Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin's Chief Scientist, on Counterparty

From “I’m Gavin Andresen, Chief Scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation. Ask me anything!” at

[–]GrounBEEFtaxi 31 points 1 day ago
Gavin, what is your take on the counterparty/overstock cryptosecurities project. I truly believe this might be the grand project that truly challenges wall street. Thoughts?

[–]gavinandresen[S] 31 points 1 day ago

Really really interesting.
A lot will depend on how the SEC (or similar regulatory agencies overseas) reacts, I think.

[-]maraoz 30 points 1 day ago
Hey Gavin, great respect for your amazing work. What are your thoughts on non-financial transactions or uses of the bitcoin blockchain? (e.g counterparty, colored coins, proof of existence, etc.)

[–]gavinandresen[S] 61 points 1 day ago
I’m excited about the possibilities.

I think a lot of projects unnecessarily mix up the various services the blockchain provides, and try to make it do things it is not good at doing (like storing data). I think the best projects understand that they don’t need to invent a new currency. They don’t need to use the blockchain as their long-term data storage solution. And they don’t need to use the p2p network as their communication mechanism.

They should use the blockchain as the world’s most secure distributed ledger.

[–]socium 7 points 1 day ago

What would you say about storing digests in OP_RETURN (as long as they don’t exceed the 40bytes max size) ?

[–]gavinandresen[S] 14 points 1 day ago

That is what OP_RETURN is for, go for it!

All very well thought-out responses. From Counterparty’s perspective, the storing data and new currency comments may or may not have been meant for it. Since Counterparty is quite frugal about storing what is financial data in the block chain and will use OP_RETURN when there is better miner support, I don’t see this as a serious issue.

The other thing, about inventing a new currency, is that it seems to be the only way we know now to enable many of the useful features Counterparty provides.

Gavin is definitely not happy about any system embedding it’s data in the Bitcoin Blockchain, and this includes Counterparty. The Counterparty team are still being the best stewards of the Bitcoin Blockchain that they currently can be,