Counterparty relies on the bitcoin network for security, and implemented as a side-chain. It does not actually compete with bitcoin , but in a way it complements each other.
Counterparty provides functionality beyond the reach of Bitcoin . For instance, smart contracts, decentralized apps, crowd funding, domains, digital tokens just like Ethereum did.
A counterparty transaction is really a transaction on bitcoin's network.
For instance: https://counterpartychain.io/address/1J7LPFd9qnYzRR3PMafsSzqbVdUC3noW18
and on blockchain.info: https://blockchain.info/address/1J7LPFd9qnYzRR3PMafsSzqbVdUC3noW18
At the moment transaction cost on Counterparty is significantly higher than Ethereum given that you are actually writing on the bitcoin network given the congestion.
However, that could be fully solved with the upcoming Lightning network that will be implemented on bitcoin . It is not a question technically.
Such a feature in Counterparty are still currently under development.
I believe that connecting all blockchains is the final step of mass adoption in cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin is well positioned to be the center of such a protocol of the future.
Remember the days before the invention of TCP/IP protocol where the 'internet' is only limited to a certain area/geography?
The real power is unleashed when a common protocol is used, that enable connection from many local network and intranets that becomes the global network we are used to today.
In the long run, Counterparty is really the next closest competitor to Ethereum .
With the horizon of 1~5 years, I believe Counterparty could easily 10x~50x its current 40 million USD valuation given the fact that its supply is only a measly 2.4 million.
Dont you love that nice bottom at 0.003~0.005 for the past 3 years? :)
Why connecting all the Blockchains is the final step for mass adoption of Cryptocurrencies:
Frankly speaking, XCP is a deflationary asset with all coins already issued. And it belongs to what i call 'protocol' and not a single use case coins.
The more things build on top of these platforms, the more valuable it gets.
Blood in alts it seems :D but its 50% on sale today!