Whats the Difference Between Counterparty and Ethereum?
How is Counterparty different than Ethereum? How do the smart contracts compare, and how does the project management differ? In this short video, from the ...
What's up, party people? It's Chris DeRose, Community Director of the Counterparty Foundation. And I'm here in the Winwood district of Miami, enjoying a beautiful day in sunny South Florida. And I want to answer for you the question: What makes Counter Party different than Ethereum? How do the projects compare? There's a lot of issues here, and let's start exploring the two projects. So off the bat, it's a little difficult to really talk about Ethereum because much of the future set, much of the implementation, is still up in the air. It's still being deliberated. It's still being proposed.
But then, of course, that brings us to the first point of distinction, which is that Counterparty works today. You can start building applications using many of the features that Ethereum has proposed in your own projects, and you can start doing it right now. So that's one really important distinction. It's that Counterparty is here and it works and it is already tested to a significant degree. But then, that brings us to another point. Well, if they're very similar, well, what is Counterparty then, if it's different than Ethereum? And certainly, the philosophy behind the Counterparty project is to use the security of the Bitcoin block chain, to use the network of minors, to use the infrastructure of Bitcoin, and use that as its primary sort of heartbeat, or its persistence mechanism.
Take your pick. And that is one major distinction between Counterparty and Ethereum. Ethereum is going the route, where it wishes to define its own consensus mechanism, a competing block chain, if you will, with its ether that is a competing Bitcoin. And for Counterparty, we're sidestepping a lot of the complexity, not only in terms of the algorithmic complexity, but the economic complexity of managing a separate money system, in addition to the contract execution [inaudible] platform and all of that. So Ethereum is still up in the air. We don't really know what its consensus mechanism will be or how it'll work or if it'll work.
But certainly we know how Bitcoin works, and we know that it's here today. So with Counterparty, we're leveraging all of the power and security of the Bitcoin block chain to perform the functions that our 2.0 platform provides. It's also worth noting that Counterparty is a significantly more open platform, significantly more open source paradigm for software development. There is no stake by the holders for raising capital. It's done by a litany of volunteers.
It is a very traditional development model in the open source community that has worked for projects, such as Apache, for Linux itself, and all of these things. And the Ethereum project is a little bit different in that it's more, perhaps, akin to a company with shares or some such thing. And that may not be bad, or it may not be good. I don't know. But certainly it's a different model by which Ethereum operates than Counterparty. Because Counterparty is an open source platform in the way that we all use open source platforms, it borrows from a lot of projects.
I don't think that Ethereum, as is, is borrowing from any projects. And maybe that's just a design decision by the founders of Ethereum. I don't know. But what's important...
And the that reason I bring it up is that Ethereum and Counterparty have one very central thing in common, and that is Serpent. Serpent was actually defined by the Ethereum project. It is, perhaps, the largest feature of Ethereum. a touring complete programming language. And Counterparty adopted this language as it's own primary language. So in Counterparty, you not only have the [inaudible] support contracts, but you have the Ethereum model for [inaudible] support contracts.
So for a lot of people who have been excited about the Ethereum project, which is understandable, they can port that excitement right over to Counterparty, the same way that Counterparty ported that contract execution language over to Counterparty. And again, that's available to you today. You can start writing code with it. So we'll see. Ethereum, in many ways, is distinguishing itself, now, based on its block chain. But it's hard to really have this conversation because we haven't seen that block chain.
There's been a lot of proposed standards, and so perhaps, we'll revisit this video at that time that we see something more developed. But the important point is that Counterparty is here today, and Counterparty works with many of the features that Ethereum has. And it offers a little bit more in the way of the Bitcoin block chain over, perhaps, its undefined block chain going forth. So that's that. That's the easy answer. Certainly, I want to answer more of your questions.
So go ahead. Send me a tweet. Send me an email. Chris@Chrisderose.com is my email address, and Derosetech is my Twitter address. So send those questions my way, and let me come here, in the nice part of Miami, and explain them to you.
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