Base – the highly anticipated layer-2 network of popular digital currency exchange Coinbase – is now live and has been available for public trading since August 9.
Coinbase Allows Base to Go Live
Jesse Pollak – the lead for Base and the head of protocols at Coinbase – explained in a recent podcast that the network underwent a lengthy period on the test net between February and July of this year. He commented:
We’ve reached a point where we felt there was a critical mass, and we wanted to turn on this thing for everyone.
Base will also feature a program called the On-Chain Summer initiative, which will see it partner with several leading (and big-name) brands like Atari and Coca-Cola. Overall, roughly 50 brands, platforms, creators, and marketplaces will take part in the new system. Pollak said:
If you look at use cases, people are building to bring media, music, food, and games on-chain. Just in the last six to nine months, the breadth and diversity of use cases has started to become mind-boggling, alongside other things you might expect like payments, stable coins, and messaging.
Since the end of the test net period in July, several developers have launched smart contracts on Base and tested the chain out for themselves. Base has, thus far, garnered more than $68 million worth of ether and seen over $200 million in trades. This is largely due to meme coin action involving BALD and related tokens. Pollak said:
My first reaction was, ‘This is crypto. Of course, this is happening.’ Was this in our plans? Absolutely not. We’ve been focused on builders, and that’s who we remain focused on… But because Base is an open, permission-less ecosystem, you’re going to see people build all sorts of things, and that’s OK. That’s the beauty of crypto.
Overall, he expects to see on-chain activity grow exponentially in the coming weeks and months. He concluded by saying that the network is going to be partnering with a company called Prop House to offer close to $200K in grants to developers seeking to build on Base. He said:
We’re excited to see other applications stand up alongside this activity happening organically.
How Will the Lawsuit Affect Things?
All this sounds exciting and dandy except that Base, at the end of the day, is still a division of Coinbase, which is being subjected to a harsh lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The agency has filed suit against the company, claiming it’s been operating as a unlicensed exchange-broker since its inception.
Several Coinbase executives say they were shocked to hear that a lawsuit was coming given that, according to their past statements, they met with several representatives of the SEC over a nine-year period to ensure they were always in compliance.