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What Is Counterparty?

What Is Counterparty?

Counterparty is a new compliment to the Bitcoin protocol that performs general finance, user-defined asset exchange, and contract execution functions in a ...

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Chris: What's up party people? It's Chris DeRose, community director of The Counter Party Foundation and today I wanted to answer the most basic of questions. Just what is Counter Party? We've all heard a lot about it and you probably have a lot of questions. So hopefully this will help get you started on your Counter Party journey. Counter Party is a protocol, it's a platform, it's a set of specifications, it's an API, it's all of the functionality required to work with user defined assets using the BitCoin block chain. Counter Party is primarily built with BitCoin. It uses BitCoin in much the same way that your car uses gasoline.

I like to liken Counter Party in many ways to BitCoin in the way that CSS, perhaps, augments HTML. It's a very part and parcel, tied together protocol and platform. With Counter Party you can create assets, user defined assets. These assets are things like commodities. Perhaps you want to declare a precious metal. Maybe you want to start a company and have shares in that company, well, that would also be an asset.

If you're a developer for a website maybe you want to have karma on your website be an asset. These are scarce tokens of value that can be used for all kinds of things. Once it's on a Counter Party network you can then trade it using the Counter Party distributed exchange. You can offer orders to sell your Counter Party assets, you can buy other people's Counter Party assets, you can trade them with others, and you can assign them to others. You can do things like issue distribution payments. For those who have a stock in your company you can issue BitCoin distributions to those people.

In addition to all of this the most exciting new feature to Counter Party is smart contracts, the ability to design contracts that execute based on inputs to the network, perhaps broadcast by oracles and affect the distribution of assets. This allows things for all kinds of traditional stock options and stock financial transactions to things like bets and to things like escrow services. In all these ways the way we see Counter Party in use is as a Counter Party agent in much the way that BitCoin removes Counter Party risk from very straight forward transactions, Counter Party the protocol removes risk from user defined assets and user defined transactions. Anyone can get involved in the Counter Party project right now, both as a user of the software or as a developer writing new software. For the casual observer it certainly is a place to start. I'd highly recommend checking out a Counter Wallet which is the official GY of the Counter Party project.

No software is needed to be installed. You can visit CounterWallet.co on your browser and you can get started immediately with your own user accounts. Again, all information is persistent on the block chain so make sure you save that password because there's no recover feature. Once you get familiar with the software, the functions, and how it works, you can then precede at that point to start marketing your own assets if you like. Or you can start integrating it into your own website projects.

You can look at the APIs which are heavily documented on the Counter Party website and start adding your own hooks and integration into your existing software and start using all of the advanced features of Counter Party. If you like what you see from there you can checkout contract support. Contracts are new and they're evolving and we don't really know exactly where they're going to be used first but there are all kinds of great opportunities and options available to anybody who is into the project at that level and they can explore what they can do with user defined assets now that they don't need the permissions of attorneys and escrow holders and bond holders and insurance people to start making financial products and financial platforms work for them. So, we're really excited about it here at Counter Party. That wraps up our quick intro. There are lots of different avenues to explore and I highly encourage you to look at the rest of our channel, certainly subscribe and check out the new videos and ask us your questions.

We want to be a useful resource to you, we want to get the community excited and we want provide useful content so tell us what you're stuck on. Email me, Chris@ChrisDeRose.com or tweet me @DeRoseTech on Twitter. And I look forward hearing from you and hopefully you check out some more of our videos.