Coinbase has introduced the mainnet for Base, its Ethereum layer-2 network, with the aim of fostering the development of numerous decentralized applications (dApps). The launch event, named Onchain Summer, spans a month and marks the culmination of months of development. The response has been promising, as the ecosystem has seen a surge in value, with over $142 million locked in, signifying a 52% rise compared to the preceding week leading up to the launch, according to Dune Analytics.
Jesse Pollak, Coinbase’s Senior Director of Engineering, expressed enthusiasm regarding the pre-launch interest in Base, stating, “I think it’s incredibly exciting that there’s been so much energy and appetite for folks to come and use Base, even before we publicly launched.”
Big Brands & Onchain Summer
As a prelude to the mainnet launch of Base, Coinbase has collaborated with renowned brands such as Coca-Cola, Atari, OpenSea, Pixelmon, and Showtime to conduct daily mints of on-chain collectibles. These mints will encompass diverse themes like art, music, gaming, and advocacy, building anticipation for the August 9 mainnet launch as part of “Onchain Summer.”
Pollak views Base’s launch as a step toward a grander plan of bringing millions of new users onto the blockchain, emphasizing the need to showcase the versatility of the technology beyond cryptocurrencies. This endeavor is highlighted by the availability of more than 100 dApps upon Base’s launch, some of which were crafted by developers granted early access to the blockchain the previous month.
Is a Native Token Possible?
In contrast to other layer-2 networks such as Arbitrum and Optimism, Coinbase intends to abstain from introducing native tokens to Base. Pollak asserts that native tokens could distort the network’s intended purpose and focus on nurturing developers. He elucidated, “We want folks to see Base as kind of an opportunity for growth and expansion, but we also think it’s really important that we incubate, and curate a Base native community where folks who are really building base first, and creating for this new kind of world.”
Coinbase’s decision to forgo issuing a token might also be a strategic move to avoid potential regulatory challenges, especially considering the ongoing legal issues. Pollak expressed confidence that the recent lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Coinbase for alleged unlicensed securities exchange operations would not disrupt Base’s progress, as it pertains to aspects outside the SEC’s concerns.
In the wake of the SEC labeling Solana’s SOL token a security, there was a lively debate on Crypto Twitter regarding a possible hard fork. However, this debate hasn’t significantly impacted Solana developers’ focus, with a key developer stating, “I work on the largest Solana project, with more than 10 developers, and nobody is discussing [a hard fork].”
Pollak reiterated that Coinbase’s pursuit of fostering the ecosystem is distinct from the questions posed by the SEC about token regulations. He expressed optimism about evolving crypto regulations, believing that legislative and judicial changes will provide clearer regulatory guidance in the future.