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.

  • Counterparty lib (XCP) Release v9.55.3


    • Implements CIP-9 Enhanced Send, CIP-11 Shorten Transaction Type ID and CIP-12 Memo Requirement through Broadcasts.
    • Fixes locked issuance workaround
    • Updated python-bitcoinlib library for handling blocks that include transactions with segwit outputs
    • Test suite and test services updates

    Mandatory Upgrade Block

    • All clients must upgrade by block 489956. Please upgrade as soon as possible!

    Protocol Changes

    Implementation Changes

    Interface Changes

    • Create_send and get_sends API calls now have memo parameters and attributes. (See API documentation for more information.)

    Upgrade Procedure

    For manual installations:

    • Download newest counterparty-lib and counterparty-cli master and update required python library versions to satisfy these versionsthese versions as appropriate.

    For those running a federated node with no front-end:

    fednode rebuild counterparty counterparty-testnet
    fednode update counterparty counterparty-testnet

    For those running a full federated node with counterwallet:

    fednode rebuild
    fednode update


  • Counterparty lib (XCP) Release v9.55.4

    Today counterparty releases version 9.55.4 which includes a hotfix for an uncaught exception which could cause a Counterparty server to stop operating normally.

    There is no mandatory upgrade block for this release. However, all users are encouraged to upgrade as soon as possible.

    Upgrade Procedure

    For those running a federated node with no front-end: fednode update counterparty counterparty-testnet

    For those running a full federated node with counterwallet: fednode update

    For standalone / manual installations: pip install --upgrade counterparty-lib==9.55.4


    • This is a hotfix for an uncaught exception that could cause all running counterparty servers to stop.

    Upgrade Timing

    • There is no mandatory upgrade block for this release. All users are encouraged to upgrade as soon as possible.

    Upgrade Procedure

    For manual installations:

    • Download the newest counterparty-lib master and update required python library versions to satisfy these versionsthese versions as appropriate.

    For those running a federated node with no front-end:

    fednode update counterparty counterparty-testnet

    For those running a full federated node with counterwallet:

    fednode update


  • Counterparty April Newsletter - Ecosystem & Other Updates

    April’s Counterparty Newsletter includes some exciting developments and updates from projects in the community, check them out below!

    Ecosystem Updates

    Spells of Genesis brings a few updates to players this month alongside its regular monthly campaign. Following ‘Fair February’, the month of March introduced players to ‘the Ire of March’ – available to users who have completed the first difficulty star on the Dark Creator level. Whilst the costs are the same as the previous month, March’s campaign offered new rewards to Spells of Genesis players.

    As just one of the features mentioned in the new updates release, the Spells of Genesis team have updated the player experience with a footpath animation to further detail level progression, countdown animations to help better guide users through battles, alongside the ability to cancel any preemptive shots in battle. The first star of the last 5 levels has also been reduced in difficulty to allow all players better access to the monthly campaigns offered by the game’s creators

    You can also stay up to date with Spells of Genesis via their public trello roadmap. Continuing developments include an enemy health bar, user-generated avatars on the blockchain as well as daily login bonuses for players.

    Book of Orbs continues to host its beta web application to users over the past month with plans to push into its final development following the update of IndieSquare’s APIs. The final production of the web application hopes to include ledger nano support – a hardware wallet – acting as a security feature that spares users from having to enter their passphrase on the web browser. As part of the BitCrystals economy, the team managing the growth of the Book of Orbs project has been excited to have added two more environments to the Book of Orbs ecosystem.

    The first, ‘Crystalscraft’ collection, acts similar to other existing environments in the Book of orbs ecosystem such as memorychain, in offering user-generated content for trading on the blockchain to its users. With an ease-of-process afforded by the more streamlined Bitcrystals platform, virtually anyone is capable of uploading and adapting their content into a blockchain asset. With themes for creators to contribute to, creations are to be sold for a limited amount of time. To learn more click here.

    The second, ‘Gamicon’ collection, was exclusive to the GDC 2018 convention. Exclusively available during the time of the event, the environment acted as promotional service to the relevant parties.

    The BitCrystals team also hosts weekly quizzes on

    where you can earn rewards such as BCY; the premium currency within Spells of Genesis.

    IndieSquare is due to release a new wallet soon with a Counterparty app store built in. This feature will allow users and 3rd party developers to play and build apps to be used directly within the wallet. For instance, developer Christian Moss has shared a look at a puzzle game that conceptualizes the premise quite well.

