In a blog post titled “Path to Mainnet,” Coinbase’s Base outlined a roadmap for mainnet launch. The outline contains no specific dates but lists five criteria needed before the network can launch. Two criteria have already been fulfilled, while three remain.
Coinbase announced the creation of the Base network testnet on Feb. 23. It’s intended to eventually be a layer 2 of Ethereum that uses Optimistic Rollup technology to reduce transaction fees and increase scalability. The current testnet of Base is only connected to the Goerli testnet version of Ethereum, not the mainnet version, where most users have assets.
Base network relies on the OP Stack, a set of code that is also used for the Optimism network.
In the announcement, the Base team said it’s progressing toward mainnet launch. But before that can happen, five criteria must be fulfilled. First, the testnet must successfully perform the Regolith hard fork, which makes security-oriented changes to the way deposits are performed. Second, it must undergo an infrastructure review with the OP Labs team. These first two criteria have already been fulfilled, the announcement said.
The third criterion is a successful upgrade of the network to Bedrock. According to an explanatory post from the Optimism team, Bedrock will implement lower fees, shorter deposit times and several other changes. Optimism’s upgrade to Bedrock is scheduled for June 6. The Base team did not announce a specific date for their version of the upgrade.
The fourth and fifth criteria are “successful completion of internal and external audits with no critical severity issues” and “demonstrated testnet stability.” The team has not set a specific date for either of these last two criteria to be fulfilled.
Although this roadmap contains no specific dates, a representative from Base told Cointelegraph that “Base will publish the milestones it will hit as it moves closer to its mainnet launch” and that the exact timeline will be shared “soon.”
Since Base’s testnet launch, there has been rampant speculation over what kind of apps will be built on it. On March 27, the Base team asked builders to create a “flatcoin,” or inflation-pegged stablecoin, for use in Base decentralized finance apps, as well as an on-chain reputation system. Masa Finance responded to the reputation system request by porting its soulbound token protocol to the testnet in April.
Not everyone is happy about Coinbase building its own network. For example, decentralization advocate Chris Blec argued in March that Base will need to confirm the identity of users because it employs a centralized “sequencer.” In his view, this will infringe on the privacy of users. The Base team has stated that its sequencer will become decentralized over time.