What is a White Paper?

A white paper is a document published to promote the technical characteristics, philosophy and distinctive features of a product or service offered by a company or a project team. Although white papers mainly serve marketing goals, they are generally written in a technical and academic language. 

The cryptocurrency ecosystem is one of the leading areas where white paper documents are used frequently. White papers provide in-depth information on various aspects of cryptocurrency projects, including their motivations, objectives, transfer activities and production processes. Investors, cryptocurrency miners and technical teams can find the options they are interested in thanks to these documents.   

bitcoin white paper

What is an ICO?

An ICO (Initial Coin Offering) refers to the initial public offering of new cryptocurrencies. With the ICO, which is a kind of fundraising mechanism for companies, investors can perform the first purchase of related cryptocurrencies.

An ICO generally allows the storing of investors’ funds and sending equivalent amount of money or tokens. First launched in 2013, ICO processes can be employed in all cryptocurrency platforms as long as there is demand. 

How to Write a White Paper?

A white paper, which is known as a technical document for crypto assets, serves as a primary source for the investors interested in the background of a project and wanting to learn about a certain asset. 

Written in an academic language rather than marketing language, the white paper documents define the projects and explain their structure in detail. A white paper is presented in a transparent manner that ensures easy access for everyone. There are certain elements that should be included in such documents. 

The main elements of a white paper should be as follows:

  • Title
  • Disclaimer text
  • Goals of the project
  • Description of the product
  • Description of how the product would address said problem
  • Total number of tokens, launch strategy and launch date
  • How the collected funds would be used
  • Roadmap
  • Project team  

Things to Consider While Reading a White Paper

Paying attention to certain aspects while reading a white paper helps to make a sound decision about whether to invest in the project. First of all, it is important to understand the function and goal of the project while reading the document. In addition, you can identify the motivation of the project and what problems it will address. While reading a white paper, it may be necessary to focus on the technical details in order to thoroughly understand how the said problem will be solved. After getting the gist of the project, it is important to ponder on the project’s future. You can also find answers to your questions regarding the implementation and reliability of the project by examining the project team. 

How/Where to Read a White Paper?

Before investing in a project, it is very important to analyze its white paper, which provides access to almost all the information available on the project. Investors can examine in detail the white papers written for crypto miners and users on the websites created for the projects. You can also read such documents through the websites that serve as storage for software development projects such as GitHub.

White Paper Examples

All crypto assets traded in the crypto market are presented to users with a white paper. Although white papers are similar in content and structure, each project has its own individual characteristics and goals. For this reason, the contents of the documents should be carefully examined before investing. You can gain a perspective by taking a look at the white papers of top cryptocurrency projects such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. 

Bitcoin White Paper

Bitcoin’s original white paper was published on October 31, 2008 under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, with the title “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. This electronic payment system, which has been in the market for more than 13 years, has managed to attract the attention and investments of millions of people around the world. 

Ethereum White Paper

Ethereum white paper

The technical document of Ethereum, which was launched in 2015, was published in 2013. On Ethereum’s website, you can easily access the most up-to-date technical details of the project, which has introduced different versions since its launch. 

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Written by Bircan Akalın
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I graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of Business Administration in 2019. I continue my career as a Marketing Specialist in 2020, and now I work as a Marketing Communications Specialist. I also write articles on cryptocurrencies and blockchain on the Felixo Blog.