Coinbase’s ‘Base’ rekindles suspicions over Ethereum’s network neutrality


Chris Blec argued that Coinbase’s newly announced product Base is a WEF play for CBDCs and a cashless society.

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Coinbase’s Base is a crucial aspect of World Economic Forum (WEF) plans to bring about Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) tech, said the host of the Proof of Decentralization Podcast, Chris Blec.

On Feb. 23, Coinbase announced the launch of its Base product. The company described the product as an Ethereum layer 2 enabling “anyone, anywhere” to build dApps cost-effectively.

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“Our goal with Base is to make onchain the next online and onboard 1B+ users into the cryptoeconomy.

Blec’s comments rekindled the discussion about Ethereum being co-opted by entities who seek to censor and centralize the chain.

On August 8, 2022 — following notice of the U.S. Treasury sanctioning the Tornado Cash mixer — Ethereum was under fire over its lack of network neutrality in “bowing” to pressure and complying with authorities.

The agency stated that over $7 billion of illicit funds had been laundered through the protocol, including funds stolen by the North Korean hacking group Lazarus.

Why Coinbase Base is different from other layer 2s

Coinbase stated that Base would not incorporate a token. Instead, Ethereum will be used as the native gas token.

Coinbase’s Head of Protocol Jesse Pollack —speaking to Laura Shin — said there is the self-custodial Coinbase wallet and the Coinbase dApp Wallet; Base intends to integrate both products.

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On why Base is different from other ETH layer 2s, Pollack said Coinbase already has a captive userbase, meaning Base developers have access to a large, existing user group from the off.

“It’s really easy for developers to build, and then it’s really easy for those applications that the developers do build to actually get access to the users that are coming to Coinbase.”

The cornerstone of WEF plans?

Blec said while Base will be permissionless to build on, there were no explicit narratives about it being permissionless to use.

He warned that Base will “be a KYC-chain,” meaning only those who verify their identity will be granted access. Blec then took the leap that Base is an integral aspect of WEF plans to bring about CBDCs.

This will be a KYC-chain and it is a *very* important step forward for the WEF plan of CBDC tech & cashless society.

One user pointed out that there is no threat to personal sovereignty as long as the base layer remains decentralized. Blec replied with “delusional.”

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Author: Samuel Wan

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