What is Base? Coinbase’s Layer 2 Blockchain Network
26 Oct 2023 by Harry Newman 3 min read
What is Base? Coinbase’s Layer 2 Blockchain Network

What is Base?

Base is an open-source, decentralised, permissionless blockchain that operates on top of Ethereum’s blockchain processing transactions off the mainnet.

Base was built with the hopes of an open ecosystem for millions of new decentralised apps. 

It is built on Optimism, a Layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum using Optimism’s OP Stack, which is a standardised, shared and open-source developer toolkit with the aim to create a network of chains that share bridging, decentralised governance, upgrades to the network and much more. 

Base has a few benefits to developers and users of the blockchain, these include:

  • Reduced gas fees

  • Faster transaction speeds

  • Improved efficiency and scalability

Coinbase has made it clear that Base will not have its own token and they have no plans to issue a network token for Base, instead, they will use ETH as the native gas token. 

Base acts as a bridge that brings users on-chain and enables them to access other ecosystems such as Bitcoin, Solana and other Layer 1’s & 2’s, creating an open ecosystem that could onboard the next 1 Billion users.

What does the future hold for Base?

Base targets the Ethereum developer community as well as Coinbase’s user base; of around 100 million users. 

Coinbase will be the sole operator of Base, which allows them to collect fees and any further potential revenue which can be invested into Coinbase or improving the Base chain.

Base has a range of decentralised applications it will work with, these include apps like Sushiswap and NFT marketplaces such as Magic Eden, developers would be enticed to work on Base as it will give access to their massive user base where not all users may have used DeFi products before. 

The interoperability that Base has with other blockchains makes it an easy-to-use default on-chain experience where you have access to products on other chains.

Base offers the best of Ethereum at a significantly reduced cost, thanks to its roll-up architecture, a scaling solution for blockchains to help with efficiency and speed.

There are over $130 Billion in assets on the platform and a wide variety of dApps and integrations within the Base ecosystem, an extensive list can be found here.

The end goal is for Base to be fully decentralised, however, this will be a gradual transition. Decision-making for the Base network in the future will be done through decentralised governance, with Coinbase providing services and products that are built on top of Base and not the decision-maker for the blockchain. 

Final Thoughts 

Despite Base being a very new Layer 2 network, the potential it has for the future is promising. The number of existing users on Coinbase and the many more they will onboard in the future will all have exposure to Base at some stage this shows that Base is a network that is here to stay. 

The number of dApps that are on Base will only grow as more developers use the network where users will benefit from the interoperability between blockchains helping to increase adoption and innovation. 

The Base blockchain is 10x cheaper than Ethereum and also benefits from all of Ethereum’s features which makes it an attractive blockchain to work on. 

How well it performs in the future remains to be seen.  

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This article is intended for educational purposes and is not financial advice.