Counterparty {XCP} Updated Details

  • The Counterparty Platform

    Counterparty extends Bitcoin’s functionality by “writing in the margins” of regular Bitcoin transactions, opening the door for innovation and advanced features not possible with ordinary Bitcoin software

    The Counterparty Protocol

    The Counterparty protocol is open source and extensively tested. Besides allowing users to create and trade any kind of digital token, Counterparty enables anyone to write specific digital agreements, or programs known as Smart Contracts, and execute them on the Bitcoin blockchain. Smart Contracts are a revolutionary technology which opens the door to endless possibilities. By using the Bitcoin’s decentralized ledger network and Counterparty’s built-in scripting language, real-world scenarios can now be transformed into code and executed automatically with no need for an intermediary.

    Read the technical details of the Counterparty Protocol >


    XCP is used to provide functionality where it isn’t technically possible to use BTC. For instance, XCP is the currency used to pay for the execution of all smart contract code. More generally, XCP represents stake in the Counterparty protocol, and is the voting currency for changes to be decided on by the community. XCP was created by “burning” bitcoins, which involved sending coins to an unspendable address in exchange for XCP, ensuring an even and fair distribution of the currency. In January 2014, over 2,100 bitcoins were burned, creating about 2.6 million XCP. You can purchase XCP through several exchanges.

    Read about the XCP creation process >

    Counterparty Features


    Custom Counterparty tokens can be used for a wide range of purposes and act as their own cryptocurrency, while still running on the Bitcoin blockchain. Unlike ordinary bitcoin, custom tokens can be used to represent any kind of value.

    Tokens are being used today to:

    conduct successful crowdfunding and voting,

    monetize access to decentralized application (“DApp”) software features,

    represent a product or personal brand,

    act as a sort of “blockchain domain name”,

    as an authentication token,

    to represent digital goods, such as in-game cards,

    as a proxy for a real-world good or service (i.e. tokens exchangeable for paper, biofuel, etc),

    act as a reward for providing valuable time or resources,

    as an educational service to explore the functioning of a blockchain,

    and purely for fun.

    Learn how to create Custom Tokens

    Smart Contracts

    Besides allowing users to create any kind of digital token, Counterparty enables anyone to write specific digital agreements, or programs known as Smart Contracts, and execute them on the Bitcoin blockchain. Smart contracts can be used to create “blockchain-based” versions of traditional financial instruments, or entirely novel financial instruments. These instruments can eliminate some or all counterparty risk, as well as remove the need for a central or custodial counterparty. Counterparty’s smart contracts system is based on Ethereum, and allows contract code to be written in the Solidity language. In addition, Counterparty smart contracts may natively interact with Counterparty tokens as well as access Bitcoin transactions through the use of BTC Relay. In uniting Bitcoin’s decentralized ledger network with Ethereum’s Solidity, Counterparty allows real-world scenarios to be transformed into code and executed automatically with no intermediation while making use of the most secure and tested blockchain available.

    Read More on Smart Contracts >

    Asset Exchange ("DEX")

    In the physical word, exchanging assets is fraught by risks and problems, such as potential theft and reliance on an escrow agent or central counterparty. On Counterparty, the roles of escrow agent and clearing house are filled by the Counterparty protocol itself, eliminating unnecessary costs, time, and third-party trust. In any transaction the required funds are debited from each party’s address immediately, and are not released until the conditions of the contract have been met.

    View the latest status of the DEX >

    Payment Channels

    Work on the upcoming Lightning Network promises to enable nearly instant, cheap and safe exchange of bitcoin between untrusted counterparties. Features in Counterparty are under development that will allow for use of uni- or bi-directional payment channels with Counterparty tokens. Future work will allow the use of the Lightning Network with Counterparty, enabling rapid, decentralized and off-chain exchange of tokens that settles onto the Bitcoin blockchain.

    Learn More about Lightning Network >


    Blockchain-based voting avoids many of the issues inherent with voting in “real world”. Digital signatures allow for identity and voting rights to be easily established and verified, and the blockchain itself provides an unalterable, append-only record of who voted, and when. Counterparty provides multiple methods to perform fully decentralized voting on the blockchain:

    XCP stake voting is under development, to allow for powerful, decentralized governance of the Counterparty protocol.

    View Votes for the 2016 Counterparty Elections >

    Multisignature Addresses

    Multisignature transactions require signatures from more than one Bitcoin private key to spend their funds. Counterparty supports various multisignature schemes, such as 1-of-3, 2-of-3, 3-of-5, and more. Using our technology, a Bitcoin “multisignature address” may be created, and some quantity of a Counterparty token sent to it. Some quorum of signers will then be required to digitally verify and sign any transaction that sends these tokens somewhere else. In practice, this allows for enhanced security measures around Counterparty token access and distribution. Scenarios where this could be useful include:

    • Allowing team members and third-party firms to initiate transactions that can be approved later by management,
    • allowing issuers of tokens to safely store these tokens, as well as to control their distribution, and
    • allowing third-party auditing services to ensure the delivery of goods and services once contractual obligations have been satisfied, and only release funds once verified.

