Today, Immutable, the developer of popular blockchain-based trading card game (TCG) Gods Unchained, and software company StarkWare have announced their joint project—Immutable X.
Immutable X is a decentralized non-custodial exchange. It’s designed to support a high number of trades for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) while taking the load off the main Ethereum blockchain. NFTs are unique blockchain tokens, like virtual trading cards.
As happened in late 2017, when NFT game CryptoKitties went viral, it caused heavy congestion on Ethereum. This has been a potential problem ever since for other NFT game makers.
Immutable CEO James Ferguson and StarkWare co-founder and CEO Uri Kolodny shared the project’s details with Decrypt’s Stephen Graves during the Ethereal Virtual Summit 2020 live stream.
In Gods Unchained, players acquire real-world-tradable collecting cards, with each one representing some kind of spell, creature, skill, effect and so on. After compiling a full deck, gamers then participate in magic duels, pitting their decks against one another.
Cards in the game are NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. Players can freely trade and exchange their cards within the game’s ecosystem.
During the discussion, Ferguson noted that, as the game’s popularity rises, so do the potential problems for the whole Ethereum network. This is because NFTs require much more capacity than regular transactions.
“Trying to build a game which is meant for mainstream appeal, we’ve run into quite a lot of technical issues, which we’re happy we can now overcome. The big one is obviously scalability,” Ferguson said.
“Currently, Ethereum can only support about 120,000 non-fungible token trades per day at its capacity. So far, we’ve created over seven million trading cards, each of which is a non-fungible token. As we’ve done so, we’ve had to deal with high levels of risk that we could congest the entire network,” he added.
To solve this problem and future-proof Gods Unchained—after all, Immutable plans to attract at least a million players in the near future—the company teamed up with StarkWare. The latter is focused on using zero-knowledge proof technology to solve the inherent problems of blockchains—scalability and privacy.
The partnership resulted in Immutable X that will take the load—caused by NFT transactions—off the main Ethereum network.
“We use StarkEx, which is our scalability engine. [Thanks to it] we are no longer bounded by blockchain resources in terms of the scale but rather by the magnitude of the proof machines we can employ in the cloud. Over the past several weeks we completed over 20 million trades on the Ethereum public testnet [prior to] our very exciting launch with Immutable this summer,” noted Kolodny.
According to Immutable’s announcement, StarkEx will offer players “private transactions, instant settlement and zero gas fees for peer-to-peer trading of in-game items on Ethereum.”
In the future, Immutable X will also support other games as well. The platform is scheduled to launch in Q3 2020.