What is Base?

Base is a secure, low-cost, builder-friendly Ethereum Layer 2 (L2) built to bring the next billion users on-chain. Base aims to make Ethereum accessible and scalable for decentralized applications while maintaining the security of the Ethereum mainnet blockchain.

An Ethereum Layer 2

As an Ethereum L2, Base inherits the stability and security of Ethereum while providing increased scalability. Ethereum suffers from congestion and high gas fees, limiting adoption. L2s like Base help scale Ethereum by handling transactions off-chain and settling on Ethereum periodically.

Base users can leverage Ethereum's large developer ecosystem, assets, and infrastructure while benefiting from Base's improvements. Dapps can deploy Solidity smart contracts seamlessly, and users can bridge ETH and ERC-20 tokens from Ethereum L1 to Base L2.

Low Fees, Full EVM Compatibility

Base replicates Ethereum's Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) environment while reducing fees significantly. Ethereum gas fees regularly exceed $10 per transaction, pricing out many users. In contrast, Base offers EVM execution for just pennies per transaction.

Base's EVM equivalence means existing Ethereum tools, codebases, and architectures function out-of-the-box. Developers can build dapps on Base like any other EVM chain without modifications.

Early Access to Ethereum Features

As an L2, Base can experiment with bleeding-edge Ethereum tech before it hits Ethereum mainnet. For example, Base offers early support for Ethereum Account Abstraction (EIP-4337) and meta-transactions.

Account Abstraction simplifies key management by separating end-user addresses from contract deployment addresses. Meta-transactions allow contracts to subsidize gas fees for users, making dapps gasless from the user's perspective.

Open Source via the OP Stack

Base's core technology is the OP Stack, an open-source framework developed by Optimism. Base contributes to the OP Stack alongside Optimism to make it a public good usable by any project.

The MIT-licensed OP Stack handles sequencing, cross-rollup communication, and consensus for L2s. Using a shared stack improves interoperability between chains and reduces duplicate work for L2 teams.

Scaled by Coinbase

As part of Coinbase, Base can leverage the company's massive user base and fiat onramps. Base makes it easy to integrate Coinbase's identity, custody, and payment services.

Coinbase's over 100 million verified users potentially bring tremendous reach and liquidity to Base dapps. Direct fiat onramps via Coinbase simplify access for mainstream users.

Significantly Cheaper than Ethereum

Base's rollup architecture compresses transactions from L1, leading to fees up to 10x lower than Ethereum L1. For comparison, sending ETH costs $0.50+ on Ethereum but just $0.05 on Base.

These low fees open up new on-chain use cases including micropayments, NFT minting, and complex smart contracts. High Ethereum fees currently restrict these to whales and institutions.

Empowered by Coinbase & Optimism

Base combines the strengths of Coinbase and Optimism. Coinbase contributes institutional-grade security, fiat onramps, and distribution. Optimism's OP Stack enables scalability and interoperability.

Together they allow Base to be secure, accessible, and scalable. Base inherits the security of Ethereum and Coinbase's custody. Meanwhile, seamless fiat ramps and the large Coinbase user base provide accessible onboarding. Optimism's OP Stack offers scalability via rollups.

The end result is an L2 poised for mainstream adoption while maintaining decentralization and permissionless innovation.

Making Ethereum Accessible

The vision behind Base is making Ethereum and Web3 available to the next billion users. Today high fees and poor user experience limit Ethereum adoption.

Base tackles these issues through an L2 scaling approach. The result is an Ethereum environment with a smooth onboarding experience via Coinbase and negligible transaction fees.

While Base is currently centralized under Coinbase, plans are in place to progressively decentralize governance in coming years. This balances the need for an immediately usable product with the ideals of permissionless innovation and censorship resistance underpinning Web3.

Conclusion

In summary, Base is an Ethereum L2 scaling solution developed collaboratively by Coinbase and Optimism. It combines the institutional-grade security and accessibility of Coinbase with the open innovation of public blockchain.

For developers, Base offers EVM compatibility, early feature access, and open source foundations. For users, Base provides easy onboarding and negligible fees. Together these attributes make Base a promising platform for taking Ethereum mainstream while staying true to its decentralized ethos.

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