Base, an Ethereum layer 2 solution incubated by Coinbase, experienced substantial growth in its total value last week following the launch of Aerodrome. According to Defilama, Aerodrome recorded $200 million in total value locked in just three days after going live, leading to the total value deposited on Base increasing by almost $400 million, double the amount recorded prior to Aerodrome’s launch. Aerodrome designated 10% of the initial supply as 500 million AERO for the liquidity mining program. In addition, the project airdropped 40% of the initial supply to veVELO holders. Aerodrome’s total value locked jumped to $200 million as users rushed to farm AERO tokens, leading to the second dramatic surge on Base. Currently, Base has a total value bridged only behind Arbitrum One, OP Mainnet, and zkSync Era.
Coinbase officially launched the Base blockchain on August 9th, but they released the mainnet for developers at the end of July, allowing them to deploy applications. Despite the fact that the mainnet for developers had a one-way bridge where users could only deposit funds and couldn’t withdraw them, the network recorded approximately $100 million in deposits within just a few days. This significant increase in activity followed the launch of the meme token BALD, which was tradable on the LeetSwap decentralized exchange (DEX) built on top of Base. The token’s price surged by about 4,000,000% from its initial issuance to its peak, with more than $100 million traded within 24 hours, leading to the first skyrocket increase on Base. However, the project’s team suddenly removed liquidity, and then LeetSwap was exploited, causing it to halt some of its liquidity pools. As a result, the token price dropped to near zero for several days. Despite BALD being considered a “rug project,” it garnered significant attention from the entire market. In conjunction with the on-chain summer program launched by Base, a large number of users began entering the chain in search of “luck.”
According to Coingecko’s research, Base achieved the milestone of reaching 1 million unique addresses in just 11 days since its launch, surpassing zkSync Era and OP Mainnet, which took 71 days and 191 days, respectively, to reach the same number.
The vibrant ecosystem and the substantial user base make deploying applications on Base an enormous opportunity for developers. The initial sector to benefit is the cross-chain bridge, driven by the growing demand for deposits from users. Presently, Base features its native bridge, and others such as Stargate, Hop, and Synapse are also in operation. Base’s native bridge alone has transferred over $250 million in the past month, while Stargate, Hop, and Synapse have facilitated 180k, 27k, and 8k transfers to Base from other chains, respectively.
In the midst of a lackluster bear market, where it seems like industry innovations have run dry, capital has become passive due to limited investment opportunities, and the ongoing regulatory crackdown in the United States continues to exert pressure on the market, Base has emerged as a “new playground.” Naturally, we cannot discount the possibility that some of the funds deposited into Base come from airdrop hunters. Nevertheless, Base represents the potential access to over 100 million users of Coinbase, the largest US crypto exchange, showcasing the future development potential of the ecosystem.