Counterparty: Assets and Utilization of Sub-Assets In Practice

in #blockchain5 years ago (edited)

This technical discussion includes viewpoints from both Matthew Reichardt, founder of Gearvault ™, and Julian Smith, founder of Blockfreight ™. This discussion outlines what we believe the future of sub-asset usage in Counterparty should look like.

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Counterparty Enables Advanced Features Deployable to the Bitcoin Blockchain

Counterparty is a remarkable technology that enables it's user base to easily deploy assets on-top of the Bitcoin blockchain. Those unique assets are one of the primary uses of the Counterparty network and can represent any financially fungible item: a new digital currency, asset redemption, tickets, and even game items.

Many companies and individuals develop on this platform. It allows them to create feature-rich bitcoin-enabled applications, and gives their users the security and decentralized freedom that the Bitcoin blockchain provides. Companies like Storj are enabling the future of decentralized, secure, and cheap cloud storage by utilizing the power of Counterparty-deployable assets. Blockfreight is driving a revolution in global freight by creating an infrastructure to easily digitize and transfer ownership of shipping documents. Other Counterparty developers are working on the next-generation of gaming by harnessing the power of custom assets to represent in-game items. Spells of Genesis is a trading card game (TCG) being developed on the blockchain. Each card can be held by a user's wallet and traded instantly with other players, creating an organic economy without any additional development work.

The Sub-Asset Question

Counterparty was built with the intention to allow it's users to deploy assets of value on the Bitcoin blockchain. Through development and experimentation several community members have noted the need to be able to deploy sub-asset-styled tokens. Before continuing on it is important to ask yourself, what is a sub-asset?

An example Counterparty asset: TOKENME

Above we can see an example asset name. This naming pattern is achievable without issue for a majority of the user base. The need to have only a top-level asset name is great for deploying new currencies and most items holding value, but this pattern is limited. There are several use-cases that could call for sub-assets and two example asset patterns are listed below.

An example Counterparty sub-asset: TOKENME::ITEM1
This pattern could allow for a generalized top-level assets and the ability to add unique sub-assets. Projects needing the ability to dynamically generate an item off-chain would be able to secure their asset name by creating a namespace based off of the top-level asset. Only the owning address would be able to deploy sub-assets. Here we create an asset to be used in a game named TOKENME. This top-level asset could possibly be used as an in-game currency or as a fee to enable trades. The sub-asset ITEM1 denotes an asset, owned by TOKENME, and represents a unique in-game item.

An example Counterparty sub-asset with nested item: TOKENME::DECKNAME:CARD
In addition to the earlier example, this pattern enables the ability to chain one additional asset onto the sub-asset. Here we create an asset to be used in a game named TOKENME. This top-level asset could possibly be used as an in-game currency or as a fee to enable trades. The sub-asset DECKNAME denotes an asset, owned by TOKENME, and is used to tag a unique card deck. CARD is the actual in-game item, belonging to deck DECKNAME, in game asset TOKENME.

By organizing the full asset name and breaking out the sub-asset name with two colons, and the chained-asset with one colon, the community will be able to efficiently use reg-expressions to easily represent this data in end-user facing services. The usage of colon-based separators in Counterparty is paramount as to not alter the usage of the platform to a service such as Namecoin.

Sub-Assets Add Value to Counterparty by Providing New Development Possibilities

The community behind Counterparty would greatly benefit, following the above defined patterns, from sub-asset inclusion to the platform. This feature will, over time, help enable new platforms to be developed on top of Counterparty that would have previously never been possible in an top-level-only asset system. It provides a means to generate off-chain transactions enhancing user experience, with the ability to secure asset names via the predefined pattern above. It is our recommendation and vote that sub-assets, as defined in this document, should be quickly implemented into the Counterparty platform.


PGP Signed Message Should Match:

  • Matthew Reichardt
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    • Signed Message: Counterparty: Assets and Utilization of Sub-Assets In Practice 20160817 MJR
  • Julian Smith
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    • Signed Message Counterparty: Assets and Utilization of Sub-Assets in Practice 20160817 ???

Matthew Reichardt

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Julian Smith

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"The usage of colon-based separators in Counterparty is paramount as to not alter the usage of the platform to a service such as Namecoin."

Why would adding additional value be bad?

If you have comments about this change to the counterparty protocol, please add them here:

https://counterpartytalk.org/t/subassets-a-proposal/1690/27

Thanks.

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