What is Immutable?
Immutable is a platform that provides:
- Layer 2 solutions on the most secure and decentralized layer 1 - Ethereum
- APIs and developer tools that make it easy to build on layer 2
What can you build on it?
Immutable X is aimed at enabling developers to build fast, scalable and secure applications for NFTs and blockchain games.
|Functionality provided by Immutable X
|Games offering sophisticated economies through true ownership of in-game assets
|Token and asset trading platforms
|Blockchain transaction analysis tools
Immutable chose to build on Ethereum because it is the most decentralized, secure and widely-used blockchain, giving rise to the greatest network effects.
It is a technology that enables smart contracts and decentralized applications to be built and run without any downtime, fraud, control or interference from a third party.
Problems with building on layer 1
The way that layer 1 (Ethereum) works is that every transaction requires all nodes in the network to validate it. This is important for security and decentralization, but it means that each transaction can take some time to be confirmed.
The amount of time this takes can be too long for applications that require high volumes of transactions to be processed in a short period of time, for example: in-game transactions, trading of NFTs on high-volume marketplaces, or high-frequency trading.
As the volume of transactions increase on layer 1, so too does the demand for validators. In response, users often offer higher fees to incentivize validators to prioritize processing their transactions.
This results in higher transaction prices, which, in very busy periods, can escalate to the point that they exceed the value of the item being transacted (ie. if the transaction cost of tranferring an NFT is more than the price of the NFT).
This outcome is not conducive to the Ethereum network being able to support a wide range of applications at massive scale.
Benefits of building on layer 2 vs. layer 1
Immutable X makes it easy for developers to build on its layer 2 solutions. The benefits of this are:
- Unlimited scalability - games and applications do not have to worry about growing and having too many user transactions.
- Enhanced user experience - instant transaction confirmation.
- Cheaper (sometimes free) transactions - Immutable X uses 'rollups' for their layer 2 solution, which means that they batch many transactions (sometimes hundreds) into a single transaction on layer 1, the cost of which is shared across all transactions.
- Ethereum-level security - because all layer 2 transactions are batched and settled on layer 1, they maintain the same security properties.
- Network effects of Ethereum - by building on top of the Ethereum network, applications and assets on layer 2 can easily access layer 1 and interact with other layer 1 users and applications.