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Enthusiasm on Bitcoin and other mainstream cryptocurrencies are seen not only in the secondary market with prices rapidly recovering, but also in the primary market where an influx of venture funds are racing to gain allocation in high-quality blockchain startups.
Aves Lair, an emerging US-based venture capital fund led a million-dollar strategic investment in Immutable’s Series B round. The success of this investment was not due to dumb luck neither coincidentally nor by chance. Aves Lair may be relatively unfamiliar to many investors, but the founding team is built upon veterans in the industry: the fund management team is composed of experienced traditional VC investors, early Bitcoin adopters, and professors from notable research centers. Aves Lair combines incubation and R&D to build on their ecosystem and focuses on early-stage startups in the field of blockchain and artificial intelligence. Being at the forefront of the space, Aves Lair aims to create a robust, resource-rich value investment ecology. In just a year, Aves Lair achieved favorable results with a number of high-quality projects, including Swarm, Flare Network, and Lightyear.
Similar to some traditional VC funds, Aves Lair shifted from traditional technology to focusing solely on blockchain. Aves Lair’s approach inherits the traditional VC selection model and strives to find revolutionary technology before other players. Unlike most investment institutions in the crypto field that use the “widespread net” investment method, Aves Lair puts emphasis on the underlying technology and infrastructure construction of the blockchain.
Immutable is an outstanding project that the Aves Lair Fund invested in. In the early communication process, Aves Lair had in-depth exchanges with Immutable’s co-founder and president James Ferguson on the Immutable team’s insights on traditional games and GameFi, the congestion problem on the Ethereum network, and key issues such as Layer 2 expansion. Marian, partner of the Aves Lair, said:
“The application of blockchain in life must face real problems and propose practical solutions, not just theoretical experiments. No matter which technology platform is used, it must go through the market before long term application can be developed. Immutable achieved this.”
Marian further added: “Immutable is building a real virtual world. For decades, players in the gaming industry had limited rights on the items obtained in the game. With no ownership and control rights, transparency of the whole process needed to be improved. Immutable is changing this. Players can use immutable assets to claim the ownership in the items of the game and be able to program them publicly. Anyone can build tools or services around these assets, promote them in a real open economy and make the virtual world more real.
The future of GameFi is not “self-entertaining”
The growing popularity of Axie Infinity led to a new wave of speculation in the NFT market, and established a foundation for the development of blockchain games related to NFTs and the Metaverse.
“I hope that blockchain games can completely bid a farewell to the “self-entertainment” of early participants and truly move to the foreground. GameFi today has the potential to serve as the entrance to blockchain application and expand the development space of NFT’s. As a non-negligible entrance to the popularization of blockchain applications, the gaming industry itself has its own “disruptive nature”, its iteration cycle is more frequent than other industries, and the “virtual world” can be a microcosm of the future that shows us what the world will be under the wave of digitization.”
As blockchain gaming attracts an more and more increasing amount of interest from investors and consumers, Immutable, as an encrypted game publisher, is not limited to GameFi. Recently, gaming assets have opened their own “token” attributes in the blockchain world, “feeding back” the gaming industry itself and continuous growth into the crypto field. Meanwhile, questions on NFTs applicability have been contradicted in GameFi where it’s been reflected that there is abundant room for NFT attributes to be further developed. These development advantages prove Immutable’s competitive advantage with the growing trend in the industry.
What Immutable wants to build is a real virtual world: Immutable’s decentralized community based gaming products have begun to take shape and have a “revenue-generating” model. The blockchain gaming industry is no longer an exclusive “self-entertainment” but a place where participants compete together. Immutable’s infrastructure layout built around an open “game ecological community” will provide an opportunity for a large-scale development on NFTs, making them well prepared for the new Web 3.0 economy under the Metaverse.
Immutable: An operable Layer-2 solution
The most obvious difference between blockchain games and traditional games is “decentralization”. Gamers are no longer in a “passive” acceptance process, but a process of active participation. This means control and ownership within the game are returned to all gamers, participants and communities, instead of relying on a development team behind the game.
To understand the transformational impact that blockchain games place on the traditional Internet and online games, the core significance of blockchain technology is to reshape the production process and the relationship between the developing team and the users. Blockchain “empowers’ ‘ players in NFT GamFi by allowing them to have control over their digital assets and the ownership of the process. Immutable, as the leader in the industry, developed a highly operable solution to Blockchain gaming.
