Coinbase no longer wants to be in the business of just selling coins: it wants to onboard a billion people to a crypto-native economy. The role Coinbase sees for itself is that of a portal for users: an environment where they can safely make their first baby steps. Coinbase built a chain tailored for that purpose: Base. What is Base?
Main net launch of Base is expected in the second quarter of 2023. Coinbase doesn’t launch a token and instead opts for a Layer 2 on Ethereum. This means that all transactions on Base eventually settle on Ethereum. A layer 2 can process more transactions than Ethereum itself and at a much lower cost. Examples of existing layer 2's (L2) are Polygon, Arbitrum and Optimism itself. In the case of Base, it is a rollup built on the technology of Optimism.
What is the Difference Between Base and Other L2s?
In the Bankless interview, Coinbase's lead developer Jesse Pollak ducks this question a bit and talks about how the chain will bring developers and users into contact with each other.
In other interviews, he has alluded to lower transaction fees. Pollak has told TechCrunch that in the beginning, Base will have comparable fees to Arbitrum or Optimism, in the 10- to 50-cent range, with plans for it to drop to around 1 cent over the next year.