We've been building towards Base for the last 10 years.
From the beginning, our secret master plan has been clear and consistent: create an open financial system that increases economic freedom globally by moving deliberately through four phases.
Phase 1: Develop the protocol (1M people)
New protocols (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc) were invented and people began to tinker with them. Open source communities developed around each protocol and early adopters began experimenting with how they could be used.
Phase 2: Build a digital currency exchange (10M people)
Coinbase started here. Investment or speculation is a bootstrapping mechanism for a payment network (in other words, it is the single-player mode of digital currency). And the creation of safe and easy to use exchanges served as a bridge for people to get their local currency into and out of digital currency.
Phase 3: Build a mass market interface for digital currency apps (100M people)
To move beyond just exchange and investment, consumers and businesses needed an easy interface to start using digital currency and its applications. Countless applications have been built to let anyone, anywhere access the nascent cryptoeconomy, including Coinbase, Coinbase Wallet, Metamask, Rainbow, Trust Wallet, and others.
Phase 4: Build the “dapps” of an open financial system (1B+ people)
With the interfaces in place, our existing financial system now needs to be recreated on open networks and made globally accessible. We’re seeing this happen in front of our eyes: USDC has brought billions of dollars onchain, cbETH enables holders, anywhere to secure the financial system while earning rewards, and hundreds of dapps are enabling countless individuals and institutions to transact with lower fees, more security, and unparalleled access.
We've had countless conversations about how we can accelerate Phase 4 of this plan with both internal teams and external collaborators. The takeaway is that in order to unlock the scale, usability, and security needed for the final phase, we actually need to go back to the beginning: developing the underlying protocols that enable the end user applications.
We started by doing this on Ethereum, driving EIP4844 with Optimism to enable L2 rollups to scale. But we don't believe that's enough, so here we are.
Base is our “all in” commitment to onchain.
We believe that the onchain platform is the most important developer platform since the internet (“online”). We believe that the onchain platform should be open source, free to use, and globally available. And we believe that in order to make it really work, we need all hands on deck, working together to scale in a secure, safe, easy-to-use way.