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Is Base Network the Crypto On-Ramp We've Been Waiting For? (Coinbase Layer-2 Network Analysis)

Hassan Shittu
Hassan Shittu
May 28 at 23:00
Analysis, Base

Get acquainted with Base, the layer 2 scaling solution by Coinbase. We will look at why it's getting traction recently, the pros and cons, as well the adoption perspectives.

Over the last decade, the Web3 ecosystem has experienced exponential growth, driven by the proliferation of decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). This surge in activity has catalyzed more developer engagement and user transactions.

However, Ethereum, the predominant smart contract blockchain network hosting most decentralized applications (dApps), has encountered significant scalability challenges amidst this rapid growth.

Despite ongoing enhancements, Ethereum struggles with network congestion, which results in sluggish transaction speeds and exorbitant fees. Ethereum's scalability constraints present a formidable obstacle to the network's widespread adoption, necessitating solutions capable of facilitating faster transactions, reducing fees, and enhancing user experience.

In response, Ethereum scaling solutions like Coinbase's layer-2 blockchain, Base, have emerged as crucial catalysts for overcoming these barriers. Base provides the security, stability, and scalability necessary to support diverse on-chain applications.

What is Base? And how does it solve Ethereum scalability?

What is Base?

Base is a pioneering Layer-2 (L2) blockchain scaling solution integrated with Coinbase, designed to tackle congestion on the Ethereum Blockchain and elevate its scalability. Developed to improve accessibility and expedite transaction processing, Base maintains Ethereum's security standards while offering approximately ten times lower transaction fees.

Base isn't the only hot L2 blockchain at the moment. Find out more!

Positioned as a "developer-friendly" platform, Base seamlessly aligns with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), simplifying developers' deployment processes without extensive code modifications. Its compatibility with the EVM enables effortless application migration to Base.

Furthermore, Base facilitates seamless asset transfers across Ethereum, Coinbase, and other EVM-compatible chains, promoting interoperability and enhancing user convenience.

In short, Base strives to serve as the gateway to broader Ethereum adoption by providing a faster, more cost-effective, and developer-friendly experience.

Pros and Cons of the Coinbase's Layer 2 Network- Base

Base has arrived, promising lower fees, smoother development, and scalability for the Web3 world. But is it all hype or real? Let's dive into the advantages and challenges to see if Base lives up to the hype and can stay on its promises.

Thriving on the Advantages:

  • Cost-Effective Transactions: The underlying technical mechanism behind Base has significantly reduced transaction costs (Gas Fees), making it easier for older and new users to use the Ethereum blockchain even more.
  • Developer Delight: Base has made development easier for builders. Developers can seamlessly port existing codebases, tap into Coinbase's vast user base and assets, and leverage Base's Optimistic roll-up tech for enhanced scalability. Among the unique capabilities of Base is that it takes transactions off-chain while keeping Ethereum's security blanket.
  • Integration Powerhouse: Base plays nice with others! Integration with top Ethereum platforms like Aave, Chainlink, Etherscan, and Sushi Swap removes roadblocks for developers. Plus, features like Account Abstraction and gasless transaction APIs make deployment a breeze.

Challenges to Consider:

  • Centralization Concerns: Currently, Coinbase is the sole operator of Base's sequencer. Some worries linger as they plan to transition to a decentralized future with community governance.
  • Bridging the Security Gap: Relying on bridges to connect Base with other networks introduces potential vulnerabilities. However, Base is working with the Optimism collective to fortify security measures and minimize hacking risks.
  • No Native Token: Unlike other Layer 2 solutions, Base currently lacks a native token. Gas fees are paid in ETH, raising questions about future incentives for validators in a decentralized Base ecosystem.

The Verdict?

Base offers a compelling package for developers and cost-conscious users. While centralization and security concerns exist, Base's roadmap suggests a commitment to decentralization and collaboration on security.

As Base evolves, the lack of a native token may be addressed to further incentivize validators. Overall, Base is a promising contender in the Layer 2 race, but its ability to navigate these challenges will determine whether it becomes the on-ramp we've all been waiting for.

What is Base bringing to Coinbase?

