In late February, Coinbase announced the launch of their own Layer-2 (L2) blockchain that is built on top of Ethereum, called Base. Much like Polygon (MATIC), Optimism (OP), and Arbitrum, Base is a scaling solution that harnesses the security of Ethereum’s layer-1 while decreasing transaction costs. In addition, Coinbase is joining as a second core development team on the OP Stack, and Base is in fact the second Layer-2 in the OP Stack (Optimism being the first).
Let’s find out more about Base and what Coinbase hopes to achieve in creating this new network.
Base: An Ethereum Layer-2
Being built on Ethereum means that Base comes with the security and scalability you need to power decentralized apps (Dapps). Base leverages the proven security of Ethereum, along with Coinbase’s best practices, to enable you to confidently on-ramp assets into Base from Coinbase Exchange, Ethereum, and other interoperable chains such as Optimism.
Being tied to Coinbase means that Base makes it easy to build decentralized apps with access to Coinbase’s proven products, numerous users, and tools. This will allow for easy product integrations, fiat on-ramps, and powerful acquisition tools. This helps enable developers to serve the 110M+ verified users and to access $80 billion in assets already within the Coinbase ecosystem.
Base offers full Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) functionality at a fraction of the cost. Developers can set up gasless transactions for their Dapps with easy to use developer APIs. They can also securely build multi-chain applications with easy to use cryptocurrency bridges.
Base is open source and aims to be decentralized, permissionless, and open to anyone. The overall vision is to create a standard, modular, rollup agnostic blockchain powered by Optimism.
Why is Coinbase Launching Base?
Coinbase wants to advance the crypto economy with Base. As an Ethereum L2 network, Base offers a secure, low-cost, and developer-friendly way to build Dapps. Base is designed to deliver the security and scalability of Ethereum at a fraction of the cost, much like the other aforementioned L2s. Base is built on the Optimism Stack so that it can be decentralized, permissionless, and open to anyone.
Coinbase sees Base as the next step towards their overall mission of increasing economic freedom globally. Base will be the hub for Coinbase’s on-chain products, and an open ecosystem for anyone building Ethereum scaling solutions and Dapps. Base aims to be a seamless gateway for the already 100+ million Coinbase users to access the broader crypto economy and make Web3 more accessible to the exponentially growing crypto community.
Coinbase is working with OP Labs and the Optimism Collective on a plan to scale Ethereum in a decentralized way. The end vision is to create a robust developer ecosystem of interoperable L2s and roll ups that will help another billion users access Web3.
What Will Base Be Capable Of?
The end goal of Base is to further Coinbase’s overall mission of increasing economic freedom globally. Coinbase considers Base to be the 4th phase in their overall goal. The first phase wasn’t theirs, but rather the general launch of blockchain protocols like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The second phase was the launch of Coinbase Exchange which then brought about 10 million users into crypto. As time passed, Coinbase launched other endeavors such as their Coinbase Wallet and integration of numerous other crypto wallets into the Coinbase platform to allow for anyone, anywhere to access this budding crypto economy.
The objective of this final, fourth phase is to build Dapps for an open financial ecosystem of 1 billion people. Coinbase believes that the current existing financial systems need to be recreated on open networks and made globally accessible. That is the end goal of Base, meaning that if successful, Base could be capable of running a large portion of decentralized financial systems.