Coinbase’s Ethereum Layer-2 Network, Base Faces Temporary Outage

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Key Takeaways

  • Around 45 minutes on Sept. 5, no new blocks were produced on the Base chain
  • The Base mainnet was launched less than a month ago. 

Coinbase’s Ethereum Layer-2 network, Base, experienced a brief outage today, lasting approximately half an hour and taking an additional 30 minutes to fully resolve. This marked the first major disruption since Base’s public launch on August 9, raising questions about the resilience of Ethereum Layer-2 solutions.

Base acknowledged the issue on its Twitter account, citing a delay in block production attributed to internal infrastructure concerns. They assured users that no funds were at risk during the outage.

The interruption began when no new blocks were produced on the Base chain for about 45 minutes on September 5. Developers first identified the block production delay at 9:36 pm UTC, as reported on the Base status site. Fortunately, block production was subsequently resumed.

Coinbase responded to inquiries about the outage, stating, “We identified a delay in block production due to part of our internal infrastructure requiring a refresh. We’ve implemented a fix and are seeing widespread recovery.” Base also confirmed that they continue to monitor the chain for any further issues.

This incident highlights potential concerns associated with Ethereum Layer-2 networks, which are designed to enhance the scalability and reduce transaction costs of the Ethereum blockchain. As Matt Willemsen, head of research at crypto education platform Collective Shift, pointed out, these Layer-2 solutions are not as battle-tested as Ethereum’s mainnet, making them susceptible to unforeseen issues.

The outage was classified as a “Base chain stall” on the project status page. The development team swiftly identified the issue, reported it as “users may have issues submitting transactions” at 5:36 p.m. ET, and had a fix developed within 14 minutes. By 6:09 p.m., Base began to see a recovery in block production and the exchange of node-to-node state information, known as “gossip.”

Despite this widespread recovery, a lingering problem with remote procedure calls (RPCs) delayed the issuance of an all-clear report until 6:06 p.m., about 90 minutes after the investigation commenced.

Base, backed by cryptocurrency exchange giant Coinbase, is a relatively new addition to the Ethereum ecosystem, having launched less than a month ago. Despite its brief existence, Base has experienced rapid growth, recently surpassing Ethereum’s daily transaction volumes. It has reportedly generated $6 million in protocol fees, driven in part by its appeal to the meme coin community.

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Saniya Raahath
Saniya Raahath

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