What Is Base? The Ultimate Guide to the Base Ecosystem
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What Is Base? The Ultimate Guide to the Base Ecosystem

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Created 6mo ago, last updated 6mo ago

Ethereum Layer-2 Base just launched on mainnet — here's everything you need to know about the decentralized applications (DApps) in the Coinbase's L2 ecosystem.

What Is Base? The Ultimate Guide to the Base Ecosystem

Table of Contents

What Is Base?

On Feb. 23, 2023, centralized exchange (CEX) Coinbaseunveiled to the  public the testnet for their very own Ethereum Layer 2 chain named Base. Built on the OP Stack by Optimism, Base is an Optimistic rollup, as part of Optimism’s Superchain, to onboard Coinbase’s 100 million users to the on-chain world. This was a logical step forward for Coinbase, with the recent collapse of FTX and the increasingly apparent need for decentralization away from centralized entities.

Source: Base Mirror (link)

After months of public testnet, Base entered a gradual mainent rollout, beginning by opening to developers in early July. Since then, it has amassed a total of more than $147 million in total value locked (TVL). Base has finally completed their rollout to mainnet and is now publicly open to all users as of August 9, 2023.
To keep track of emerging projects and DApps on Base, check out CMC's Base Ecosystem category page, which currently has a combined market cap of $360 million.

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How To Bridge to Base?

To get to Base mainnet, all you need is a crypto wallet and some ETH. Currently, there are six easy ways to do so. (All of these methods will allow you to mint a commemorative “Bridge to Base” NFT as a reward too, so get to work!)
The first way is via the official Base bridge, which just rolled out the week prior. The Base bridge currently supports the transfer of any of the four whitelisted ERC-20 tokens: ETH, Coinbase Wrapped Staked ETH (cbETH), DAI or USDC. Do note that users are recommended to bridge ETH onto Base first as ETH is the gas token on the chain and will be necessary for all transactions.
As part of Base’s on-chain quest campaign, Onchain Summer, users can also complete the first quest by bridging onto the chain through the Onchain Summer website. This will be the first of many quests in a series of activities to explore the on-chain world of music, art, gaming, advocacy and more on Base.

Source: Base Mirror (link)

Coinbase Wallet users can also learn about Base and bridge ETH to the chain through their Coinbase app, or within the Coinbase Wallet interface on the “Explore” or “Browser” tab. Coinbase users who mint any of the commemorative NFTs from the campaign will be granted a 60 days free trial of Coinbase One, unlocking benefits on Coinbase such as zero trading fees and boosted staking rewards.

Last but not least, interested users may also bridge to Base via several of the supporting on-chain quest providers: Galxe, Layer3 or Mint.fun, which all are partners of the Base Onchain Summer campaign. Some of these partners also provide special perks such as the chance to win an ETH reward from doing so or free minting of the commemorative NFT.

Currently, more than 27 million users have already completed the bridging process and have minted the “Bridge to Base” NFT.

Once you’ve got your ETH tokens on Base, the final step before interacting with any of the decentralized applications (DApps), will be to add the Base network to your wallet. If you’re using the Coinbase Wallet, Base will already be added by default. But if you’re not, simply open your wallet and add a new network:

Network Name: Base

RPC Endpoint: https://mainnet.base.org

Chain ID: 8453

Currency Symbol: ETH

Block Explorer: https://basescan.org

Alternatively, connecting to certain DApps such as Sushi on the Base chain will automatically prompt you to add the Base network to your wallet as well.

Who Has Partnered With Base?

Coinbase have secured partnerships with numerous large crypto players for the launch of the Base mainnet.