Coinbase just got a serious upgrade with the launch of Base. This isn't just any new feature; it's a game-changer for both Coinbase and the future of decentralized applications (dApps). Here's how Base is supercharging Coinbase's position in the crypto world:

What Base Brings to Coinbase:

  • DeFi Leverage on Base: Base empowers dApps to flourish by offering essential tools and infrastructure. With easy fiat on-ramps and access to Coinbase's vast user base, dApps within the Base ecosystem are primed for growth, fostering innovation and development within the decentralized space.

Check out the Top Base Chain DeFi Projects of 2024!

  • SocialFi Facilitation: Base is facilitating DeFi and blockchain adoption by spearheading the integration of SocialFi applications with platforms like Friend.Tech is driving a surge in user activity on Base. Friend.Tech's unique model, which monetizes social interactions, has gained significant traction, particularly following the launch of its version 2 platform and the FRIEND token airdrop, valued at an impressive $200 million.
  • Faster Transactions: Base facilitates faster transactions and reduced fees, providing users with a smoother experience than Ethereum's mainnet. Its layer-2 magic significantly lowers transaction costs, making it easier for users to participate in crypto while maintaining Ethereum's security standards.

Base brings many benefits to Coinbase, ranging from enhanced user accessibility to fostering community-driven innovation. By leveraging Coinbase's strengths and integrating seamlessly with its existing user base, Base propels Coinbase to the forefront of blockchain innovation and solidifies its position as a leader in the crypto world.

How Base Is Getting Traction According to Recent Data

Base's remarkable ascent as the leading blockchain for daily transactions among Layer 2 (L2) solutions is a testament to its rapid traction in the market. In April alone, Base experienced an astonishing 239% surge in activity, surpassing its competitors in growth rate and solidifying its position as a powerhouse in the L2 ecosystem.

What's Driving the Surge?

  • A Thriving User Base: Over 360,000 daily active addresses put Base ahead of established players like Arbitrum. Notably, over half of these users are newcomers, demonstrating Base's effectiveness at attracting new blood.

Base Monthly Active Wallets Source: Dune Analytics

  • Dominating Decentralized Finance (DeFi): Surging DEX trading volume and a second-place ranking in stablecoin market cap (with a 548% increase last month!) highlight Base's growing importance in DeFi.

Layer-2 DEX Trading Volume Source: Artemis

  • SocialFi Powerhouse: The popularity of SocialFi apps like Friend.Tech, which processes nearly half of all SocialFi transactions on Base, is fueling user activity. According to Franklin Templeton's analysis, Base handles approximately 46% of all SocialFi transactions.
  • Coinbase Boost: The backing of the largest publicly traded US cryptocurrency exchange has been instrumental in Base's success, enabling it to establish a powerful combination of SocialFi applications and direct integration with Coinbase users. Base has seen a substantial increase in the supply of USDC on its network, surpassing $2.5 billion. This surge coincided with Coinbase's strategic move to offer free USDC transfers on Base via the Coinbase Wallet, signaling efforts to bolster Base's ecosystem and facilitate seamless transactions for users.
  • Investor Confidence: Base's growing traction is further fueled by its increased net ETH deposits, surpassing 6,500 ETH, significantly higher than its competitors Arbitrum and Optimism. This preference for Base suggests investor confidence in its established infrastructure and perceived reliability over competitors.

Base: A Contender for the Top Spot

With a TVL of $5.45 billion, Base sits comfortably as the third-largest Ethereum L2 network. While Arbitrum One and Optimism Mainnet hold the top spots, Base's growth trajectory is undeniable.

Read about the Comparison of Ethereum Layer-2: Arbitrum vs. Optimism

The Future of Base

These achievements underscore Base's unparalleled momentum and unwavering trajectory toward becoming the go-to platform for blockchain scalability solutions. With projections pointing towards continued expansion, Base is poised to redefine the L2 landscape and potentially become the go-to platform for blockchain scalability solutions.

As Base continues to outpace its competitors across key performance metrics, it is poised to redefine the L2 landscape and emerge as the undisputed leader in blockchain scalability solutions.

In summary, Base's exceptional growth, coupled with its ability to attract new users and dominate key metrics, positions it as a transformative force in decentralized finance (DeFi) and blockchain adoption. As it continues on its upward trajectory, Base is set to shape the future of finance and drive the next wave of blockchain innovation.

Disclaimer: The content of this piece reflects the writer's opinion. This article is not intended to provide financial advice and is meant solely for entertainment and educational purposes. Investing in cryptocurrency involves significant risk. Capital is at risk, and returns are not guaranteed. Always conduct your own research.

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