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Fundament of the week: What is white paper and how is it written

In this article, we will talk about probably the most important part of any crypto project that has the ambition to come to light.

What is white paper?

A white paper is an official document that is usually published in new blockchain projects before the ICO informs the public about the launch of new technology, methodology, product, or service. In order to become successful, each individual initial coin offer (ICO) on the market must include a white paper. It contains an outline of the problem that the project wants to solve plus a detailed description of their product, its architecture, and user interactions.

The contents of any white paper should read, but not be limited to, the following points:

  • Introduction
  • Disclaimer
  • Content
  • Market description and problem which project aims to solve
  • Product description and how to solve this problem
  • Tokens: how many, why, how, when, etc.
  • How the funds obtained will be used
  • Team of people working on a project
  • Roadmap - a plan that sets goals and deadlines for future project development
  • How to compose white paper documentation

    The beginning of the white paper should be the filing of a legal notice or exclusion of liability, which should include all important restrictions or notices. This may involve exempting residents of certain countries from purchasing project tokens due to local laws, or simply informing future investors that the investment alone will not guarantee profits.

    Probably one of the most important steps in writing almost any white paper is a compelling introduction . A good step would be to present an introduction in the form of a letter from the CEO, addressed to future token holders. In this section, you need to outline the problem that your project intends to solve and provide an explanation of why this problem is important and what the consequences may be should it not be resolved.

    Project status . This section should also include a detailed description of the current state of the project: prototype data, first users (if any), development strategy, and overall objectives. Most serious investors will only support projects that already have something to show because having an ecosystem and a user base will increase the chances of this project surviving in the market.

    Finance . The author should be able to clearly explain why his project needs its own tokens, how and when they will be distributed when sales will start on the market, and so on.

    Plan for the use of funds . Investors need to know exactly where their money will go and how much of it will the project need to perform certain important tasks. The White Paper should make it clear that all the money raised will be spent on development and nothing else.

    Plan . Finally, the white paper should contain not only a detailed technical description of the project but also a development plan. Ideally, a detailed work plan for the next 12-24 months should be submitted and should mention at least a date of beta launch.

    Team . It is an inseparable and crucial part of the project and as such should be presented. With occasional exceptions, ICOs with the anonymous developer teams are scarcely successful.

    Style, language, and layout . Formal to academic language should be used when preparing the white paper. The document must be very descriptive and professional. Its focus should be narrow, as it is better to choose one topic and focus on it. The authors of such documents quite often tend to deal with the ways of use and possible future implementations of their technology. In addition, the white paper should always be factual without assumptions, estimates, and unverified claims.

    Where is white paper often published?

    A few years ago, there were cases of successful ICO campaigns published in various Bitcoin forums, in which the white paper document itself was the first message in the whole thread. Currently, most projects have decided to publish a white paper on their websites. Other options are, for example, GitHub or other forums.

    Examples of well-written white papers and successful ICOs include:

    Ethereum - $ 15.5 million Quoine - $ 105 million DigixDAO - $ 5.5 million

    Ethereum useless - an ICO joke with probably the shortest white paper in the world, which consists of several sentences written and accompanied by the slogan "Seriously, don't buy these tokens" . Interestingly, they earned $ 257,213 through their ICO.


    Jakub is a crypto trader and founder of Trader 2.0 project, which helps hundreds of traders from central Europe to understand cryptocurrency trading and its challenges. Jakub not o...


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