The debut of Coinbase’s new layer 2 blockchain, Base, proved anything but smooth as the testnet rollout on Thursday drew complaints from users and jabs on Twitter.
The new Ethereum-focused protocol is integral to Coinbase’s strategy to steer its company into the developer space — especially critical after an exchange slowdown and disappointing quarterly earnings.
But just hours after Base’s debut, the network was already experiencing problems, with users flooding social media to complain about the network’s functionality.
“Base’s bridge is off to a rocky start. Every trade is rolled back and the bridge contract isn’t verified, so no one can figure out what’s going on,” Twitter user @0xfoobar wrote next to a screenshot of a transaction list from Etherscan, where transactions appear to have been reversed.
The testnet’s operational outages were caused by a problem with Coinbase’s wallet, which Coinbase said incorrectly estimated the amount of gas or fees required to make user transactions.
As a result, users paid less gas than they needed to make their transactions, prompting Base to reverse those transactions instead of processing them.
“The bridge contracts increase gas consumption under load, which wallets don’t estimate well,” said Roberto Bayardo, software engineer at Coinbase. explained on Twitter few hours after launch. “Hardcoded a higher gas limit.”
According to Bayardo, a sudden influx of users may have overwhelmed the protocol and may have also been responsible for problems during the testnet’s launch day.
“There are some other limits that can still be reached – bridging humans (& bots?) like crazy, it seems,” Bayardo tweeted.
Additional scrutiny came after the Base team softened a pledge on its website to donate 20% of sequencer revenue to “public goods funding.” Screenshots of the page were posted by Twitter user @tier10k.
Hours after the timestamp on the screenshots, the website was updated to state that Base will contribute an undisclosed percentage, or a “portion of sequencer revenue,” to public goods.
A Coinbase representative said the 20% figure has been removed from Base’s website as it is working with the Optimism Collective to finalize the amount of revenue that will be allocated to public goods.
“Initially we added a percentage to that revenue amount, but we are in the process of finalizing that percentage and so we have removed the specific number from our website until it is determined,” the rep said.