Base: Coinbase's New Layer 2 Kicks Off

The Defiant


Jesse Pollak is the creator of Base, which is a Layer 2 scaling solution from Coinbase that launched last week.

Base has quickly become a trending topic this summer, attracting more than $200M of value in its short life. Coinbase is the world’s second-largest crypto centralized exchange by volume, and now it’s moving to the onchain world, so it’s worth watching.

In our conversation, we dive into the origin story of Base, why opt for a Layer 2 and not start a new Layer 1, why go for Optimistic rollups, how Base is unique in the already crowded Layer 2 space, their decentralization road map and more.

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7 Key Takeaways

  1. The vision of building BASE was to create the platform that enables the next million developers to build incredible use cases that are going to bring a billion people onchain.
  2. Across the board, we found that EVM, the Ethereum virtual machine smart contract toolkit was the most adopted toolkit. And the one that folks were building with the most at Coinbase. And then from an ecosystem perspective, Ethereum was the largest, richest, most diverse, and scaled ecosystem of EVM ecosystems.
  3. We have been spending time with the Optimism team through our work on EIP 4844 and it felt like a really strong working relationship. So the technology stack, the open source, decentralization, and team are the four big driving factors for going with Optimism.
  4. BASE is an open-source public good modular technology stack, other folks are able to build components that can plug in and work with it to make it better. That's going to enable us to continually upgrade and improve the underlying infrastructure that's scaling Base, scaling other OP stack chains, and making the whole crypto economy happen.
  5. On-Chain Summer is every day starting on August 9th, all the way through the end of the month. You can find one fun, cool thing to do onchain at onchainsummer. xyz.
  6. EIP 4844 is going to create a new thing called blob space, which is meant for rollups and layers two to post their data. It means it will be priced correctly, and drive down the costs a lot. There's going to be a separate market so the demand pricing mechanisms only apply to blob space.
  7. We see onchain as the next generation where we can read, write, and also own. Everything that we create and put onchain, stays ours. That means we can benefit from its value, and earn the proceeds from it. We can have control over our data, meaningful connections, and relationships with the people who engage with it rather than being intermediated by large corporations.


  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 00:50 What is BASE? What does it do?
  • 09:20 Why Ethereum?
  • 14:14 Background and Building BASE
  • 20:45 Decentralizing Base
  • 33:45 Rug-pull Before Launch
  • 40:45 Layer two Improvements
  • 45:54 The Goal of Being Onchain


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