    Learn More About Multisig


    Counterwallet --- web wallet

    counterparty-cli --- CLI




    Bter (XCP/BTC)

    Bter (XCP/CNY)

    Bter (XCP/USD)



    Block Explorers:








    API documentation





    Chinese Language Thread

  • counterparty-lib update 9.55.1

    Release Announcement for counterparty-lib 9.55.1

    Counterparty experienced roughly 14 hours of downtime on December 2nd, 2016. Counterparty is back up and running thanks to a fix enacted by several leading Counterparty developers. Ruben de Vries will be porting changes from master to develop within the next day or so. Please update to the latest version of counterparty-lib (9.55.1) as soon as possible.The problem that occurred was due to counterparty-lib not properly handling out-of-range integer data in an edge case. To be more specific, a message was broadcast to the network that was either created by a non-counterparty-lib implementation or a hand-constructed Counterparty transaction. The fix enacted by Counterparty development should prevent this from ever happening in the future on any integer data that is embedded in the protocol.This error caused downtime for Counterparty but no rollback will be necessary. The transaction that caused the error was the last to occur before downtime and activity has started once more from the spot of the problem transaction.Thank you for your support of Counterparty. As an open-source project our community is our most valuable resource. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us on the #dev channel on Slack. You can also join the conversation via Telegram.

  • Counterparty {XCP} Relaese v9.55.2


    Added subassets. Preliminary segwit support on testnet.

    Mandatory Upgrade Block

    • All clients must upgrade by block 467417. Please upgrade as soon as possible!

    Protocol Changes

    • Implemented CIP-4 subassets ( (protocol change: 467417)

    Implementation Changes

    • Update to bitcoind 0.13.2-addrindex
    • Update to python-bitcoinlib 0.7.1-SNAPSHOT on testnet, to add segwit support

    Interface Changes

    • Asset-related API calls can now take subasset longnames. (See API documentation for more information.)

    Upgrade Procedure

    For manual installations:

    If running a federated node:

    fednode rebuild bitcoin bitcoin-testnet counterparty counterparty-testnet
    fednode restart bitcoin bitcoin-testnet
    fednode update
     counterparty counterparty-testnet


  • Counterparty {XCP} Update for May 18, 2017

    Due to several important new changes, we’re releasing a development update independently this week.

    Transaction fee improvements

    When composing a new Counterparty transaction, counterparty-lib must select which Bitcoin unspent outputs (UTXOs) to use as inputs for the transaction in order to pay the miners’ fees.  We released a hotfixCounterwalletand has been updated to run it once the feature is live on mainnet. With this code, users can create subassets, trade them, and use them as they would use any other asset.

    Subassets are currently live on testnet only, and will be live on mainnet around May 20, so if you haven’t updated to counterparty-lib 5.52.2 yet, please do so ASAP!

    To try this all out on testnet, visit https://wallet-testnet.counterwallet.ioaround 40-45>#/strong###, as well as adding a new “memo” field that can be used to specify a description of the transaction, such as an exchange payment ID.

    We will soon be drafting out CIP 11 as well, which will allow memo field usage to be required for sending to addresses which signal this requirement. The main use of CIP 9 and 11 together will be exchanges, who will be able to massively streamline their Counterparty deposit and withdrawal processes, which (we think) will drastically reduce support headaches, delays, and the fees they pass on to their users.

    We are still aiming for a CIP 9 and 11 release sometime in mid/late June.

    New block explorers

    In the wake of the closing of, we are pleased to announce the development of two new block explorers, xchain.ioToken Explorer (developed by Inqiesquare). We are very pleased to see these new block explorers, which (especially with will replace the use of As it is, all links in Counterwallet have been replaced with the cooresponding links.

    Jdog has also released counterparty2mysql, a nifty script to convert the Counterparty sqlite database into a mysql database, which he uses with

  • Counterparty {XCP} Update 6/23/17

    Ecosystem Updates

    The Counterparty ecosystem has seen a lot of progress the past month. There has been a massive influx of new projects and updates of existing ones. Here’s a brief overview:

    Token Explorerbeta.

    Developer Updates

    The Counterparty developers are actively working on improving the protocol, with the main focus being reducing transaction fees. Since Counterparty stores data in regular bitcoin transactions, we can gain a lot by encoding data more efficiently. Exactly how this is achieved is highly technical, but those interested can read the Counterparty Improvement Proposals (CIPs) at

    To address rising transaction fees, development is underway for more efficient encoding of Counterparty data (CIP11CIP9) which will significantly reduce the fees you need to pay by 40-45%. To ease the integration of Counterparty to exchanges, optional text memos can be added to transactions (CIP12). Projects that today need to make several transactions will soon be able to group them all together for significantly lower fees (CIP10CIP13).

    A donation page has recently been added to the website and can be found here. This page will be kept up to date with a list of CIPs and the bounty and development status for each CIP. In addition this page lists off notable community members who contribute on an ongoing basis through their development efforts and dedication to the counterparty community.

    Counterparty is a community funded project and progresses solely through the generous time and monetary donations of others. Please consider donating to the general fund, any active bounties, or directly to community members listed at

    Proof-of-Concept VM

    John Villar, Community Director and lead developer of RarePepe.Party has been working on a Counterparty specific VM (Virtual Machine), with the goal to create a very stable, and safe smart contracts platform for Counterparty. More information can be found on our forum at

    Instant Lottery

    JP Janssen, Community Director, has suggested building an XCP Lottery into the Counterparty protocol. It will make a fair game available with up to 1000x payout. More information can be found at

    Robby’s Departure

    Robby Dermody, one of the three Counterparty Founders, was married a few weeks ago and will be taking a break from day-to-day involvement in crypto projects for a while in order to slow down a bit and focus on the simpler things, like a small farm and a child or two. You can read Robby’s full statement at

    Robby has also donated 2,500 XCP to the Counterparty general development fund, and hopes that his donation paired with our new CIP bounty process – will help development continue on for the foreseeable future.

    The foundation and community wish him the best, and we give a heartfelt thank-you for this amazing project he helped start. The door will always be open for his return.

    There will be a fifth elected seat in the next election. Discussion on the transition is ongoing in terms of Robby’s replacement. Devon Weller will be replacing Robby as a project maintainer on github along with Ruben Devries.

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