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Coinbase throws its hat into the Ethereum layer-2 race with the launch of "Base"

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(Kitco News) - Despite the fact that they induce widespread industry layoffs and other cost-cutting measures, crypto winters are for building, and Coinbase has taken that truth to heart with the launch of Base, its in-house developed layer-2 (L2) protocol for the Ethereum network.

The top U.S.-based crypto exchange announced the new L2 on Thursday, saying the protocol offers a “secure, low-cost, developer-friendly way for anyone, anywhere, to build decentralized apps (dapps) onchain.”

Coinbase is looking to make “onchain” the new “online” in a bid to onboard more than a billion new users into the crypto ecosystem. Base will host all onchain products developed by Coinbase and will also serve as an open ecosystem where anyone can build, the exchange said. Unlike many of the L2 protocols currently in existence, Base will have no native token.

“We’re incubating Base inside of Coinbase, leveraging the last decade of our experience building crypto products, and plan to progressively decentralize the chain over time. We have no plans to issue a new network token,” the announcement from Coinbase said.

The major selling point of the new platform is that it offers full Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility while enabling transactions that cost a fraction of the amount required to transact directly on the Ethereum network. Developers can also set up gasless transactions for their dapps using “easy developer APIs for account abstraction, and securely build multichain applications with easy-to-use bridges.”

Base is open source, with a long-term goal of becoming completely decentralized, permissionless, and “open to anyone with the vision of creating a standard, modular, rollup agnostic Superchain powered by Optimism.”

As part of the launch of Base, which is being built on the “OP Stack” used by Optimism, Coinbase joined Optimism as a core dev for the open-source OP stack and continues to work with the organization to expand its community of developers.

“We’re designing Base to provide easy, secure access to Ethereum L1, other L2s, as well as other L1 ecosystems like Solana,” Coinbase wrote. “We encourage them to start on Base, but go everywhere: we see Base as a “bridge” for users into the cryptoeconomy. Along with making Base interoperable with other chains, we will continue supporting as many chains as possible across Coinbase products.”

To go along with the launch of Base, Conbase has also announced the Base Ecosystem Fund, which invests in and supports early-stage products building on Base that meet the exchanges’ investment criteria.

Following the announcement of Base, the price of Optimism (OP) spiked 14.5% to hit a daily high of $3.10 and has since pulled back to support at $2.90, marking a gain of 18% on the 24-hour chart.

Coinbase and IEX look to launch the first federally regulated U.S. crypto exchange

Coinbase adds Euro stablecoin

On Tuesday, Coinbase announced that it was adding support for Euro Coin (EUROC), an Ethereum-based stablecoin that is designed to stay pegged to the Euro.

“Coinbase will add support for Euro Coin (EUROC) on the Ethereum network (ERC-20 token),” the exchange tweeted. “Do not send this asset over other networks or your funds may be lost. Inbound transfers for this asset are available on Coinbase and Coinbase Exchange in the regions where trading is supported.”

In a follow-up tweet, Coinbase said “Trading will begin on or after 9 AM PT on 22 February 2023, if liquidity conditions are met. Once sufficient supply of this asset is established, trading on our EUROC-USD and EUROC-EUR trading pairs will launch in phases.”

The listing of Euro Coin follows statements by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ), who said during a Twitter Spaces AMA on Feb. 14th that investors may start turning to non-U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoins amid an uptick in regulatory scrutiny of Binances’ stablecoin, Binance USD (BUSD).

“I think given the current pressure and current stances taken by the regulators on the US dollar-based stablecoins, I think that the industry will probably move away to a non-US dollar-based stablecoin and maybe also back to algorithmic (algo) stablecoins,” CZ said. “I think as a result of this, we will probably see more Euro-based or Japanese yen, Singapore dollar-based stablecoins. It’s actually prompted us to look for more options in different places.”

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