Coinbase's Base to adhere to Optimism's open neutrality framework

Quick Take

  • Optimism will release an open neutrality framework for decentralized networks, according to Jesse Pollak, the lead for Coinbase protocols.
  • In response, Coinbase will adhere to the framework with its Base network, Pollak said.

Next week, the Ethereum Layer 2 project, Optimism, will release an “open neutrality framework” as its decentralization guidelines, and Coinbase’s Base will follow it, said Jesse Pollak, the lead for Coinbase protocols.

The neutrality framework, currently in draft, sets out principles for networks that want to remain decentralized, Pollak said in a talk at the ongoing EthCC event in Paris.

Pollak stated that Coinbase is committed to three principles of decentralization. First, state transitions must be consistent. This refers to the fundamental method of recording transactions and wallet balances on the network. Second, the network’s security uptime liveness must always be maintained. If this is not the case, Pollak noted, there will be consequences. Third, upgrades should be approved through a governance process.

Pollak added that Coinbase has been working with Optimism to ensure that Base adheres to the framework, including the way that keys used for making network upgrades are handled.

The Layer 2 network, Base, which is backed by the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, is built on Optimism’s software stack known as the OP Stack. It functions as a rollup network—a secondary layer that performs off-chain computations with the aim of facilitating faster and cheaper transactions, while maintaining the security advantages of the Ethereum mainnet. Last week, the Base team released a mainnet for developers ahead of a public launch, slated for early August.

Base supporting the Optimism vision

Pollak reiterated that a portion of the fees Coinbase receives from running a sequencer on the network will be given to fund public goods. “Value share in a full public way from a public company to a decentralized autonomous organization to fund public goods,” he said.

Coinbase has spent time designing a security council model for the Superchain, which is Optimism’s umbrella term for an ecosystem of Layer 2 networks built using its OP Stack, including OP Chain and Base.

The exchange also spent the last six months building Pessimism, an open-source toolkit that lets anyone monitor any OP Stack chain and look for unexpected behavior. This is important because chains built on the OP Stack use optimistic rollups, which assume transactions are legitimate unless proven otherwise.

Pollak noted that Base will conduct its first round of grants in August, around the time when the main network will be released to the wider public. Coinbase is also helping to run a virtual hackathon called Superhack in August.

Coinbase has also joined forces with Paradigm, which is building an Ethereum execution client called reth, to build OP-reth — a version of it for Optimism — Pollak said.

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