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What is Base Chain? A Beginner's Guide to Coinbase's L2 Network


What is Base Chain? A Beginner's Guide to Coinbase's L2 Network

Base Chain is Coinbase's Layer 2 (L2) network built on Ethereum. It aims to provide a secure, low-cost, and developer-friendly environment for building decentralized applications (dApps) on-chain. In this beginner's guide, we'll explore the features, benefits, and how Base Chain differs from other Layer 2 solutions.

Features of Base Chain

Base Chain offers several key features that make it an attractive option for developers:

  • Secured by Ethereum: Base Chain leverages the underlying security of Ethereum, ensuring the safety and scalability needed to power dApps.
  • Empowered by Coinbase: Developers can easily build dApps on Base Chain with access to Coinbase's products, users, and tools. This includes seamless integrations, fiat onramps, and powerful acquisition tools.
  • Full EVM Compatibility: Base Chain is fully compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), allowing developers to deploy existing Ethereum-based smart contracts and infrastructure seamlessly.
  • Low Fees: Base Chain's rollup architecture significantly reduces transaction costs for users, making it cost-effective to interact with the network.
  • Open Source: Base Chain is built on Optimism's OP Stack, an open-source set of tools and software for Layer 2 development. This fosters collaboration and innovation within the developer community.

How Base Chain Differs from Other Layer 2 Solutions

While Base Chain shares similarities with other Layer 2 solutions like Arbitrum and Polygon zkEVM, it has its unique advantages:

  • Backed by Coinbase: Coinbase is a trusted and respected name in the crypto space, with millions of verified users. Base Chain provides a familiar and secure path for Coinbase users to explore the world of decentralized applications.
  • Progressive Decentralization: Base Chain is incubated within Coinbase but plans to progressively decentralize over time. This commitment to decentralization ensures a more open and accessible cryptoeconomy.
  • No Native Token: Unlike some Layer 2 solutions, Base Chain does not have its own native network token. Instead, it uses ETH as the native gas token for transactions on the network.

What Can You Do on Base Chain?

Base Chain offers a wide range of possibilities for users and developers:

  • DeFi Applications: Base Chain supports decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, including decentralized exchanges, lending platforms, and NFT marketplaces.
  • Gaming and NFTs: Base Chain is home to Web3 gaming and NFT platforms, providing opportunities for developers and users to engage in these emerging sectors.
  • Low-Cost Transactions: Thanks to Base Chain's rollup architecture, users can enjoy faster transactions and lower fees compared to the Ethereum mainnet.

Pros and Cons of Base Chain

Like any technology, Base Chain has its pros and cons:


  • Accessibility: Base Chain is EVM-compatible, making it easy for users and developers to transition to the network.
  • Low Cost: Base Chain offers cost-effective transactions with minimal gas fees.
  • Security and Scalability: Base Chain combines Ethereum's security with Layer 2 transaction speeds, providing a secure and scalable network.
  • Backed by Coinbase: Coinbase's support and reputation add credibility and resources to the development and growth of Base Chain.


  • Unproven: As a new player in the blockchain space, Base Chain's architecture has yet to be fully tested and proven.
  • Competition: The Layer 2 market is highly competitive, with other solutions vying for dominance.
  • Centralization Concerns: While Base Chain plans to decentralize over time, its association with Coinbase raises concerns about centralization.


Base Chain is an exciting addition to the Layer 2 landscape, offering a secure and low-cost solution for building dApps on Ethereum. With Coinbase's backing and commitment to progressive decentralization, Base Chain has the potential to drive adoption and liquidity in the on-chain environment. Whether you're a developer or a user, Base Chain provides opportunities to explore the world of decentralized applications and participate in the growing cryptoeconomy.


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