Immutable utilizes StarkWare’s technology to provide users the choice between two ZK (Zero Knowledge)- based solutions: Validium and rollup. Validium, for maximum scalability and rollup for instant transactions where the validity of the transactions are enforced by Ethereum’s security using zero-knowledge proof- the first layer 2 solution for NFT transactions on Ethereum. Along with offering zero-gas fee transactions (minting, transaction , earning, collecting), Immutable is able to solve the pain points of using Ethereum when custody, decentralization and security was often compromised, and eliminates the obstacles for user adoption on NFT projects.
Additionally, Immutable commits to offering user maintained custody. With Zero knowledge proofs to Ethereum, user assets are linked to the main Ethereum blockchain, allowing them to verify and withdraw assets to ensure users’ complete control. This is conducive to promoting the further adoption of NFT by the mainstream and is a major guarantee for the realization of “decentralization.” Immutable also provides a platform for developers to openly program, where participants can build their own tools or services, which is a crucial step in building a “decentralized” model.
Besides GameFi and NFTs, the driving force for an ecosystem to innovate continuously are the consumers rather than the developers. This starts with garnering interests from the participants and providing them with a convenient and easy-to-obtain tool in a safe and trustworthy environment. What Immutable provides is a solution that combines ease of use, security and transparency.
In recent years, many entrepreneurial teams in the industry have explored blockchain games and Layer 2 expansion. While we have seen some alleviation in the congestion problems in blockchain games in the Ethereum network, there are still very few well-known projects that have emerged in the process. For example, when it comes to blockchain games, the first thing we think of is Axie Infinity, which promotes P2E gameplay but when it comes to the Layer 2 expansion plan, Immutable has become the spotlight.
In the above, we mentioned Immutable X, the first NFT layer 2 solution on Ethereum, but what many people don’t know is that the core team of Immutable X are from the renowned blockchain game company: Gods Unchained. During the bear market of 2019, the team set a record of 400ETH income in 5 days, selling more than 4 million NFT game cards during the public test stage. Recently, Gods Unchained launched on the Jumpstart platform of OKEx. During the development process of Gods Unchained, with the increasing number of game users, the congestion problem and expensive transactions on the Ethereum chain drew attention to the team. They began to work on the expansion of Layer 2 specifically for GameFi (NFT).
As the leader of the team, Immutable’s co-founder and president Robbie Ferguson graduated from University of Sydney with a double degree in computer science and law. He has 5 years of extensive experience in the blockchain industry, and has a deep understanding on layer 2 expansion. His early entry into blockchain gaming coupled with his experienced team naturally made Immutable stand out from the many Layer 2 entrepreneurial teams dedicated to solving the congestion problem on the Ethereum network.
In 2018, Immutable received USD 2.4 million in seed round led by Nirvana Capital and Continue Capital, followed by Coinbase and Sora Ventures. In 2019, Immutable raised 15 million in series A led by Naspers and Galaxy Digital. Reinventure and the U.S. private investment company Apex Capital. In 2021, Immutable raised 60 million in a Series B round led by BITKRAFT Ventures and King River Capital, followed by Aves Lair and other investors.
Immutable’s underestimated potential: A gate to unlimited traffic in the Metaverse
When the most popular GameFi Project Axie Infinity faced heavy congestion and high fees on the Ethereum network, the team developed the side chain Ronin. Since the launch of Ronin, they were able to ease congestion of the Axie games allowing their platform to host more than 1 million daily active users and an average daily transaction volume of up to 33 million U.S. dollars. To put Immutable’s potential into perspective, Immutable X’s Layer 2 expansion solution is understood that its TPS is as high as 9000+, which means Immutable X consumes less than 30% of the Ethereum capacity, and can handle hundreds of millions of user transactions every day.
On September 23, Uri Kolodny, co-founder and CEO of StarkWare, a zero-knowledge proof technology development company, tweeted that the NFT Layer-2 solution Immutable processed more than 8 million transactions on StarkEx. In addition, the popular NFT project ECOMI also announced at the end of September that it will begin migrating its digital collection platform VeVe to Immutable X in the next few weeks. Immutable X has been recognized by the market due to its speed, ease of use and low gas cost. As NFT projects continue to migrate to Immutable X, its role as an important infrastructure for NFT and GameFi 2.0 as the super traffic portal of the Metaverse will become more obvious.
“The development of the blockchain industry is equivalent to the Internet at the end of the 20th century. As long as you have some level of understanding of the history of the Internet, you can agree with me that user traffic is the key pillar of the industry. Hence, we believe that Immutable’s future potential is limitless. This is also an important factor why Aves lair invested in Immutable.”