Jesse Pollak on Coinbase's Base and the Future of Decentralized Apps

Jesse Pollak on Coinbase’s Base and the Future of Decentralized Apps

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Coinbase’s Jesse Pollak, Head of Protocols, recently sat down with Cointelegraph’s Andrew Singer at Messari’s Mainnet conference in New York City on 20 September 2023. The interview covered a wide range of topics, including Coinbase’s relatively new blockchain, Base, the potential of decentralized applications (DApps), and the future of blockchain technology.

When asked about Coinbase’s vision for Base, Pollak stated that the focus is not just on Base but on bringing a billion users into the blockchain ecosystem. He sees this happening within the current decade and believes that Base will play a crucial role in achieving this vision. Pollak outlined three key areas that need improvement for mainstream adoption: reducing costs, enhancing wallet experiences, and establishing better on-chain identity systems. Specifically, Base has already reduced the cost of using certain apps from $5-$10 to just 5-10 cents, but Pollak believes further reductions are necessary.

Pollak also touched on the speculative nature of the crypto market. He argued that speculation is a natural part of technological innovation and has been instrumental in attracting capital to the sector. However, he believes that the industry has reached a point where it needs to transition from speculation to utility.

On the topic of Ethereum, Pollak revealed that Coinbase had considered building its own layer-1 blockchain but ultimately decided to build Base as a layer-2 on Ethereum. He cited Ethereum’s large and active ecosystem as a significant factor in this decision. Pollak acknowledged that while Ethereum’s scalability issues have not been entirely resolved, progress has been made through initiatives like EIP-4844, which Coinbase supported.

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Pollak also discussed the initial success of Friend.tech, a social media DApp on Base that generated over $1 million in fees within 24 hours of its launch. He defended the importance of social apps in the blockchain space, stating that they offer users more control over their data and creativity.

Another DApp that caught Pollak’s attention is Blackbird, a customer engagement platform for restaurants currently operating in New York City and soon expanding to California. Pollak believes that such DApps have the potential to revolutionize various sectors.

In conclusion, Pollak doesn’t believe there will be a single “killer app” for blockchain. He sees multiple applications, like stablecoins, that have the potential to significantly impact people’s lives. Pollak is optimistic that the blockchain will see many such transformative applications in the years to come.

Featured Image via Coinbase

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