Coinbase's Much-Hyped New Base Blockchain Draws Modest $10M of Inflows on Launch Day

Nearly $166 million had already flowed to the blockchain ahead of the official launch.

AccessTimeIconAug 10, 2023 at 2:17 p.m. UTC
Updated Aug 10, 2023 at 7:17 p.m. UTC

Inflows to Coinbase’s (COIN) new Base blockchain were muted on the first day after its official launch, failing to meet the expectations of some crypto traders that massive amounts of capital would flow in.

Just over $10 million was bridged, or transferred, to the new blockchain in the past 24 hours, according to data in a Dune Analytics dashboard, with just over 15,000 new users and 40% fewer transactions than Wednesday.

Of that amount, $5.6 million was in the form of ether (ETH), $2.3 million in USD coin (USDC) and the rest was a plethora of alternative cryptocurrencies.

Wallet analysis shows most Base users transferred between $500 to $1,000 worth of ether on average. The biggest wallet to bridge, “0xcc...1763,” has transferred $17 million of tokens.

Base's official launch saw a muted $10 million in token inflows on the first day. (Dune Analytics)
Base's official launch saw a muted $10 million in token inflows on the first day. (Dune Analytics)

Base went live at 12 p.m. ET (16:00 UTC) on Wednesday, marking the first time a publicly traded company has released its own blockchain.

Why the slow day?

A reason for the slow first day could be that most investors who wanted to bridge to Base did so before the official launch — namely, by finding out a deposit address meant for developers and using it to pour money into “sh**coins” instead.

In late July, the issuance of viral meme coin bald (BALD) saw traders jump in ahead of the official launch in the search for outsized returns, sending over $66 million via a one-way bridge to Base.

The lure of meme-coin fortunes — such as BALD, which jumped 4,000,000% before collapsing — in a starved market likely helped Base attract $68 million in ether in less than 48 hours. At the time, Base ended up recording over $200 million in trading volume and more transactions than popular networks such as Arbitrum over the weekend.

Despite outsiders' worries about rug pulls and scams, Coinbase is amping up efforts to draw users to and generate revenue from the new network.

The exchange kicked off “On-chain Summer,” a virtual event, on Wednesday in celebration of Base’s mainnet launch. It features more than 50 brands, including Coca-Cola (KO), Friends With Benefits, a social decentralized autonomous organization and others in events that will run through the end of August.

Coinbase is also encouraging users to transfer their ether to Base in order to mint a free non-fungible token to commemorate the launch of the Base mainnet. According to data from Etherscan, more than 125,000 individuals have minted more than 30 million free NFTs so far.

But do traders want a shiny, rocketing meme coin instead?

Edited by Nelson Wang.


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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.