Source: Base Twitter (link)

On the DApp layer, DeFi giants like Aave, Balancer, Sushi have partnered up with the chain to provide the foundation of every healthy DeFi ecosystem to the chain on launch. NFT marketplaces such as Magic Eden and Opensea have also partnered up with the chain for NFT trading.
On the infrastructure front, The Graph, Infura, QuickNode, ThirdWeb and Blockdaemon are among the many infrastructure providers supporting builders on Base. Oracles such as Chainlink and Pyth are also available for DApps to build upon. For on-chain analytics, Dune, Arkham Intelligence and Nansen are also among the partners looking to support Base in the near future.
Underlying it all, as part of the Optimism Superchain, Optimism is a key partner of Base. In fact, Coinbase has been actively supporting the development of the main upgrade in the upcoming Ethereum Cancun upgrade, EIP-4844, also known as Protodanksharding, which will benefit rollups significantly through reduction of fees by between 10-100x.

Popular DApps on Base

Decentralized Exchanges

While Base is still in its early days, memecoins have already been deployed on the chain, racking up more than $100 million in trading volume on-chain even before the official mainnet launch to the public. Of course, there is no better way to be part of the action than through the decentralized exchanges (DEX) on Base. Do note that memecoins are largely speculative and few have any fundamental value. Please do your due diligence before investing in any token or interacting with any protocol.
The largest DEX by TVL currently, is BaseSwap, which is a Base-native DEX holding $18 million in TVL. BaseSwap facilitates swaps between a handful of tokens on Base, including stablecoins and BaseSwap’s own token, BSWAP.

Source: Sushi.com

Perhaps a more familiar name, the multi-chain DEX, Sushi, has also deployed on Base as one of the Base official partners. Sushi has been facilitating the trades on most of the memecoins on Base, from BALD to TOSHI and many more.
Aside from these two, Ethereum top DEX, Uniswap, is close behind, having attracted almost $1.1 million within just a day of its official launch on the chain.

Source: GMX App

On the derivative DEX front, both GMX and Synthetix have also been given the green light by governance voters to deploy on Base. Commonly compared against each other, it will be interesting to observe how they fare on a new chain together.

Money Market

Aside from DEXs, money markets are key to any successful DeFi ecosystem. Currently, there is no significant money market protocol on Base yet.

Source: Aave

But with Aave and Euler Finance as official Base partners, it is likely that we will see the launch of both protocols on the chain shortly after the official public launch. Moonwell DeFi, an up-and-coming money market platform on Moonriver, has also indicated its intention to deploy on the chain.

Yield Farms

What is a DeFi ecosystem without yield farms?
Weighted automated market maker (AMM) Balancer has set up shop on Base, having accumulated more than $1.6 million in TVL across three main liquidity pools: DAI-USDC, WETH-DAI-USDC and BALD-WETH.

Source: Balancer

Beefy Finance is a protocol that aggregates all farms across Base and compounds yield. Currently supporting BaseSwap and Balancer pools, Beefy on Base has more than $1.65 million in TVL.

NFT Marketplaces

Finally, not forgetting the NFT collectors and traders among us, Opensea is live on the chain, and already supporting the listing and sales of the “Bridge to Base” NFTs from the Onchain Summer campaign. Magic Eden is also a listed partner with Base and should be launching imminently on the chain, further expanding their reach into the NFT markets on Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) chains.

Source: Opensea

For the open-edition NFT collectors, Manifold and Zora are coming soon to the chain as well, with both officially partnered with Base for Onchain Summer.

Building on Base

For the builders out there looking to bring something new to Base, Onchain Summer also brings weeks of building to the chain. In a partnership with PropHouse, an initiative by NounsDAO, grants will be provided for innovative builders creating something in the various categories:
  • Onchain Summer – August 9 - 18: Make art, a website, or whatever you’re inspired to for Onchain Summer on Base.
  • Build on Base – August 12 - 23: Deploy a protocol, build infrastructure, or a new application on Base.
  • Stand with Crypto – August 14 - 24: Make a one minute video sharing a story about an on-chain use case, or advocating for sensible legislation.
  • Based Accounts – August 16 - September 13: Build something that unlocks new or improved user experiences on Base using account abstraction.

On top of these grants, the Base team has also teamed up with other Superchain L2s to organize Superhack, a hackathon from August 4 to 18, with more than $175K in prizes up for grabs.

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