Coinbase’s Layer 2 Network, Base, Witnesses Over One Million Wallets Initiating Smart Contracts on Test Network

Base, the Layer 2 network being developed by Coinbase, recently announced that over one million wallets participated in the initiation of smart contracts on its test network during the Builder Quest period. This surge in activity allowed the team to identify critical stress points in the platform’s design and infrastructure.

However, the increased demand also led to challenges in securely delivering cryptographic proofs to Ethereum’s Goerli testnet. Despite the obstacles encountered, Base remains committed to finding robust solutions to ensure a more stable and efficient network.

Identifying Stress Points and Implementing Adjustments: The Builder Quest period aimed to simulate high-stress conditions and uncover potential issues within Base’s testnet. The significant spike in activity and data-intensive transactions provided valuable insights for the development team. In response, the developers raised the Base block gas limit, allowing for more transactions per block. This adjustment aimed to mitigate the sharp rise in base fees and accommodate the increased network demand.

Challenges in Delivering Cryptographic Proofs

While the modification to the gas limit proved beneficial in managing transaction volume, it presented challenges in securely delivering cryptographic proofs of network blocks back to Ethereum’s Goerli testnet. The team encountered difficulties due to the larger Layer 2 (L2) blocks when attempting to batch them to the Layer 1 (L1) chain. Fine-tuning parameters and making adjustments helped address some of the issues, but a long-term and more robust solution is still required.

Base’s Design and Optimizations

Built on Optimism’s development software stack, Base operates as a rollup network, similar to Optimism. Its primary objective is to enable off-chain computations on a secondary layer, facilitating faster and cheaper transactions while maintaining the security benefits of the Ethereum mainnet. Furthermore, Base has the potential to become Coinbase’s default Layer 2 network for its on-chain products.

To stabilize the system after the surge in activity, Base’s core team implemented two optimizations. First, they enhanced data compression to better utilize the “L1 transaction call data.” Second, the team modified the system to allow the submission of multiple batches of transactions for each L1 block, rather than one batch at a time. These changes aim to address the technical challenges faced and pave the way for increased block gas limits, low base fees, and reliable L2 data writing to L1.

Interest and Potential Deployments

Base’s testnet has attracted interest from various developers and projects, including Blackbird, Thirdweb, OAK, and Parallel. Prominent DeFi platforms like Uniswap and Aave are also considering deploying on Base once it transitions to the mainnet. The attention and engagement from these entities signify the potential impact and credibility of Base as a Layer 2 solution.


Base, Coinbase’s Layer 2 network, has successfully identified stress points in its testnet during the Builder Quest period. While facing challenges in securely delivering cryptographic proofs, the team remains committed to finding long-term solutions. With system optimizations and improvements in data compression and transaction batching, Base aims to provide a more stable, efficient, and cost-effective network for its users. As it progresses towards the mainnet, Base has garnered interest from various developers and the possibility of deployment by major DeFi platforms, further solidifying its position as a promising Layer 2 solution.

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