What is Immutable X? Ethereum’s First Layer 2 For NFTs
What is Immutable X?
Immutable X is a layer 2 protocol for trading Ethereum NFTs that gives users instant trade confirmation, huge scalability (9,000 transactions per second), and zero gas fees without compromising user ownership. Immutable X’s goal is to make minting and trading NFTs easier than trading traditional digital assets.
In all reality, Immutable X is a layer 2 scaling solution that leverages the power and security of the Ethereum blockchain, rather than compete against it. Let's take a look at what Immutable X offers their users.
Users are not required to do anything when they join this protocol, it’s very simple and you can use your existing digital wallet. This means that the private key that is required to power this protocol is generated by your existing wallet. So, you can use popular wallets such as MetaMask, or any other solution you’d like to use.
What does liquidity on the blockchain actually mean? It means you can always buy and sell any asset on the blockchain for a reasonable price. That is exactly what Immutable X allows you to do. Even more so, Immutable has maximized liquidity by allowing the creation of virtual fungible markets, based on any subset of the tokens characteristics.
For example, if you have a Rare Quick Quail VeeFriends NFT, then you can search for that asset using single terms like Rare, Quail, or just VeeFriends NFT. You can also list your assets in all the markets based on all those single traits, at the same time.
Listing your assets in all of these markets at the same time allows you to get the maximum price and most liquidity. Now, if you’re a buyer you can get exactly what you want, at the cheapest price, at maximum liquidity.
Technically speaking, if you want to achieve scalability on the blockchain then you’re either treading away from overall security, or you are moving away from decentralization.
That’s why Immutable X and StarkWare teamed up together to allow massive batching of trades off-chain, with users signing for the transaction, and then being put on-chain in a single proof that essentially compresses those trades into a single transaction at a fixed gas cost, which Immutable X pays.
This means that if you’re a user of Immutable X you pay zero gas fees for trading NFTs, and you pay zero gas fees as a developer as well.
On-chain validity-based proof:
Immutable X uses a validity-based proof. Validity-based proof means that your assets can never be traded without your permission, which is the same security measure as the Ethereum mainchain, and your items can never be taken from you either.
Immutable X for Developers:
What Immutable X has constructed for NFT developers is a super simple way to create digital assets. Immutable X is practically completely tradeable by APIs. As a developer, you can simply say that you want to mint (x) amount of assets, with (y) scarcity, making the development process very user-friendly.
What about general logic?
Perhaps developers want to implement complex logic in a scalable manner, or maybe they want to mint assets according to complex smart contract functionality. What Immutable allows through Kyro, is all of that to be programmed into Immutable X.
What about minting token sets?
When it comes to creating numerous NFTs on Immutable X, you have the ability to put them into an ERC-20 token in a blockchain environment, free of cost, so you can then transfer them to the main Ethereum chain. This means no gas fees when you are creating your massive NFT project.
Why not side-chains?
The problem with side-chains is that they are not decentralized. Many of them have as few as 5 central operators with their own consensus algorithms. They are typically just achieving throughput, by loosening the decentralization security properties.
Point being, if an IP such as World of Warcraft was going to bring their community to the blockchain, then it would need to be secure. Otherwise, the chain could be attacked and all the assets could be stolen. At the end of the day, your assets are only as secure as the consensus mechanism at the side-chain. That’s why Immutable X is a layer on top of the Ethereum mainchain; it’s simply more secure.
How does Immutable X work?
Immutable X uses what is called a ZK Rollup, which takes thousands of off-chain trades, creates a proof that these trades were all valid (owners of the assets signed the trades), and then publishes that proof on chain, where it is then verified by a smart contract.
Throughout this process, the on-chain user assets are held in the smart contract and can only be released after a valid proof including the assets has been published in a batch.
Why use Immutable X?
There are several advantages of using Immutable X in order to buy, sell, and create NFTS. Here are some of the top reasons you may want to consider using 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
How much does Immutable X cost?
Whether you are a developer or a consumer, Immutable X does not cost you anything to use. Although, keep in mind that outside applications are still able to charge users their own fees by default. Meaning, Immutable X will always be able to support these use cases for various platforms.
Immutable X and other NFT marketplaces
Alright, this all sounds great, but how about trading NFTs on other platforms such as OpenSea or Rarible, for example? Immutable X allows users to trade whatever they want to trade, wherever they want to trade it.
As of now, Ethereum is the blockchain that is the most decentralized, has the best developer and community support, and is the chain which nearly every ICO has originally been drafted from.
Ultimately, the most important thing that Immutable X has done is create a solution that is not competing with Ethereum, rather it is built on top of Ethereum, ensuring that users still benefit from all the advantages which the Ethereum mainchain offers.
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