Counterparty (XCP)


Counterparty is a smart contract platform that leverages the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) to facilitate the execution of smart contracts on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. Counterparty operates like a platform since it does not have its own blockchain. Instead, it exists as data within the Bitcoin blockchain through the OP_RETURN data encoding method. As a result, on-chain XCP transactions are by definition Bitcoin transactions with encoded data. The XCP token is used to pay for the execution of smart contracts, much like the concept of “gas” in Ethereum. Counterparty was launched through a “Proof of Burn” offering, whereby Bitcoin users sent bitcoin to a special address that burned, or locked up the bitcoin forever, in return for an equivalent amount of XCP.  Other than Peter Todd, a Bitcoin Core Developer, the Counterparty development team is largely anonymous.