Coinbase to widen mainnet access to Base on August 9, releases Ethereum bridge

Quick Take

  • The public launch of Base is set for August 9, making it accessible to everyone.
  • Coinbase released a bridge between its Base network and Ethereum.

Crypto exchange Coinbase will release its Base network for full public access on August 9 and has launched an Ethereum bridge ahead of time.

“Base’s bridging functionality is live today, and the mainnet is set to be accessible to all by August 9,” said Jesse Pollak, protocols lead at Coinbase.

Releasing an official bridge introduces a way for users to move tokens between the Base network and Ethereum.

Base operates on the OP software stack and is a Layer 2 blockchain, aiming for lower transaction fees than Ethereum. It aims to pitch itself as an alternative way to use Ethereum, catering to a broad audience, from Coinbase's regular users to DeFi participants. 

Base’s developer-only mainnet went live on July 13 and was primarily accessible to developers. However, in the lead-up to the official launch, several users bridged assets to the network using a portal proxy contract and other unofficial bridges to trade new memecoins launching on Base.

A notable incident involved a Bald memecoin, which was started by an unknown developer. Last week, the token boasted a valuation of $85 million. Its value plummeted to nearly zero after the developer abruptly withdrew liquidity from Bald’s main liquidity pool, resembling the features of a rug pull —a deceptive strategy where key developers or holders siphon off liquidity, causing the token’s price to collapse. 

This precipitous drop was subsequently followed by a major security hack at Base’s decentralized exchange LeetSwap.

Moving away from developer-only phase

After becoming publicly available, Coinbase is eyeing for a more structured phase that includes launch partners. The team is set to introduce “Onchain Summer,” a month-long promotional event on the network. This event will feature collaborations with numerous launch partners, including Coinbase, Atari, OpenSea, Showtime, Optimism, Rainbow Wallet, Manifold, Parallel, and Friends With Benefits.

Additionally, starting from August 9, the network will introduce NFT functionalities. Users will be able to mint commemorative NFTs, participate in tasks to earn rewards, and reserve crypto usernames on the Coinbase Wallet.

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