On Thursday (23 February 2023), Coinbase has announced the testnet launch of Base, an Ethereum Layer 2 (L2) blockchain that provides a cost-effective and developer-friendly platform for building decentralized applications (dApps) on-chain.

According to the company’s blog post, it aims to onboard over a billion users into the crypto economy and sees Base as a critical part of its strategy to achieve this goal.

Coinbase says that Base is “decentralized, permissionless, and open to anyone with the vision of creating a standard, modular, rollup agnostic Superchain powered by Optimism.” 

According to Coinbase, Base is designed to be an attractive destination for developers to build on-chain, offering scalability and security powered by Ethereum. Coinbase is incubating the project, leveraging its experience in building crypto products, with plans to decentralize the chain over time.

Base is designed to be interoperable with other chains, including Ethereum L1, other L2s, and L1 ecosystems like Solana. The platform is seen as a bridge to onboard users into the crypto economy, with Coinbase aiming to make dApps easier, cheaper, and safer to interact with.

Coinbase is joining Optimism as a Core Dev on the OP Stack. Base developers can build using the RPC testnet endpoint or choose from the following Node providers: QuickNode, Infura, and Blockdaemon.

Coinbase also announced the Base Ecosystem Fund, which aims to help eligible “early-stage projects” that are powered by Base.

Coinbase has yet to specify when Base will be available on mainnet, but the company plans to provide more resources for developers in the near future.