What is a Counterparty broadcast?

What is a Counterparty broadcast?


What's up party people? Chris DeRose here, Community Director of the Counterparty Foundation. Today's question is, "What is a Counterparty broadcast?" Well, what is a broadcast? Because it is basically the same kind of thing. This broadcast consequence, this broadcast thing is available in a lot of 2.0 projects. It's a lot like what it sounds like. It is an announcement.

It is a declaration. It's a declaration of truth. It's a declaration of an event, or it's a declaration of a thing. It's a declaration of a value. These are typically what broadcasts are. Now, it's important to designate the type of truth that a broadcast is from the type of truth that we deal with normally in a crypto space.

So there's different kinds of truths. Some truths are things like one plus one equals two. That's mathematical certainty and there's no need to perhaps broadcast that per se because there's an environment and there's a model we already have in our mathematical understanding that allows us to handle this. But there's other types of truth like who won the Super Bowl? Or did I receive a house from Fred? These are things that don't have mathematical certainties. They are in fact truths but they truths that are reported by an oracle or by a third party. So the broadcast is typically something that's a little subjective, or maybe it is objective but it requires that somebody communicate it.

There's no way that the Bitcoin network itself or the Counterparty network itself could know this. These are truths that are typically used for financial transactions. They're typically used for smart contracts and they're typically used for bets, at least in the Counterparty protocol. So you can write a smart contract that relies on the output of a broadcast in order to deliver money, and you can choose basically the value of that broadcast. The money will do one thing. It will go left to Fred or it will go right to Nancy.

These are the types of things you see broadcast is used for. Broadcasts themselves are its own sort of niche in a space. We probably will see that broadcast services are what's going to happen, perhaps in the same way that we have information services in general. Perhaps people will be broadcasting financial data like stock output, sports scores, things like that. There will be third parties that will be independent of perhaps the financial parties involved that doing these broadcasts. Yes, it does add a bit of centralization, but there's nothing else you can do.

Some people have asked, "Well, why don't we just add support for web scraping or something directly in Counterparty?" Well, consequences of some of these truths are that when you have minors in multiple locations, they're apt to get it a little wrong. If you have a hard time visualizing this, go to Google news. If you bring up from Nancy's machine or if you bring it up from Fred's machine, you're going to see slightly different version of the homepage. So we typically delegate an authority, we delegate an oracle to be the broadcaster of truth and to send out a broadcast. It's a very simple API call for the developers and it's a number typically, an integer. You set up in advance that there will be this broadcast available at this time.

Then that time happens, and then the outcome or the truth is then resolved in output of the network. So that's what a broadcast is. If you have any questions about broadcasts or really any questions about Counterparty at all, go ahead and Tweet me. My handle on Twitter is derosetech and my email is If you like this video and you found it useful, subscribe to my channel.

Later, party people.