Fast-growing Immutable plans liquidity network for NFT marketplaces

Australia’s most successful crypto business plans to continue its hiring spree as it works to create a network that will aggregate liquidity across various NFT marketplaces.

Sydney-based Immutable has used an Ethereum scaling solution called StarkNet to create a platform for NFTs and crypto gaming with zero transaction fees, but now sees offering gaming projects liquidity as a more important differentiator than offering them scalability.

“We want to create this big liquidity network, where all of those games and all of those marketplaces are communicating with the same assets and the same order book as all the games that have actually put them into that network,” Immutable co-founder and chief technical officer Alex Connolly told Australian Blockchain Week on Tuesday.

“There is so much more to choosing the right platform than the pure, under the hood scalability,” he added.

“As it turns out, the problem that these games have isn’t that the number that it says on the tin for scalability isn’t high enough.

“The problem these really high-quality projects have is much deeper, and that’s the problem we want to solve.”

Growing fast

Immutable plans to expand to 350 staff located around the world by year-end, up from the 200 it will have by month’s end, chief operating officer Gillian Findlay told the audience of about 150 at Sydney’s Quantum Terminal.

That headcount is up from the 100 it had four or five months ago when Findlay joined the company, a rare Australian “unicorn”. Immutable raised US$200 million earlier this month at a valuation of $2.5 billion.

Its new staff will be located around the world, instead of being mostly based in Sydney with a few in Asia and US.

“We are looking to globalize completely, we’re going to have an Asia hub, a hub in the West Coast as well, and a hub in Indonesia,” said Findlay, the former COO of SafetyCulture and a venture partner at Airtree.

Immutable started its Immutable X platform after encountering scaling issues trying to develop its Gods Unchained trading card game on mainnet Ethereum at the end of 2017. It was the first-ever multiplayer game built on a blockchain.

L1 vs. L2

Connolly argued that using layer 2 Ethereum scaling solution such as Immutable X was a much better solution than using a competing high-speed layer 1 platform.

“There is so much work to do to build up that ecosystem from scratch – and doing that in a context where you don’t have as many people who want to sort of be open source contributors to that, and build on it for the sake of building on it because they believe in the future.”

Instead competing layer 1 projects will have to pay developers “a lot of money” to build the rest of their platform, he said. “It’s really hard to start an artificial ecosystem from scratch.”

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