Why isn't Counterparty SPAM?
Some people think that Counterparty is a waste of space on the Bitcoin blockchain, others say Counterparty is beneficial to the intrinsic value of Bitcoin. Which is ...
What's up party people? Chris DeRose here, Community Director of the Counterparty Foundation. Today's question is "Why isn't Counterparty SPAM?," Or conversely, "Why is Counterparty SPAM?," to which I believe the answer is "It's not." So there's a lot of uses of the Bitcoin network beyond just transferring value in Bitcoin terms. There are some people who really feel like it should not be used for anything other than transferring value. That's certainly anyone's prerogative, but I think it's important to consider that with Bitcoin, what you paid for is real estate on the Blockchain. I think it's a very popular approach right now to start exploring these alternate uses, and I think that people doing this with Bitcoin is really adding a lot of value to the network of Bitcoin in terms of its actual transferring of value, in terms of its most simplified terms.
There's a lot of people who wanted to remain purists on this topic who really want to say that Bitcoin is one thing or Bitcoin isn't another thing. That's fine and good, but I don't think that Bitcoin is about anyone's ability to make that choice. I think that when you hold Bitcoin, you yourself are participating in the network and you get to make the say on what you do. I think too this gets to a lot of questions on "What is a Blockchain?" and "What values do Blockchains serve?" I'm a big believer in Bitcoin, certainly through and through in the 1.0 sense. But in the 2.
0 sense, I think that Bitcoin is the perfect Blockchain for a lot of the things that people want to do, smart contracts with user assets, etc. I think that people should probably consider that this is all very new, and we don't really know what Bitcoin is. So if somebody wants to use it for the purposes of Counterparty, that's perfectly acceptable. If for no other reason, then you really don't have a choice. Right now, if somebody wanted to implement some kind of SPAM filtering, all they could do is increase the transaction size minimums or the mining tip minimums. But what that does is basically incur the same onus on everybody.
I think it's starting to happen and we're seeing this now with the recent 80 byte AWP return. It's the developers are instead making it easier for people who want to use the Blockchain for these purposes to use them for these purposes. AWP return is a better mechanism for storing metadata on the Blockchain and increasing the size from 40 to 80 bytes. It would allow us to use Counterparty in a way that can in fact be a selectively stored thereafter. It gives the operators the ability to designate the Counterparty data as something that should be pruned from their repositories or not. It will still get processed and mined.
It will just not remain thereafter because it's been indicated as for use by the Counterparty network and it won't be as needed. So I think that the better and more sustainable trajectory going forward is for the developers to give the community the tools that it needs to designate the type of transaction that they're doing so that people can have the option of working with it thereafter in whatever way they want. That seems to be the direction that the developers are going. So for the people that are saying that Counterparty is SPAM, I think that that is becoming a minority and I think people are recognizing that the Blockchain is useful for all kinds of things and that we should use it for all kinds of things. It adds value to all the other facilities that most people wanted to see regardless of the SPAM allegation. So I think that's the overview.
That's what I think. If you guys disagree, why don't you tell me in the comments below? You can also tweet me at @derosetech and ask me any questions that you have.