Over $68 million worth of Ethereum has flowed into Coinbase’s new Base layer-2 blockchain through its one-way bridge, even though the network has yet to officially launch.
The inflows are happening amidst a surge in meme coin mania on Base, as traders hope to capitalize on major price spikes. However, numerous tokens have crashed following opportunistic rug pulls, as reported by CoinDesk.
On-chain data shows the largest wallet bridged $13 million Ethereum to Base over the weekend as interest exploded. But analysts caution the activity is likely unsustainable speculation rather than real adoption.
Seeking Meme Coin Riches
Base went live for developers to build on earlier this month, ahead of a planned public debut later this year. But its one-way bridge allowed assets to flow before full functionality.
The meme coin BALD saw parabolic growth on Base’s LeetSwap DEX, rising 4 million percent. This stoked expectations of similar hypergains, attracting ether deposits to the network.
Several other Base tokens posted 1,000%+ spikes, including BRIAN, BOT and TOSHI. However, early buyers reaped most profits. Followers were often left holding abandoned tokens.
“Meme coin culture is here to stay, as retail traders retain influence despite growing institutional interest in crypto,” said BTSE’s Jeff Mei.
But CryptoQuant’s Mikolaj Zakrzowski said the mania was unsupported by fundamentals, with activity concentrated in a few large wallets.
Chasing Quick Riches
The sudden activity highlights traders’ drive to capitalize on volatility amid a relatively flat market. But it also reflects crypto’s prevailing get-rich mentality.
Many poured capital into Base to chase meme coin gains, despite the network’s unfinished state. Some even bought fake tokens that resembled hot assets but held no value.
The speculative frenzy is unlikely to endure, especially as unsophisticated traders get burned. But it signals latent demand for high risk, high reward opportunities even in uncertain markets.
As CryptoQuant’s Zakrzowski concluded, “It appears that the rise of Base blockchain is not supported by fundamentals.” The short-lived mania relied on speculation over real utility.
While it offered chances to profit, Base also exemplified crypto risks. Tokens crashed violently after spiking, while outright scams proliferated across the network.
The episode serves as a reminder to avoid “FOMO rallies” unsupported by technology or traction, as BTSE’s Mei noted. Strong use cases and transparency are vital to sustainable growth.
For Base, reaching viability requires building real utility beyond speculative trading. The past weekend provided lessons for Coinbase in ensuring healthy crypto development.