StarkEx — Now for NFTs

The First L2 Platform for NFTs

Published in
3 min readApr 9, 2021


StarkEx-Powered Immutable X is now on Ethereum Mainnet, providing NFT minting and trading at scale. Immutable X — the first L2 platform for NFTs — offers unmatched scalability, near-instant UX, as well as affordable minting & trading.

This is the third use case for StarkEx, our L2 scalability engine — following transfers and spot trading (DeversiFi) and perpetual trading (dYdX).

Immutable & L2 Scaling

Immutable was the first to achieve wide adoption for a blockchain game with Gods Unchained. The Gods Unchained Genesis season sold out at 6M cards for a total value of $6.2M. On Ethereum, great success comes with great gas costs — to activate that season Immutable had to spend 25 Billion gas (despite major gas optimisations) $6M at today’s gas prices! It was clear to Immutable that with ever-increasing gas prices, they must adopt a scaling solution for both minting and trading of low-value assets.

Why did Immutable choose StarkEx?

Trading: First, StarkEx already had the functionality for scalable L2 trading.

Minting: To accommodate Immutable’s needs, we developed the ability to also mint NFTs directly on L2. L2 Minting enables the operator to craft a new NFT if it follows some self-custody logic. Every NFT minted off-chain can be withdrawn to L1. Once withdrawn on Ethereum, assets minted on L2 can move freely as ERC-721 tokens. Read about the minting details in our documentation here.

Fast Withdrawals: for fungible tokens, StarkEx offers near-instant, and withdrawals to L1 in “blockchain time”, i.e. as fast as an L1 transfer. For NFTs, StarkEx offers the fastest withdrawal time in the L2 space.

Gas Savings: where StarkEx really stands out is in the gas savings it offers. We’ve demonstrated some remarkable numbers, as low as:

  1. Trading: 17 gas per trade
  2. Minting: <10 gas per minted NFT ($0.002 as of today)

At the time of publication, we minted 1,448,870 assets on Immutable X through the Trial of the Gods expansion pack for a total cost of $3.000.

Data Availability

One of StarkEx’s unique features is its ability to be deployed in many data availability modes — from Rollup to Validium. Both are Validity-Proof based, but while with Rollup all data is submitted on-chain, in Validium the data is kept off-chain and only a commitment to the most recent state, along with the proof for the validity of this state, are submitted on-chain.

Each data mode has its benefits and drawbacks. Immutable X will start out in Validium mode, in order to offer better gas costs. Read about why they made this choice here.

To ensure self-custody, a Data Availability Committee (DAC) ensures users always have access to their data.

This summer, Immutable X will switch to a new data availability mode called Volition, which will allow users to choose where their data will be stored — on-chain or off-chain — at a single transaction granularity. Read more about Volition and the data availability spectrum here.

Immutable X’s DAC Members:

StarkWare — 0xB71FC111D7BA82D5955BaDdD7717f3467184FF61

Immutable — 0x1FfBDb8061B586A6D29fb608d025e5D8744f58d1

DeversiFi — 0x24EeFFC269bB8E540F5B2C8f45750489abf8D54b

Nethermind — 0x48AF849535DDFa560A0EB0FbDEf436688169B949

Cephalopod — 0xAfC4589aF46C72CBF550F2eEAE38c97AeDE15d17

iqlusion — 0x51AbdE72a4542500a7b1Cb32B18b13fbe1F9ff2E

ConsenSys — 0xfF506616E8C53EE5e513b906AC00B5D76664C537

What’s Next?

Immutable X will serve not only the Gods Unchained game developed by Immutable but rather as a platform for third parties, allowing them to mint their own NFTs, and support their trading. This growing ecosystem will surely present us with a better understanding of what lies ahead in the fast-moving and exciting NFT space.

Louis Guthmann