Coinbase Joins the Superchain: Launches Ethereum L2 Solution

Ethereum receives more layer-2 scaling, as Coinbase launches Base, an interoperable L2 scaling solution built on the open-source OP stack.

Base landing page

Coinbase has ventured into the Superchain, announcing its scaling solution, Base, on February 23, 2023. Base is an interoperable layer 2 (L2) Ethereum scaling solution built on OP stack, the open-source software that powers the Optimism Superchain. And it's at the testnet phase at the time of writing. An announcement of the launch also appeared in a tweet by Coinbase the same day.

Coinbase, the power behind the Base network, is the largest crypto exchange platform in the US, recording 103 million users in 2022—according to the BanklessTimes.

In a statement released by Base on Mirror, Base is a product of Coinbase's shared vision of a Superchain with its collaborators, including OP Labs, and Optimism Collective, the DAO behind Optimism Mainnet.

According to the release document, Base is the second OP stack-based layer 2 solution to launch on the Ethereum network after Optimism Mainnet, which launched in 2021.

The collective goal of Coinbase and Optimism Collective is to achieve an interoperable L2, where Ethereum becomes super-accessible to everyone on-chain.

Base further says, "That’s why we are working with OP Labs and the Optimism Collective on a plan to scale Ethereum in a decentralized way. Our vision is to create a robust developer ecosystem of interoperable L2s and rollups that will help onboard the next billion users into web3."

Since Base is permissionless and open, it provides the flexibility to build at scale. Invariably, builders can develop Superchain-based DApps at low cost with little complexities.

In its tweet, Coinbase developed Base to improve the crypto-economy and contribute its quota to Ethereum's scaling.

Base has some attractive features that make it a valuable tool for web 3.0 developers. As extracted from its release document:

"We’re launching Base, an Ethereum Layer 2 (L2) network offering a secure, low-cost, developer-friendly way to build decentralized apps or “dapps” onchain. Base is designed to deliver the security and scalability of Ethereum at a fraction of the cost. It is built on the OP Stack so that it can remain decentralized, permissionless, and open to anyone."

Some core features of Base include:

  1. Extensibility of Ethereum's security and scalability.
  2. Interoperability with Coinbase, Ethereum L1, and other L2 solutions.
  3. It offers access to the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM) at a fraction of its cost.
  4. Early access to gasless transaction APIs, smart contract wallet APIs, and Account Abstraction (ERC4337).
  5. Open-source, scalable, and flexible.
  6. It offers easy access to the Coinbase ecosystem and support for Coinbase integration.

Since Base is part of the scalabilities added to the Ethereum network, the network solution is expected to be at least ten times faster than L1 Ethereum.

However, Base says potential builders can mint a free "Base Introduced" NFT on Zora to celebrate the launch. So you might want to add that to your NFT bag if the new Ethereum L2 scale interests you.