What is Base?

  • Base is an Ethereum-based Layer 2 blockchain developed by Coinbase to address scalability and cost challenges faced by major blockchains like Ethereum.
  • Base is designed as a standard, modular, rollup agnostic Superchain, providing a user-friendly platform for developers to create Web3 apps with enhanced scalability and reduced gas fees.
  • Powered by Coinbase, Base provides access to the exchange’s suite of products, user base, and tools, bridging the gap between the CeFi and DeFi world.

The world of cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance (DeFi) has been evolving rapidly, with innovative solutions emerging to address the scalability and cost issues faced by major blockchain networks like Ethereum.

One such groundbreaking solution is “Base,” an Ethereum-based blockchain developed by Coinbase as a Layer 2 (L2) network. Base aims to provide a secure, low-cost, and developer-friendly environment for building decentralized applications (DApps) while leveraging the advantages of Ethereum’s security and decentralization. This article explores the intricacies of Base, its features, and the reasons behind Coinbase’s decision to build a new blockchain instead of adopting existing Layer 2 networks.

The Genesis of BASE

Coinbase, as one of the largest and most prominent centralized crypto exchanges in North America, recognized the need for a scalable blockchain solution to cater to its massive user base. In response, they unveiled Base as a highly anticipated Optimistic Ethereum-based Layer 2 chain. Base’s foundation lies in the Optimism scaling solution, which aims to address the Ethereum blockchain’s trilemma of scalability, security, and decentralization.

A Standard, Modular, Rollup Agnostic Superchain

BASE sets itself apart from conventional Layer 2 networks by aspiring to become a “standard, modular, rollup agnostic Superchain.” Leveraging existing blockchain technologies and Coinbase’s decade-long experience in building crypto products, Base offers a user-friendly and secure environment for developers to build web3 apps. As an EVM-compatible blockchain, Base provides the benefits of Ethereum’s security while overcoming its scalability issues, such as high gas fees and low throughput.

Powering Web3 with Coinbase’s Support

One of Base’s unique advantages is its association with Coinbase. Being powered by Coinbase, Base provides developers with access to the exchange’s vast product suite, user base, and essential tools. The streamlined Coinbase product integration, along with simplified fiat onramps, allows Base to appeal to both existing Coinbase users and newcomers, offering them a gateway to the world of DeFi.

Advancing Towards Decentralization

While Base is incubated within Coinbase, the ultimate vision is to gradually make the blockchain more decentralized over time. Currently, Base operates on a centralized Stage 0 rollup, but the roadmap involves advancing to Stage 1 and Stage 2 rollups in 2023 and 2024, respectively. Base aims to create an open and decentralized platform, leveraging Optimism’s OP Stack as the underlying technology and fostering a vibrant community of like-minded developers to drive the web3 movement forward.

BASE vs. Other Layer 2 Networks

The decision to build Base instead of opting for an existing L2 network reflects Coinbase’s strategic vision. The exchange believes that the future of L2 will consist of multiple active networks functioning as “hubs” for different ecosystems, gradually becoming more interoperable to form a “mesh” or “superchain” that scales Ethereum as a whole. Base will be designed to be interoperable with other EVM-compatible chains, fostering a more expansive and interconnected Ethereum ecosystem.

Building on BASE: The Developer’s Perspective

Developers will find BASE an attractive platform for building on-chain solutions due to its EVM compatibility, low transaction fees, and easy-to-use bridges for multi-chain applications. Base’s feature-rich and affordable platform opens up new possibilities for developers to create scalable web3 apps while maintaining Ethereum’s core advantages of security and decentralization.

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