    Sarutobi Island news remains brief this month, as
    Mandel Duck developer Christian Moss, works to help develop projects
    with IndieSquare and Book of Orbs. However, with a few more details
    provided surrounding the development of Sarutobi Island chapter 3, Moss
    details that the narrative surrounding the chapter will focus on
    Sarutobi needing to steal a gem from a castle with a gaming aesthetic
    and tactic that loans from Metal Gear Solid. A sneak peek below
    highlights what players have to look forward to. Mandel Duck also plans
    to develop lightning payment channels alongside chapter 3.

    Age of Rust’s latest news provided an update from the then-ongoing beta release of the upcoming game wherein all prizes, including cross-platform blockchain cards (bar the ultimate prize of 4BTC) had been won. On March 11th the beta version of the game updated to open up another 150+ areas, and more than 80% of the game. for players to explore; as well as discover more prizes with puzzles to solve.

    Augmentors held their much-anticipated token holder alpha this month open to holders of the Databits token which allowed for the game’s initial financing –  that also influenced the creation of the Databit tethers which are used as an in-game currency.

    From the images below, the alpha was formed from feedback from the game’s early backer alpha wherein, in this version, players received in-game, blockchain and real-world prizes.

    In other exciting news, Augmentors recently released a non-AR counterpart to its Augmented Reality premise for the convenience of its players or for the those without AR support.

    FoldingCoin offers a brief update this month wherein they have hired two new java developers to help with the ever-growing progression of the project. Aside from their public meetings hosted every month (of which you can follow up here), the team recently uploaded an introductory ‘what is FoldingCoin’ animation to their social networks. You can check it out below:

    In further exciting and upcoming FoldingCoin news due to be released April 7th, Merged Folding (Beta Version 1) is due to be released. To surmise, FoldingCoin is a counterparty protocol based rewards system for contributors of Stanford’s [email protected] distributed computing system. Further details about FoldingCoin’s work with Tokenly to get Merged Folding released to its Folders will be available on this date, and the team urge those interested to attend saturday’s upcoming meeting at 14:00 UTC here.

    This upcoming beta will be open for testing and use by other Counterparty projects looking to distribute tokens throughout FoldingCoin’s platform but are cautioned to remain aware of its beta status and of any potential issues as a result. You can read more about the project here and here.

    In other news, FoldingCoin has also been developing merchandise with plans to make it available to the public later this year.

    Counterparty in the News:

    Counterparty news this month relates to the ever-growing discussion surrounding rare digital art.

    The first article, “The Rise of Rare Digital Art: Blockchain Becoming Best Friend to Art World” by Joey Chiappetta, lends to this discussion with a new medium – that of ‘Silly Daddy Comics’. Chiappetta; a long time cartoonist for the comics relates his profession to the discussion, as the article notes the addition of Chiappetta’s work to the BitCrystals ecosystem as well as the longstanding heritage of comic art as a tradeable and scarce ecosystem.

    A key talking point of Chiappetta’s article revolves around the theme of ownership in that the gratification and responsibility of collecting rare art culminates a unique privilege that defines digital ownership into something almost unequivocally tangible.

    He adds, that there is an added value on the blockchain platform via the scarcity afforded to the concept in the tokenization protocol, that supersedes the mass exhibition present in other digital mediums, that allow for various third-party uploads. Chiappetta finishes with a note that EverdreamSoft and Book of Orbs are notable platforms for the exhibition of rare digital art with a built-in economy and 24/7 open market.

    The second piece of Counterparty news this month follows suit in the form of an article from Rare Pepe Wallet founder Joe Looney. In ‘What are Rare Digital Art Goods?” Looney discusses a variety of blockchain art mediums, including Counterparty’s Rare Pepes. In questioning, “Are Rare digital goods cleverly branded alt-coins?” he answers ultimately, that no they’re not because rare art’s primary use is not currency – PepeCash excluded.

    Instead, Looney declares, “rare digital goods are non-currency, transferrable, digitally native objects”.

    Citing that currency is only the first application of the bitcoin [and subsequently Counterparty] protocol, Looney draws a mention to use cases such as Bitcorns for their in-game item use alongside Spells of Genesis and Rare Pepe as trading cards.

    Looney goes on to highlight the ability to adapt the initial intended use of the rare goods by third parties because of their existence on the blockchain and therefore its multi-use applications. With this third-party involvement, Looney then questions – what gives rare digital art their value?

