On February 23, 2022, Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, marked a significant milestone with the launch of Base, a layer-2 scaling network for Ethereum, in partnership with Optimism. In conjunction with this launch, Coinbase also released a free open-edition Ethereum NFT called “Base, Introduced,” which is available for minting by anyone through the Zora NFT minting platform until March 5.

The release of the open-edition NFT has generated an overwhelming response, with over 376,000 NFTs minted since the announcement, making the NFT smart contract the biggest “gas guzzler” on the Ethereum network. Despite the limit of one NFT per wallet, more than $271,000 worth of gas was used within the first three hours after release, indicating the level of interest and excitement generated by the move.

Although the “Base, Introduced” NFT was not launched on the Coinbase NFT marketplace, it is still available for purchase on secondary markets posted by users who minted the NFT through Zora. While the free Base NFT doesn’t promise any future utility or benefits, it has already begun to find traction on secondary markets, with some early-numbered editions or those with so-called “vanity numbers” commanding higher prices.

Coinbase’s move deeper into the NFT space comes at a time when its own marketplace has “paused” development to focus on other features. However, Coinbase’s President and COO, Emilie Choi, recently confirmed that the exchange is not giving up on its NFT ambitions despite having a “very lean team” working on its marketplace.

Base network, created by Coinbase, is an Ethereum L2 solution designed to onboard a billion users into the crypto economy. This network emphasizes security through a combination of fraud-proof rollups, optimistic rollups, and state channels. In addition, the network offers low-cost transactions through sharding and Plasma-like constructions. With its developer-friendly open ecosystem, Base provides an ideal platform for building dapps on-chain.

The network provides easy and secure access to Ethereum L1, other L2s, and other L1 ecosystems like Solana, making it possible for anyone, anywhere, to participate in the cryptoeconomy. By launching Base, Coinbase is taking a significant step towards advancing the growth in the industry and making it more accessible to everyone. This move also positions Coinbase as a leading player in the NFT and cryptocurrency space, as it continues to innovate and create solutions that meet the needs of users and developers alike.