The Basics of BASE Blockchain
Base is a Layer 2 blockchain network built on Ethereum' that provides a safe, low-cost, and developer-friendly way to build on-chain. Base is built on OP Stack together with Optimism, and it's being incubated inside of Coinbase.
Coinbase's Layer 2 blockchain, Base (website), just went live. Despite no blue chip DeFi projects launching on it at the moment. At present, the user interface of the Base bridge isn't even live. Instead, a proxy contract is in use. This involves users sending Ethereum to an address and receiving Ethereum on Base in return. On top of that there are no stables available on Base.
Even though there isn't much on Base, Base gained attention due to the meme coin Bald. This coin, despite having no utility, managed to astound the market by achieving a market cap of over 90 million. The coin was named "Bald" because the CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, is bald. Bald achieved a 90 million market cap because the creator of Bald provided over 40 million in liquidity. But to nobody's surprise Bald was rug pulled, with the creator walking away with over 3000 ETH in profit. While the chain is currently filled with honeypots and memecoins, Base has the potential to be a bridge for institutions.
The aim of this article is to offer a straightforward and easy-to-understand introduction to Base. This article seeks to simplify Base, making it more comprehensible for developers and users alike, and showcasing its potential as a gateway into the crypto economy. Whether you're a developer interested in building on Base or a user curious about its offerings, this article will equip you with a thorough understanding of Base and its potential contributions to the crypto space.
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Base is a Layer 2 blockchain network built on Ethereum' that provides a safe, low-cost, and developer-friendly way to build on-chain. Base is built on OP Stack together with Optimism, and it's being incubated inside of Coinbase. The plan is to progressively decentralize the chain over time. Base plans to be a fully decentralized platform that is incubated inside Coinbase, leveraging the company's experience in building crypto products.
Base is designed to be an open ecosystem, seeded with Coinbase products, users, and assets, and it aims to be a bridge for users into the crypto economy. It also provides seamless Coinbase product integrations, easy fiat onramps, and powerful acquisition tools, enabling developers to serve the 110 million verified users and $80 billion+ assets in the Coinbase ecosystem.
Base will allow for the secure building of multichain applications with easy-to-use bridges. Base is built with the security and scalability needed to power decentralized apps, leveraging the underlying security of Ethereum along with Coinbase’s best practices.
Base is being incubated by Coinbase. The team propelling Base is going to be a diverse group of experienced developers, entrepreneurs, and builders from Coinbase. They're utilizing their decade of experience in crafting crypto products to shape Base's development. Notably, Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, the founders of Coinbase, have significantly influenced Base's evolution.
Despite launching at the end of July, the total value bridged on Base has reached over $82 million, with over 44,000 ETH transferred. Furthermore, Base has attracted over 100,000 unique users, indicating its growing popularity and adoption as a Layer 2 solution for Ethereum.
Since its inception Coinbase has attracted 75 investors, including notable names like ARK Investment Management and adm VENTURES. Furthermore, it has forged partnerships with a wide array of companies. These partners span various sectors, including asset issuers, portfolio and trading tools, Dapps, merchants, web services, algo traders, and other developers. Currently, Coinbase has expressed no plans to issue a new network token for Base. However, for Base to garner attention from the public, a token will be necessary. Without a token, the appeal of Base will be limited, as the potential for speculation, which often drives interest in new platforms, would be non-existent.
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The OP Stack is a robust technology that fuels both Optimism, Base and any other blockchain that wants to use the OP Stack. As an open-source solution, it's designed to scale Ethereum by fostering a strong and interoperable web3 ecosystem. Its core principles of decentralization, permissionless-ness, and openness make it an ideal foundation for Base.
One of Base's key innovations is its capacity to manage a surge in data-intensive transactions, such as contract deployments. This was put to the test during the Base Builder Quests campaign, which led to a significant increase in contract deployments on the Base testnet. The Base team successfully identified and addressed the issue, implementing changes that boosted the throughput of the batcher by up to five times. This enhancement is vital for maintaining the speed of transactions and withdrawals on exchanges that depend on an up-to-date safe block.
As for how Base operates, it works by batching L2 blocks and writing them to L1. While this process is efficient under normal circumstances, it can encounter difficulties during a surge in data-intensive transactions. To tackle this, the Base team introduced an improved compression implementation and the ability to submit multiple batcher transactions per L1 block, rather than just one at a time. These modifications have significantly enhanced the scalability of both Base and the OP Stack.
The future of the Base blockchain is intertwined with a collective vision of a "Superchain" - a network of numerous rollups, each serving as a hub for different ecosystems. These rollups are anticipated to enhance their interoperability over time, collectively scaling Ethereum. Base's development journey commenced with OP Labs, the inaugural core developer of the OP Stack, through the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 4844. This collaboration created a mutual vision for scaling Ethereum. Upon the introduction of EIP4844 in 2022, both Coinbase and OP Labs identified it as an element needed for Ethereum to facilitate Layer 2 solutions, which could yield cost savings of 10-100x, thereby making the crypto economy more accessible to mainstream users.
Base is set to collaborate with the Optimism Collective, the DAO governing Optimism, to design and construct a protocol capable of sequencing numerous Layer 2 solutions. This will enable interoperability and composability between them via the OP Stack, aiming to expedite the development and decentralization of the Superchain and the OP Stack. As the second Layer 2 solution deployed on the OP Stack, following Optimism Mainnet, Base plans to be an integral part of the Superchain. It aims to integrate Coinbase’s on-chain products and user base into the Superchain ecosystem, thereby increasing activity and enabling Coinbase users to seamlessly interact with Dapps and transfer assets across the ecosystem. Base is also dedicated to contributing to the Superchain by allocating a percentage of the transaction fees it earns to the Optimism Collective. This will help fund the core public goods infrastructure of both the Superchain and the broader crypto economy.
Looking ahead, Base and Optimism Mainnet plan to operate as independent Layer 2 solutions, each offering a range of products for the crypto economy, such as swaps and lending. However, certain use cases may be better suited for deployment on either Optimism Mainnet or Base, providing developers with the flexibility to choose the Layer 2 solution that best fits their needs.
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The Base Blockchain, built on the innovative OP Stack, is an advancement in the Ethereum ecosystem as a Layer 2 solution. The OP Stack's technology, aimed at creating a strong and unified web3 ecosystem, lays a firm foundation for Base. This allows Base to provide a secure, affordable, and user-friendly platform, marking it as a potential turning point in the crypto world.
Though still in its early stages, Base has bridged over $80 million, showcasing remarkable growth and acceptance. However, this success has faced challenges, such as the recent collapse of the meme coin Bald. Despite reaching a market cap of over 90 million, Bald was abruptly rug pulled, highlighting the risks and uncertainties in the crypto landscape.
The future for Base appears bright. As a new ecosystem, it's set to host new dApps, including lending protocols, DEXes, and launchpads. These additions will expand Base's capabilities and foster its growth as a Layer 2 solution for Ethereum.
For those interested by new ecosystems and eager to learn how to engage with them, our ecosystem playbook offers valuable insights. It's a guide on how to approach a new ecosystem.
Disclaimer: Nothing on this site should be construed as a financial investment recommendation. It’s important to understand that investing is a high-risk activity. Investments expose money to potential loss.