Immutable X is a new generation protocol for trading Ethereum NFT. It provides users with instant transaction confirmation, massive scalability, and no gas fees - without compromising user oversight.

Introduction to Immutable X

Immutable X is a new generation protocol for trading Ethereum NFT. Combining StarWare's world-class Layer 2 extensive knowledge with Immutable's deep understanding of the NFT space,  Immutable X provides users with instant transaction confirmation, massive scalability, and no gas fees - without compromising user oversight.

Applying ZK-Rollup allows Immutable X to take thousands of off-chain transactions, generate proof that these transactions are valid (i.e., the user who owns the asset signed the transaction), and then publish that proof on-chain, where a smart contract verifies it.

In this process, on-chain user assets are held in the smart contract and can only be changed after valid proof is validated.

What is Rollups

Rollups move computation (and state storage) off-chain but keep some data for each on-chain transaction. Rollups use compression tricks to replace data with computation whenever possible, thus improving efficiency. As a result, the scalability system is still limited by the data bandwidth of the underlying blockchain, but at a very favorable rate. Specifically, while transferring Ethereum base layer ERC20 tokens has a cost of ~ 45000 gas, transferring ERC20 tokens in one rollup takes up 16 bytes of space on the chain and costs less than 300 gas.

What is ZK-Rollups

Zero Knowledge Proofs operate. Source:

Zero-Knowledge proof is a method by which one party (the prover) can prove to another (the verifier) that a certain statement is true, while the story avoids conveying any additional information beyond the fact that the statement is true.

The essence of zero-knowledge proof is that it is trivial to prove that one possesses knowledge of some information just by disclosing it; the challenge is to prove ownership without revealing information or any additional information.

ZK-STARK(Zero-Knowledge Scalable Transparent Argument of Knowledge)

Eli Ben-Sasson, Iddo Bentov, Yinon Horeshy, and Michael Riabzev wrote the first papers describing STARKs in 2018. Unlike SNARK, the underlying technology for STARK relies on hash functions. Right off the bat, relying on hash functions offers a number of benefits, such as quantum resistance. Furthermore, no trusted setup is required to use STARKs in the network.

ZK-STARKS does not rely on public-private key pairs (such as ECDSA), but on collision-resistant hashing for interactive solutions (which Grover's algorithm is not meant to break) and the random oracle (a commonly used alternative model of general cryptographic hash functions where strong randomness assumptions are required for oracle output) for non-interactive proofs (zk- nSTARK, n = non-interactive), so ZK-STARK is now resistant to quantum computer attacks.

The base workflow of zk-stark combining 3 main components: Input, Stark Proof, and Output
The base workflow of zk-stark. Source: Starkware whitepaper

Many flavors of proof systems:

The two elements with texts inside: "Veriety of theoretical constructions" and "...and implementations"
The technology used to create proofs. Source: Starkware Whitepaper

STARK has a much larger proof size than SNARK; thus, STARK verification takes longer and requires more gas fees than SNARK.

In addition, it will be much more difficult for developers to use STARK because of the lack of developer and community documentation. Although several projects create STARK-based scaling solutions, such as STANKWARE, the community of SNARKs is still much larger.


  • Quantum resistant
  • Assumptions: Collision-resistant hashes (less likely to be attacked)
  • No trusted setup required
  • Vocal support from the Ethereum foundation
  • More scalable in terms of computational speed


  • Far larger proof size = more gas
  • Small developer community because it is new

Immutable X Rollups

Immutable built Immutable X using StarkEx technology by Starkware. The diagram below gives an idea of how StarkEx enables transactions to be executed outside of the blockchain, on layer 2, and then updated and proven back onto layer 1, the main chain.

A diagram that shows the imx & zk-stark architecture
The imx & zk-stark architecture. Source:

StarkEx is the Validium L2 scaling engine on Ethereum mainnet that is modified (tailored) to fit specific permissioned Dapps, used for projects to deploy their ideas (mostly for trading use cases) dYdX, ImmutableX, DeversiFi, and many other partners. This Specific L2 is where most protocols are built on, generating real trading volume and conducting transactions.

SHARP is a technology used to share the verifying gas cost when combining batches of transactions into one proof. That means the transaction on StarkEx mainnet will cost much cheaper than on Ethereum.


[1] Starkware Documentation,, accessed 4th 2023.

[2] Zero-Knowledge Proofs: STARKs vs SNARKs,, accessed 4th 2023.

[3] An Incomplete Guide to Rollups,, accessed 4th 2023.