If you’re somewhat familiar with the cryptocurrency space, you surely have heard of whitepapers. You probably even have read some. You’ve seen them on a crypto company’s official website. Just a decade ago, it was a bit rare to see a new cryptocurrency arrive on the market, but nowadays, we see so many new projects promising a “revolution” in the industry.
Most even come with whitepapers and documents to show investors and developers the company’s value. But, we see so many vanish into oblivion after a while without getting a solid investment or overpromising in whitepapers and underdelivering in reality.
They probably wouldn’t have faced such a fate if they knew how to develop a proper cryptocurrency whitepaper that could show all investors and industry experts the quality and value of their project. That’s exactly our goal in this article. First, let’s see what whitepaper in blockchain means.
It All Started With Nakamoto
In addition to providing information, a whitepaper provides credibility and an official look at a cryptocurrency project. A well-written whitepaper is appealing, but a poor paper is equally disturbing. In essence, the whitepaper is a document that says why potential investors need to choose that platform or coin over others.
The Bitcoin whitepaper is still among the simplest ones out there that were published by Satoshi Nakamoto, an anonymous person who is known as the creator of Bitcoin. He described the goals that led to the creation of the Bitcoin network, the first digital currency platform, which went live in January 2009.
Main Sections of a Bitcoin Whitepaper
Now, it’s time to write a solid whitepaper. Before getting into the tips and rules, you need to understand the main sections of a whitepaper. These are the sections that you need to include in your whitepapers.
Of course, every company and project may be different, but this is a general guide that works in most cases. Here are the six sections you should have:
Most whitepapers start out with a discussion of the general structure. This might be a table of contents detailing each part or a paragraph outlining the main points.
Any whitepaper’s introduction is an important section. It shows the value of this coin. It typically begins by describing an existing system, its issues, and how its solution may fix it. Plus, introductions usually have an overview of the crypto project’s operation.
Digital token/coin utility and the distribution structure usually take up the majority of a whitepaper. The blockchain system and all aspects of the coin are often covered in several parts.
A Practical Example
The principles of digital currencies are sometimes not easy to grasp for beginners. That’s why real-world examples can clarify the features and applications of a project. This was effectively done in the Bitcoin network.
Tables & Figures
Diagrams, tables, and figures are handy tools that can better explain a crypto project. Some ideas are hard to convey properly in words. Therefore, a visual aid is helpful in those situations.
Like most whitepapers, you need to end your cryptocurrency whitepaper with a recap section that summarizes all key points. You’ve addressed different aspects of your operation in previous sections, but this is where you can show how they all fit together.
How to Write Whitepapers in Blockchain Technology
Now that you have a general framework for writing blockchain whitepapers, it’s time to talk about the key points. Every one of these points is vital because they show that your operation is run by a qualified, legitimate team that understands the big problem and has the solution in place.
Set a Goal
It’s crucial to determine your goal because there are so many sectors and subjects to cover. Your whitepaper’s format is designed to deliver a message to readers. To evaluate how you can progress, your goal should be easily quantifiable and detailed enough. It shouldn’t be overly broad or narrow because it’ll hurt the overall value of your project.
Identify the Audience
The centerpiece of your whitepaper is this. Who are your target readers? What issue is covered in the whitepaper? Why would people want your services? Consider these factors carefully because they can help you identify the core problems and present yourself as the solution.
What is the Message in Every Section?
Determine the subjects you intend to discuss in every part of the whitepaper. What’s the key message in each part? Is there an order to your sections so people can understand the topic more as they read?
Decide on an Order
It’s time to arrange your information in priority order after you’ve decided on your subjects. Move through the list, starting with the most basic ideas. Save the hard ones for last. If you’re stuck between writing two different topics, see which is more relevant because people won’t remember them if they are not.
Choose a Fitting Language
Early crypto whitepapers often have a scholarly look and are so formal. It’s because cryptocurrency was not a popular subject back then, and the whitepapers were created for a particular audience.
But, a lot of current crypto projects seek capital. They use whitepapers to promote their services. They are typically light and explicit, allowing anybody to see their project’s value. The most crucial factor is that it must be informative enough to be absorbed. Your whitepaper should demonstrate your confidence in the project and be free of any assumptions or ambiguous commitments.
