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Immutable zkEVM 🎮

Immutable teams with Polygon to scale web3 gaming!
William M. Peaster William M. Peaster Mar 21, 20234 min read
Immutable zkEVM 🎮

Dear Bankless Nation,

Immutable is a pioneer in scaling web3 games…

And Polygon is a scaling suite on the verge of launching the Polygon zkEVM, a new style of L2 that will boast many UX advantages…

Cross these giants together and you get Immutable zkEVM, a scaling solution to be launched later this year that’s poised to be a real game changer (ha ha) for NFT gaming.

For today’s post, then, let’s dive into the basics of the newly-announced Immutable zkEVM and touch on some of the games in the Immutable ecosystem you can explore while you wait for this powerful new L2 to arrive!


Immutable Goes zkEVM with Polygon

Some zkEVM Context…

Ethereum's transition from a monolithic chain with limited scalability to a modular design involves adopting L2 solutions like optimistic and ZK rollups, which execute transactions offchain and submit aggregated, “rolled up” data onto the Ethereum L1.

While optimistic rollups like Arbitrum have long been compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), allowing developers to easily port over their app code, the arrival of the first zkEVMs (ZK rollups compatible with the EVM) will enable devs to migrate their smart contracts to ZK-style scaling without rewriting code. Combine this UX leap with the inherent privacy and security advantages ZK rollups enjoy through their use of “zero knowledge” cryptographic proofs, and you land at zkEVMs being poised to be highly competitive against optimistic rollups in the future.

The Immutable zkEVM Announcement

Immutable and Polygon just announced a strategic alliance to foster web3 gaming through the development of the Immutable zkEVM, an EVM-compatible ZK rollup that will be powered by Polygon zkEVM technology.

The new L2 is slated to be released “in the coming months,” per Immutable, and it will complement and expand upon the capabilities of Immutable X, the Immutable team’s first Starkware-based gaming L2 that’s very performant but doesn’t support general custom smart contracts.

A basic visual overview of Polygon zkEVM

Why It Matters

The Immutable zkEVM aims to optimize for web3 game development, allowing both large studios and indie devs to offer excellent UX to players while enjoying lots of flexibility themselves with expressive, Ethereum-like smart contract UX and the ability to easily migrate their games from Ethereum or any other EVM network without code changes.

With that in mind and considering the teams involved, the Immutable zkEVM could potentially emerge as not only the dominant gaming L2 within the Polygon ecosystem, but also the leading gaming L2 in the broader cryptoeconomy for the foreseeable future.

Additionally, Immutable’s native $IMX token is being upgraded in phased fashion in tandem with the Immutable zkEVM rollout, including to serve as the new L2’s gas token for paying transaction fees. As such, Immutable is creating a new blueprint that other teams can consider with regard to evolving tokenomics “in prod” upon new L2 advances.

The IMX token is evolving

Immutable Games to Watch

While Immutable’s gaming scene is early on, it’s still teeming with dozens of varied projects you can explore. If you want to get some more experience in this scene ahead of the zkEVM launch, here’s a list (full directory here) of some of the leading games that operate in the Immutable ecosystem today:

Zooming Out

Will other L1s and L2s similarly embrace zkEVMs? I definitely think we’ll see more of this type of move, and in embracing Polygon zkEVM tech Immutable’s laying the groundwork for how other projects, NFT-based or otherwise, can evolve toward the best that ZK-based scaling has to offer. Conversely, this partnership is but a taste of what’s to come with regard to Polygon’s plans of becoming a large ecosystem of many different chains!

William M. Peaster

Written by William M. Peaster

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William M. Peaster, Senior Writer, has been with Bankless since January 2021. Immersed in Ethereum since 2017, he writes the Metaversal newsletter on the onchain frontier, covering everything from AI projects to crypto games, as the team’s lead NFT analyst. With a background in creative writing, he writes fiction and publishes art on Ethereum in his free time. He lives in Washington.

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