Coinbase, in Uncharted Territory as Public Company Running Blockchain, Pledges Neutrality

The U.S. crypto exchange’s ‘Base Neutrality Principles’ are a series of guidelines aimed at maintaining a decentralized and neutral blockchain, according to a blog post.

AccessTimeIconAug 24, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Aug 24, 2023 at 5:27 p.m. UTC
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Crypto exchange Coinbase released a plan to pursue decentralization and neutrality for its new “Base” blockchain, just weeks after the network went live.

The new framework is known as the “Base Neutrality Principles.” According to a blog post by Coinbase, the principles are meant to align with Optimism's “Law of Chains,” a framework meant to unify various chains built in keeping with the project’s vision for a “Superchain.” (Base is built with technology from Optimism’s OP Stack.)

The release of the plan shows Coinbase’s delicate dance in sponsoring its own blockchain, which is uncharted territory for a publicly traded company; the challenge is to reap the benefits from having an associated network without exerting undue control over it and undermining the purported benefits of decentralization.

The Base Neutrality Principles consists of five standards, and Coinbase has said it will commit to a “set of standards for all OP Stack blockchains and ensure both builders and users can access the neutral and open blockspace of Base.”

The exchange said it will not control the crypto that users bring to Base, nor will it give preference to the order of transactions that occur on the blockchain. Coinbase also pledged not to use private transaction data for marketing purposes and won’t pose any limitations on exiting or withdrawals for users of Base.

The team behind Optimism said in their own blog post that Base’s commitment to the Superchain vision means that Base and OP Mainnet will go through the same upgrades, so that the chains remain compatible. Transactions fees will also be split, and some of it will go to the Optimism Collective through a smart contract.

According to the Optimism, Base users will have the ability to earn up to about 118 million OP tokens (currently worth about $183 million) over a six-year period.

“We want to create a virtuous cycle that ensures sustainable funding for the open-source OP Stack and other public goods that enable Base, thereby creating more innovation and growth,” said Jesse Pollak, the creator of Base, in a blog post.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.

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Margaux Nijkerk

Margaux Nijkerk reports on the Ethereum protocol and L2s. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Emory universities, she has a masters in International Affairs & Economics. She holds a small amount of ETH and other altcoins.


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