Trader Turns $500 to Million-Dollar Fortune With BALD Meme Coin on Coinbase’s Blockchain

A meme coin frenzy has ensued on Coinbase’s layer 2 blockchain even as the network is not officially live yet.

AccessTimeIconJul 31, 2023 at 9:18 a.m. UTC
Updated Jul 31, 2023 at 2:35 p.m. UTC

The lack of a two-way token bridge, a clunky decentralized exchange (DEX) experience, and a network being closed to the public have not deterred crypto traders from finding their way to Coinbase’s layer 2 blockchain in the hopes of unearthing a fortune.

Base, built by crypto exchange Coinbase on OP Stack, launched its testnet in January and opened to builders in mid-July basis the submission of applications to Base. Traction was scant, so far, as only a few DEXs went live on Base.

The tides shifted late on Saturday. Crypto Twitter user @cheatcoiner seemed to first tweet about meme coin bald (BALD) – funded by coinbase staked ether (cbETH) – on Base network, stating they picked up 2% of the supply.

Such tweets are commonly known as “calls” colloquially – mostly made up of influencers hyping up tokens only to dump them on unsuspecting followers at higher prices. The use of cbETH quickly gave rise to speculative among crypto trading circles about the token likely created being issued by someone at Coinbase.

What followed was a bull market speedrun: In less than six hours, bald tokens amassed a $50 million market capitalization as their popularity picked up among trading circles. It ran up to $85 million capitalization late on Sunday - netting @cheatcoiner over $1.4 million from an initial $500 investment.

From issuance to peak, the price rise was a 4,000,000% surge.

BALD market liquidity quickly piled on as the developer of bald tokens kept adding more ether to a liquidity pool that traded bald against ether. As of Monday, the trading pair holds over $32 million in liquidity and has surpassed $100 million in volumes.

As such, @Cheatcoiner wasn’t the only lottery winner. Blockchain sleuth Lookonchain said Monday that four crypto wallet addresses transferred a cumulative 0.534 ether, or just over $1,0000, to buy 50 million BALD within 4 mins of the token’s issuance.

These addresses – likely insider wallets connected to the developer – sold 37 million $BALD for 554 ether as trading volumes picked up, netting $1 million in less than a day.

How much of these gains make their way out of Base remains to be seen, however. As of Monday, there is only a one-directional way to move funds over to Base from Ethereum, with no official support for the other way.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.