactions are directly enforced by Ethereum’s security using zero-knowledge proofs
  • Allowing users to choose between two Validium and ZK-rollups via a system known as “Volition”
  • Offering maximum scalability via Validium to allow applications to scale NFTs to the billions, all while remaining on Ethereum.