Counterparty (platform)

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Stable release
Written inPython, JavaScript

Counterparty is a financial platform for creating peer-to-peer financial applications on the bitcoin blockchain. The protocol specification and all Counterparty software is open source. The reference client is counterparty and a web wallet called Counterwallet showcases all protocol features. The protocol’s native currency, XCP, is the fuel that powers Counterparty. It is slightly deflationary, with approximately 2.6 million XCP having been created by burning Bitcoins in January 2014. Counterparty provides users with the world's first functioning decentralized digital currency exchange,[1] as well as the ability to create their own virtual assets, issue dividends, create price feeds, bets and contracts for difference.[2]


Counterparty has a native currency called XCP. It was originally issued using a provable method called "proof of burn". This method involves sending bitcoins to a special address that renders the coins permanently unspendable. By avoiding funding during its launch, Counterparty has ensured that developers and users have equal financial opportunities. During January 2014, 2125.63 bitcoins[3] were sent to 1CounterpartyXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXUWLpVr[4] (worth roughly US$1.8 million at the time).[5] XCP is used in the Counterparty protocol to create new assets, make bets, and perform callbacks on callable assets. Counterparty used proof of burn to issue XCP, instead of a more traditional fund-raising technique for altcoin launches, to keep the initial distribution of funds as fair and decentralized as possible, and to avoid potential legal issues.[5][6]


Screenshot of Counterwallet Homepage

counterpartyd is the reference implementation of the Counterparty protocol, and Counterwallet is a deterministic web-wallet frontend to counterpartyd, in which all cryptography is handled client-side. Both are open source and hosted on GitHub.[7] Counterparty offers support for Solidity.[8]


  1. ^ Bromden, Stanislas (2014-04-10). "Counterparty to Create First Peer-to-Peer Digital Asset Exchange Platform". CoinTelegraph. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  2. ^ Bradbury, Danny (2014-03-25). "Developers Battle Over Bitcoin Block Chain". CoinDesk. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Counterparty XCP Block Explorer :: Proof Of Burn".
  4. ^ "Bitcoin Address 1CounterpartyXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXUWLpVr".
  5. ^ a b Alex Brokaw (2014-04-16). "The People Who Burn Bitcoins". Minyanville. Retrieved 2014-04-26.
  6. ^ Swanson, Tim (2014). "Chapter 3: Next Generation Platforms". Great Chain of Numbers a Guide to Smart Contracts, Smart Property and Trustless Asset Management. Self-published. Retrieved 2014-04-26.
  7. ^ Robby Dermody (2014-04-24). "Counterparty: Enabling Decentralization with Insight". bitcore blog. Retrieved 2014-04-26.
  8. ^ Rebecca Campbell (6 September 2016). "Counterparty Brings Ethereum Smart Contracts to the Bitcoin Blockchain". CCN. Retrieved 14 December 2016.

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