- Coinbase has launched Base, a Layer 2 Network on Ethereum, which will serve as a bridge for crypto users between Layer 1 blockchain networks.
- Base will offer a low-cost, secure, developer-friendly environment for developers to build dApps.
- The Layer 2 network will be launched without a native token.
Coinbase released the testnet of an Ethereum Layer 2 network named Base on Thursday. The Base is expected to deliver the security and scalability of Ethereum at a fraction of the cost for anyone, anywhere, to create decentralized apps or “dApps” on-chain.
Among the major principles guiding its development is “A bridge, not an island.” The Base will serve as a bridge that provides users in the crypto industry with access to other L1 ecosystems while enabling interoperability between chains. The blog post by Coinbase stated:
“We’re designing Base to provide easy, secure access to Ethereum L1, other L2s, and other L1 ecosystems like Solana. We encourage them to start on Base but go everywhere: we see Base as a “bridge” for users into the crypto economy. “
While Base is intended to be a decentralized platform, it has begun by being incubated in Coinbase. However, the crypto exchange plans on developing it towards complete decentralization in the coming years. As such, Coinbase shared its approach to achieving decentralization, where it aspires to progress Base from Stage 0 rollup to Stage 1 rollup in 2023. It also hopes to attain a significant level of decentralization and trustlessness using Vitalik’s recommended milestones.
Coinbase also stated that Base would be “fully open source and freely available.” Base will be built on OP stack in conjunction with Optimism to make that possible. Coinbase will also join the Core Dev team working on the OP Stack to ensure it is made public for everyone.
To help developers onboard and develop dApps on Base, Coinbase has established the Base Ecosystem Fund. The funds will be used to invest in projects built on Base and support them in their early stages. However, projects must meet some preset requirements to be eligible for funding.
During the launch, Jesse Pollak, Senior Director of Engineering at Coinbase, invited everyone to join the ecosystem, adding that:
“What will be required of us to make this successful is to continue to double down on those values of decentralization, open source, and having this be for everyone and a bridge that connects our users into the crypto economy and brings them to places they can go that isn’t controlled by Coibase but can offer them valuable experiences.”
No native token
Unlike most layer two networks, Base will be launched without a native token. Tokens on networks are used to pay for gas fees and encourage development and adoption. However, Pollak disagreed with the notion that tokens are necessary for the progress of a network, saying:
“We’ve seen a lot of people use tokens to drive activity. But our thesis is that tokens are not the only way to drive activity. Building great products is a great way of driving activity by making things useful.”
The base is joining the rapidly growing world of Layer 2 networks, with many in the industry attempting to lower gas fees and quicken transactions over the blockchain. The top networks are Arbitrum and Optimism, which account for 53% and 31% of the Layer 2 market share, respectively.
Notably, both Arbitrum and Optimism launched without native tokens.
Down the line, Optimism developed a governance token that it airdropped to the earliest adopters of the networks. Arbitrum, on the other hand, has been speculated to release its token for a while now.