Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has launched the testnet for Base, its own Ethereum layer-2 network that was built using Optimis’s OP Stack, the company said in a blog post on 23 February.
According to the announcement, the Base network will not issue its own token and was designed to act as a bridge for users into the crypto economy, giving them easy and secure to interact with other layer-2 networks such Optimism, and even providing them with access to other layer-1 ecosystems like Solana. Base will also make it easy to build decentralized apps (dApps) with access to Coinbase’s products, users, and tools. Coinbase’s VP of engineering, Will Robinson, said in the blog post:
“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. Our goal with Base is to make onchain the next online and onboard 1B+ users into the cryptoeconomy. In pursuit of this goal, Base will serve as both a home for Coinbase’s onchain products and an open ecosystem where anyone can build.”
Coinbase also revealed that it will be joining Optimism as a core developer on the open-source OP Stack — a developer toolking for compatible blockchain layer-2 networks created by Optimism — which Base was built on top of. Coinbase noted that it joined the OP Stack core dev team to ensure that the Base network will be “fully open source and freely available” to everyone. Altough the network will start off as highly centralized, Coinbase released detailed plans on how Base will be decentralized over time.
The goal of Base is to become an easy-to-use network that will encourage new crypto users to “start on Base, but go everywhere”. In order to attract new developers to Base, Coinbase and Coinbase Ventures will also launch the Base Ecosystem Fund that will provide investments and support early-stage projects that build on Base and meet predetermined criteria.