The Immutable X platform aims to tackle the increasing energy cost and carbon footprint of producing non-fungible tokens (NFT) on the Ethereum network.
NFTs on Ethereum use gas to mint them on its proof-of-work blockchain. Immutable X has found a way to offset this drain on resources through scaling.
On March 30, BeInCrypto reported that over $1 million was spent in gas fees for the newly launched Polkamon NFT collection. So, there is a clear need to address this issue as they grow in popularity.
In a tweet on March 31, the platform explained how it aims to achieve carbon neutrality for NFT minting.
A thread on how Immutable X will be the first carbon-neutral scaling solution for NFTs on Ethereum.
1/ Any NFT that is created or traded on Immutable X is 100% carbon neutral.
— Immutable (@Immutable) March 31, 2021
Scaling NFT Minting
In essence, Immutable X scales Ethereum by taking up less of the network per NFT mint or trade while still retaining its security.
“Any NFT that is created or traded on Immutable X is 100% carbon neutral.”
The platform compresses the amount of data required to trade or create an NFT secured by Ethereum, via batched zero-knowledge rollups from StarkWare. It boasts a throughput of 9,000 transactions per second for the creation of ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens.
It used an example of minting eight million Gods Unchained cards from the NFT trading card game. On Layer 1 Ethereum this would consume approximately 490 mWh in energy. Immutable X has minted 8 million NFT cards with around 1,030 kWh consumption, a reduction in energy by 475,000 times.
Buying Carbon Credits
The platform claims that it will buy carbon credits to offset the energy footprint of any NFT on Immutable X. It will continue this incentive through 2025. The hope is that Ethereum will be fully proof-of-stake and running on a scalable sharded network by then.
“We’re ponying up for the cost of carbon credits because we believe that NFTs (on Ethereum) are a net good for the planet. We don’t want ecological unsustainability to stop the greatest shift in monetization power from incumbents to content creators the world has seen.”
Another aspect is that accelerating the trading and collecting of digital NFTs offsets the need for environmentally wasteful throwaway physical goods which are often made of plastic.
Immutable X launched its alpha version in late March 2021 and does not have a native token just yet. It’s among a growing number of DeFi protocols deploying Layer 2 solutions. Most are focused on alleviating the cost of transacting on Layer 1 Ethereum.