Coinbase Launches Layer 2 Blockchain Base to Provide On-Ramp for Ethereum, Solana and Others

Base is built on Optimism and Coinbase has no plans to issue a new network token.

AccessTimeIconFeb 23, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 24, 2023 at 3:01 p.m. UTC

Crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) launched Base, a layer 2 network built using Optimism's OP Stack, to attract millions of new crypto users in the coming years. The testnet of Base was started by Coinbase on Thursday.

Coinbase is joining Optimism as a core developer on the open-source OP Stack, a developer toolkit for the Optimism network, the firm said. However, Base will not be limited to Ethereum, it will also provide easy and secure access to layer 2 networks such as Optimism, as well as other blockchains ecosystems like Solana.

“Today, we’re excited to announce the testnet launch of Base, an Ethereum layer 2 (L2) network offering a secure, low-cost, developer-friendly way for anyone, anywhere, to build decentralized apps or “dapps” onchain,” Will Robinson, vice president of engineering at Coinbase, told CoinDesk.“We’re incubating Base inside of Coinbase, leveraging the last decade of our experience building crypto products, and plan to progressively decentralize the chain over time,” Robinson added.

Coinbase has no plans to issue a new network token.

Testnets are testing environments that mimic real-world blockchain usage. Layer 2 refers to separate blockchains built on top of layer 1s, or base, blockchains that reduce bottlenecks with scaling and data and are generally much faster and cheaper.

Coinbase would allow developers to directly integrate their product with Base and provide fiat onramps – targeting an estimated 110 million verified users and $80 billion in assets on the platform in the Coinbase ecosystem.

“We encourage them to start on Base, but go everywhere: we see Base as a “bridge” for users into the cryptoeconomy,” Robinson said. “It’s an easy-to-use default onchain experience with access to products on other chains.”

Meanwhile, Coinbase also announced the Base Ecosystem Fund, which will invest in and supports early-stage projects building on Base that meet predetermined investment criteria.


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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.

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