NFT Platform ImmutableX’s $66M Unlocking Looms, Putting Sell Pressure on IMX Token

ImmutableX, a platform for non-fungible tokens, is set to release $66 million worth of IMX tokens in an unlocking event that will enable early private investors to sell some of their holdings and potentially tank the token’s price.

A total of 110 million IMX, representing more than 5% of the token’s total supply, will be freed from vesting, an ImmutableX spokesperson told CoinDesk.

Vesting stands for a period when investors in a company’s stock or a crypto project’s token cannot sell their assets. As the vesting period expires, the investors are allowed to relinquish their holdings, applying selling pressure to the asset’s price.

The unlocking is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5 at 13:00 UTC, according to the firm.

IMX recently has been trading at 60 cents, meaning these private investors may book a 500% profit on their early investment if they decide to sell.

“We see no concerns surrounding this upcoming unlock, and even if some short-term selling should occur,” Robbie Ferguson, co-founder of Immutable, wrote in an email. “The top 30 IMX holders, representing 85% of the remaining tokens, have committed to holding – many of whom are long-term equity shareholders of Immutable. For remaining IMX private sale holders that do wish to sell, new investors, including Coinbase and Kenetic Capital, have been lined up to absorb any sell pressure.”

TokenUnlocks, a website that tracks crypto token unlockings, sports slightly different data. According to the site, 255 million IMX tokens – more than 12% of the total supply of the token – will be freed from vesting on Nov 5. Some 120 million tokens belong to private investors. The other 135 million are dedicated to project development, which ImmutableX already committed to relocking for at least another year, the spokesperson said.

Some 285 million IMX, 14% of the token’s total supply, were sold in private sales. The first 110 million will be released on Nov. 5. (TokenUnlocks)

ImmutableX enables users to create and trade non-fungible tokens (NFT) cheaper and faster on the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum has been known for its high transaction costs – so-called gas fees – at times when high traffic clogs the network. Video gaming chain store GameStop built its own NFT marketplace using the ImmutableX platform, which went live this week.

The project’s parent company, the Australia-based Immutable, raised $260 million from private investors in venture capital fundraising rounds, including from Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research, Singaporean state investment fund Temasek and Chinese tech giant Tencent.

The soon-to-be released 110 million IMX pertains to investors in a private token sale that occurred before the token appeared on crypto exchanges in November 2021. These investors bought IMX for around 10 cents, per data on CryptoRanks, a cryptocurrency price and analysis site.

Expect volatility

Unlocking events inject volatility into the market, attracting traders’ attention to make money from sudden price swings.

Data shows traders are betting that the price of IMX will fall as the unlocking approaches. Funding rates turned negative on most crypto exchanges, according to Glassdoor, meaning that traders are overwhelmingly positioned for shorting the token, and will be looking to profit from a potential price drop.

Funding rates turned negative on almost all major crypto exchanges. (Coinglass)

Recently, crypto gaming project Axie Infinity endured a massive unlocking event, releasing $215 million of AXS tokens in late October. AXS’ price dropped 24% through the week in anticipation of the unlocking. Then, when Axie started to release the tokens, a short squeeze suddenly pushed the price up 7%, liquidating $1.6 million in short positions.

IMX was recently trading at 60 cents, up 4% in the last 24 hours and 93% down from its record-high price in November 2021, according to CoinGecko.