    Besides obvious scarcity, he writes that rare digital art doesn’t take up physical space, has counterfeit resistance and, they hold applied characteristics such as those seen within the Rare Pepe Directory. You can read more about these features here.

    In another article by DJ J-Scrilla, he introduces readers to CryptoArt and CryptoMusic and the artistic freedom afforded by rare digital art.

    In his article, DJ J-Scrilla refers to CryptoMusic as a rare digital art – such as tokenized placeholders – in the music industry. For instance on platforms such as Token.FM, tokens and digital contracts – he writes – can be programmed, to benefit both artist and consumers to grant exclusive access and create exclusive and scarce merchandise.

    With nods to, he writes that this art is all transparent and scarce for the consumer to see on block explorers.

    In a brief article on, Counterparty protocol games; Augmentors, Rare Pepe Party, and Sarutobi Island are listed among the Top 5 Cryptocurrency upcoming games.

    Sarutobi Island is also mentioned in an entertaining interview with the game’s creator Mandel Duck, about the game’s origin alongside the creator’s own history in Counterparty, and opinion on the future of Cryptogaming.

    In an article on FiveThirtyEight, the theory of manufacturing scarcity continues in a conservative yet entertaining and alternative piece. In a historically and literature heavy discussion, the author warns of digital rare art’s potential demise – perhaps foregoing Rare Pepe’s less than serious ethos.

    Following concerns highlighted in this piece, the Digitally Rare publication responds to another piece by the author – agreeing that art has always been about capital countering, that therefore, in this context, the necessity has scarcity has always been implied.

    In bittersweet news, the Rare Pepe Foundation is no longer taking in submissions that allow the Rare Pepe directory to verify new designs. However, the Rare Pepe directory and Rare Pepe Wallet will be maintained as an homage to its history.

    Counterparty Development News:

    Unfortunately, due to recent events, all CIPs continue to be delayed without any ETAs. Following Indiesquare’s completion of their current wallet development, they plan to pledge some resources into adding segwit support to Counterparty. We also welcome the support of any other willing developers that would like to review the status of CIPs on GitHub and reach out to Counterparty to work on CIPs for bounties.

    Going forward, development status on future CIPs are as follows:

    CIP 10 and CIP 6 are subject to peer review and unfortunately, the tentative ETA of mid-February has been pushed back. There is no ETA at this time for CIP 15 (segwit) until there are more developers onboard, though it is welcome for review. You can stay up to date with current and future CIPs, as well as links to relevant GitHub pages via the Counterparty donate page.

    CIP 6 – P2SH data encoding

    P2SH data encoding will allow Counterparty to utilize more space for transactions. CIP 6 will be beneficial to large transactions and is a prerequisite in supporting some of the more advanced send types, such as multi-peer-multi-asset (MPMA) and Multiparty Counterparty Aggregate Transactions (MCAT).

    CIP 10 – Multi-Peer Multi-Asset Sends (MPMA)

    Multi-Peer Multi-Assets sends will allow many assets to be sent to many peers in a single transaction, simplifying batch transactions, and reducing transaction fees even further.

    CIP 15– Segwit Support

    Enabling Segwit support within Counterparty will enable users to spend less on transaction fees and enables potential future enhancements. Updating Counterwallet will allow users to choose if they want to send assets to a segwit enabled address or a traditional address.

    CIPs planned for release this year:

    CIP 13 – Multiparty Counterparty Aggregate Transactions (MCAT)

    MCAT will allow Counterparty users to group their transactions with those of other Counterparty users, to reduce their sends costs considerably. Most users will be able to utilize this feature to send transactions for less than the cost of a single bitcoin transaction.

    CIP 13 will also allow Counterparty users to utilize MCAT nodes, to send assets across the Counterparty Network, and pay for the transaction fees in an asset other than BTC.

    Counterparty is an open-source, community-funded project which progresses solely through the generous time and monetary donations of others.

    Again, please visit our donations page to stay up to date on the current bounty and development status of any CIPS, and consider making a donation to support their continued development. Alternatively, please share or RT Counterparty CIPs on social media so we can help fulfill them faster!

    Counterparty hangouts are currently withheld until CIPs are next implemented, however, you can find our previous hangouts shortly thereafter.

    We have also recently opened up a press channel for any media inquiries and would ask any media outlets to contact [email protected].

    Please join the @Counterparty_XCP group on Telegram for breaking news and real-time Counterparty conversation!

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