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Degen Chain Debuts on Base as ‘Blockchain Equivalent of Las Vegas’

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Degen Chain Debuts on Base as ‘Blockchain Equivalent of Las Vegas’

One of the most active and fastest-growing communities in the Farcaster ecosystem is getting its own layer-3 blockchain. The Degen chain was announced today by pseudonymous founder Jacek and infrastructure provider Syndicate, debuting with its native gas token DEGEN, touted as “one of the first community tokens with its own L3.”

The Degen movement launched in January with a channel on Farcaster, a decentralized and blockchain-based social network on Base, the Ethereum layer-2 incubated by Coinbase. Frequently positioned as a crypto-friendly alternative to Twitter, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is a Farcaster fan, and the release of Farcaster Frames in February made it especially attractive to software developers.

Since token claims opened in January, 53,000 DEGEN holders have already made over 553,000 transactions, Syndicate said, mostly tipped as a reward for posting quality content. A dedicated Degen blockchain was the next logical step.

$DEGEN token claims are officially live on! After connecting your wallet, you should see a claim button where the countdown timer to launch once was. Thanks to everyone who has made this possible; really appreciate all you degens! 🎉🚀

— Degen 🎩 (@degentokenbase) January 8, 2024

“It’s designed to be a vibrant playground for developers and a gateway for users to safely experiment with their funds,” Jacek told Decrypt. “Picture it as the blockchain equivalent of Las Vegas—less about gambling, more about the thrill of exploration and fun.”

With Degen chain, crypto developers can tinker with various community management and engagement models, including tipping, community rewards, payments, and gaming.

Designed as an “ultra low cost” layer-3, the Degen chain uses Arbitrum’s Orbit architecture, its affiliated AnyTrust protocol to ensure data availability, and the Ethereum layer-2 Base—released by exchange giant Coinbase last fall—to settle transactions.

Syndicate cofounder Will Papper said he was excited to work on a community-centric blockchain and provide “all of the tools and infrastructure to not only make the chain easy-to-use but also unlock new capabilities.”

“Layer 3s are the next frontier for fully on-chain experiences, games, and applications,” Papper said. “We can’t wait to see all of the new things that can only be developed on an L3 with Degen chain.”

Syndicate is also tapping its experience with layer-3 infrastructure technologies ranging from Conduit for transaction rollups, Decent for the bridge, and Airstack APIs. The company also unveiled its Frame L3 for Farcaster developers last month. With the launch of Degen chain, the company is offering a free plan to allow developers to test drive the tech stack.

Jacek said the point is to have fun, not to take tokens to the moon.

“Whether returning with gains or not, the key is the enriching experience and connections made along the way,” he said.