The biggest US exchange Coinbase is introducing Base, an Ethereum Layer 2 based on Optimism technology. This should bring more than 110 million users closer to Web3. Observers cheer the step.
Base, Coinbase explains , “is an Ethereum Layer 2 (L2) chain that offers secure, cheap, and developer-friendly ways to build onchains.”
Base is a rollup anchored on the Ethereum blockchain that scales thanks to OP Stack, Optimism’s technology. Base is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and thus with all Smart Contacts and tokens, but costs only a fraction of the fees as on Ethereum itself. As an “Optimistic Rollup”, Base Ethereum scales by a factor of 100 to 1000, but requires a certain residual trust in the operator.
Optimism is trying to set itself up as a “superchain” connecting an entire network of L2 and blockchains. A key to this is the OP Stack Codebase, on which Coinbase is now also working as a core developer. The L2 base formed with OP Stack will derive part of the revenue through fees to the collective Optimism treasury to ensure long-term development.
What sets Base apart from the other rollups and sidechains is its integration with the exchange itself. Coinbase sees the rollup as a “key step in bringing Coinbase’s products, users and assets into the decentralized crypto economy.” Decentralized app developers on Base have “access to Coinbase’s products, users and tools.” You can use it to dock onto 110 million verified users and assets worth more than $80 billion.
Base “is the bet that we can help create the next million dApps, which will bring the next billion users,” Senior Director of Engineering Jesse Pollak tells Decrypt magazine, “We think that over the next ten years happens.”
The exchange is initially “incubating” base internally, “using a decade of experience building crypto products.” Only over time will Base become “gradually decentralized”. A native token from Base is currently not planned; Coinbase warns that scammers may try to market such alleged tokens.
Base has been live on the test network since February 23. Coinbase expects the mainnet to follow soon.
Investor Adam Cochran is enthusiastic about Base: “Consistently fantastic! It’s a game changer.” Base is almost ready to bring more than 110 million users to Web3. Because Base integrates “ Account Abstraction” and Coinbase owns users’ KYC data, “they can very easily bring real-world assets onchain and restrict them to approved wallets.”
Fantastic all around.
This is a game changer. L2 testnet, ready to bring web3 to 110M+ users.
EVM equivalence + gasless transactions, APIs, account abstraction and native bridging.
Professional RPC nodes from day one. pic.twitter.com/a0ijGFRLHm
— Adam Cochran (adamscochran.eth) (@adamscochran) February 23, 2023
Real World Assets (RWA) means classic assets such as real estate or government bonds . There have already been many attempts to bring them to blockchains as tokens, but so far they have also failed because such assets cannot be traded anonymously. To tokenize RWA at scale, one must first tokenize or otherwise onchain identity. Again, this could happen faster than expected with Base.