Do Some Crypto Research
Before you begin writing, make sure you have an in-depth understanding of your project and the space it occupies. Research related companies, products, users, and competitors to identify opportunities and develop a concise mission statement summarizing your project’s existence.
Don’t Forget About References
This can give your whitepaper a serious look. Your views, information, and statistics are certainly collected from specific sources. You must reference them using any formats that you think are right.
Explain Things Clearly
In most cases, it’s best to use simple, clear language to explain your project. Don’t use too many technical terms because you want people to get the main ideas of your operation.
Keep it Short
There’s no specific number on the optimal length of a whitepaper. But once you’re certain that you’ve covered the key points, it’s best to stop. Don’t go too deep.
Your whitepaper’s audience is typically investors, traders, developers, and general crypto enthusiasts. In any case, they don’t have all day to read a 250-page long whitepaper on the details of your operation.
The biggest advantage of a whitepaper is to show potential investors why your solution is better than any other option on the market. It should be concise, clear, and easy to understand for the average reader.
Choose a Format
You can publish the whitepaper in many different formats. But, PDF and web-based interactive formats like HTML5 are more common in the crypto industry. Both have unique advantages and drawbacks.
PDF makes it easy for the company to publish the whitepaper, and it allows users to simply download the file and read it. At the same time, it’s not the most mobile-friendly format out there, which is an important downside.
Another downside of PDF is that it’s sometimes hard to search and track the content. Web-based whitepapers are usually more responsive and a more common choice among modern crypto firms.
What to Note When Reading a Crypto Project Whitepaper?
Now, you’re familiar with writing a whitepaper. But, if you’re an investor, trader, developer, or anyone reading a paper, what are the key points to check? What are the key signs that show you a crypto project is legitimate? Here are some of them.
The Project’s Purpose
There is a purpose for writing any whitepaper. Typically, it will show up at the beginning of the article. It will show you a problem with the existing crypto ecosystem and its specific solution for solving it. It also shows you why its solution is unlike other ones available. You can see the precise need for the solution and how it ties into the current market.
This is a crucial component of any project or cryptocurrency coin. In addition to serving as a form of payment, many cryptocurrencies can have other utilities. Some can be governance tokens, while others are NFTs that help content creators make money from their works. In the cryptocurrency world, there are many distinct tokens with a wide range of uses. There will be certain utilities that are more useful than others.
The Process to Achieve Consensus
The most important section of the whitepaper can be this one. There are several consensus processes to take into account, including proof of stake, proof of work, and other combinations. The value of consensus is that it explains how distinct nodes in the network may verify a transaction without direct contact. It’s the foundation of decentralization.
The Project’s Team Members
You need to learn about the team members, just like you learn about the project. Proper qualifications can create a sense of credibility in the project. Most fishy crypto projects don’t offer any real information about the people involved in the project.
You may use Bitcoin as a strong counterargument here, saying that Nakamoto is also anonymous. But, it’s a different story with Bitcoin because it was a massive phenomenon at the time, and it has only become popular by proving its value and utility over time, not because of its anonymous structure.
The Blockchain Structure
It’s crucial to learn about the mechanisms that drive a project. You must be familiar with the project’s internal processes and the kind of consensus process it uses. It may be important to understand the project’s power needs, benefits for participation, scalability, degree of interoperability with other projects, as well as the challenges it faces.
Diagrams and abstracts are common tools in projects for explaining the overall operation. Don’t obsess over the little details; focus on the project’s main goal and its challenges.
Initial Distribution Structure
Tokenomics analyzes various supply and demand aspects that have an impact on a project. The tokenomics structure may attract more investors or repel them. Tokenomics is essentially a crypto company’s fiscal policy, which may be positive or negative. It can include policies about the initial coin offering, the supply of different virtual currencies, and other protocols.
Circulating supply and maximum supply are important factors to consider. Maximum supply is simply the total number of coins that can be on the market. For example, Bitcoin’s supply cannot go above 21 million tokens. Of course, there’s no such supply for other cryptocurrencies like stablecoins.
