Coinbase pushes ‘Pessimism’ to boost Base security

The open-source monitoring system is capable of identifying threats in the OP Stack and other EVM blockchain events

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Base, an Ethereum rollup utilizing Optimism’s OP stack, has launched a security enhancement system playfully dubbed “Pessimism.”

Pessimism serves as a monitoring system intended to bolster the security of the entire OP Stack, a collection of software that drives Optimism mainnet and other Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible blockchains.

In a blog on Wednesday, Base revealed that the Coinbase team has been actively running Pessimism in-house to supervise and monitor the Base mainnet since its launch on Aug. 9.

The team is now making Pessimism open source, releasing it under an MIT license, which offers the software freely and without restrictions.

Pessimism is designed to pinpoint protocol vulnerabilities that are distinct to the OP Stack, including withdrawal enforcement, fault detection and general events within the EVM blockchain.

“This lets us detect unauthorized or malicious events on the Base native bridge as well as the layer-1 / layer-2 system contracts on Base,” Base said.

At present, Pessimism offers support for overseeing user withdrawal security, identifying possible faults, upholding balance limits for accounts and detecting events within smart contracts.

Optimism-based rollups do not yet have working fraud proofs, so careful monitoring can help mitigate some of the risks.

“When an abnormal activity or event perceived as a security threat is detected, Pessimism alerts the team to swiftly address any potential risks,” the blog said.

Base plans to consistently roll out additional features for Pessimism to ensure coverage of potential protocol threats.

In just under two months since its launch, Base has surpassed Solana to claim the ninth spot as the largest blockchain in terms of total value locked.

Base is the third-largest network when it comes to the total value of assets it handles, among Ethereum-based protocols, ranking right after Arbitrum and Optimism, according to L2Beat.


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