Base Fund Blossoms: Ventures and Challenges

Martin Walker
Sep 9, 2023 at 01:45 pm

Coinbase Ventures, a prominent player in the cryptocurrency realm, has recently embarked on the exciting journey of deploying its initial round of investments from the Base Ecosystem Fund. This fund, with its intriguing potential, has meticulously handpicked six promising projects, although the exact financial commitments remain discreetly shielded from the public eye.

Now, to demystify the intricacies of the Base Ecosystem Fund – it operates under the proficient guidance of Coinbase Ventures, a distinguished arm of the illustrious cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase. This fund has been ingeniously crafted to nurture and uplift early-stage projects that have found their home within the nurturing embrace of the Base network, which is a dynamic incubator for blockchain innovation.

Venturing deeper into the current state of affairs, a recent communiqué from Base has revealed that the allure of its ecosystem fund has been so magnetic that it has attracted over 800 funding applications since March of this year. Such a prolific level of interest and engagement certainly speaks volumes about the burgeoning enthusiasm for blockchain-based initiatives.

Now, let's turn our attention to the illustrious list of the chosen ones – the selected projects that have secured a coveted spot under the Base Ecosystem Fund's umbrella. These projects are as diverse as they are promising. Among them, we find Avantis, a cutting-edge oracle-based synthetic derivatives protocol; BSX, an institutional-grade derivatives decentralized exchange (DEX); Onboard, a secure and user-friendly self-custody wallet; OpenCover, an innovative L2 insurance aggregator; Paragraph, an avant-garde on-chain creator platform; and finally, Truflation, a pioneering on-chain financial oracle.

In the words of those steering the ship at Base, "With well over 800 applications submitted, we're deeply appreciative of the passion and dedication exhibited by the talented builders who put their hearts into these applications. It brings us immense joy to throw our weight behind this initial wave of visionary teams as we collectively embark on our noble mission to drive blockchain adoption and enhance economic empowerment on a global scale."

Shifting our focus to a different facet of this multifaceted narrative, we find ourselves at the doorstep of Ethereum's layer-2 network, meticulously constructed on Optimism's OP stack. This monumental development went live in early August, following the cryptic hints dropped by Coinbase earlier in the year.

In the subsequent weeks that followed, Base made waves by announcing an impressive array of integrations. This strategic move catapulted its Total Value Locked (TVL) beyond the eye-popping milestone of $400 million. In statistical terms, this represented a staggering growth rate of over 170% in less than a month – a truly remarkable feat by any measure.

However, as is often the case in the realm of technology and innovation, even the most promising ventures face their share of challenges. In the case of Base, it experienced its inaugural major service disruption since its grand public unveiling just last month. On September 5th, an unexpected hiccup caused the Base chain to cease its production of new blocks for a suspenseful duration of nearly 45 minutes. This hiccup, though temporary, had tangible repercussions, with the TVL of the layer-2 network experiencing a dip of approximately 7%. This drop brought the TVL from its lofty peak of $411 million down to a still-respectable $383 million.

Adding another layer of complexity to this narrative, we must acknowledge that the network's allure has not gone unnoticed by those with less-than-savory intentions. It has inadvertently become a magnet for fraudulent activities and counterfeit tokens, an issue that the Base ecosystem undoubtedly needs to address as it continues to evolve.

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