The project’s timetable will outline the working schedule over the upcoming several months. It will contain information such as the launch date for the token and the day sales will begin. A project’s precise schedule could show a developer’s expertise and preparation. While reviewing a whitepaper, you must keep in mind these crucial elements. There are also other points, like the team’s background, but this is good enough. As you study more whitepapers, you’ll become quicker at recognizing a project’s benefits and drawbacks.
What is Whitepaper?
A whitepaper is essentially a guidebook developed to bring in investments. The crypto firm offers the whitepaper after launching the coin to show its value and distribution.
To underline the significance of using their tokens, these companies add information, figures, stats, and graphs to the whitepaper. It’s a sign of class and credibility, even though it’s not mandatory to publish a whitepaper after launching their network.
Investors can see why this coin is superior to its competitors by working with a reputable and experienced organization. A whitepaper often uses language that is simple and sensible for the average investor to grasp. The principles are clear to a normal user who reads them.
Fundamental Concepts to Learn Before Reading a Cryptocurrency Whitepaper
For the average reader, it may be hard to read a technical crypto document with so many complicated terms and jargon. Therefore, it’s better to learn some of the basic concepts, so you won’t be confused when reading the document.
Blockchain is a decentralized ledger that is designed to keep and safeguard data. Blockchain differs from traditional data storage in that it has decentralized authority. Once an activity is registered on the blockchain platform with a private key, it cannot be changed.
A consensus mechanism is used to authorize transactions or data onto a decentralized ledger while rejecting false records. It is highly helpful in maintaining accurate records. Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS) are two common types of consensus mechanisms.
Governance, in general, means the process used to control and manage a structure. It often uses a voting or decision-making mechanism to do this. In the crypto space, it usually means addressing problems with cost, process delays, and transparency. Sometimes the company offers voting rights to people in exchange for buying its tokens. Members then use those rights to impact the platform’s future direction.
A smart contract is a written contract between two parties that is automatically executed by software code. The terms are kept in a decentralized database and cannot be modified since they are executed with blockchain technology. The blockchain also handles deals, automating payments. It’s become easier to develop a smart contract since the arrival of Ethereum because the Ethereum protocol allows us to program sophisticated transactions.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are usually created with the same mechanism that we use for creating tokens and coins. They are based on blockchain and can’t be exchanged like any fiat or cryptocurrency on the market.
Every NFT is basically a digital asset with unique qualities that you can’t change or copy. In other words, there’s only one version of every NFT available. That’s what makes them so valuable because there’s only one.
You may have already heard about a tweet, painting, video, or different assets that people have turned into NFTs. Many of these unique digital collectibles sell for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars.
DeFi, or decentralized finance, is a blockchain-based system that enables users to conduct financial operations using digital currencies without the need for a conventional financial institution like a bank. It has become a popular alternative protocol by removing the middleman and simplifying the financial process.
DeFi financial services companies, in contrast to conventional banks and investment businesses, offer banking and financial services, including financing and borrowing services using digital assets rather than fiat money.
Staking is a process where token holders help validate transactions by depositing some of their tokens into an account known as the staking pool. In exchange for helping secure the platform, they earn interest on their deposit, which can be practically a side income for them.
In some ways, staking is very similar to depositing your fiat money into a savings account. The bank will use that money for different needs, and in exchange, you’ll get a share of the profits as interest. Of course, it’s a very small share of those profits.
Today, a lot of new cryptocurrency initiatives don’t provide a specific whitepaper. Instead, they have documents with all the crucial details you require. It is similar to a white paper, but since they want to explain and promote their ideas to prospective investors, the language is typically simple and informal.
If you’re an investor, you can separate good projects from a vast majority of products using a cryptocurrency whitepaper or a document. By spending some time reading, you can save yourself from making investments in scam projects or coins that might not hold their value over time.
If you’re a brand-new crypto company, you need to carefully read this guide and implement all of these points when writing your own whitepaper showing your advantages and plans for your future performance. Just like a well-written whitepaper can show your quality and attract leads, a poor one can repel prospective investors.
So, check out more resources and learn all you need to develop a top-rated document that can pave your way to success. We at ICODA offer every material and resource you need to do this. Our team is also a phone call away, always ready to help you.