June 8th, 2018

How to compose an excellent whitepaper?

Whitepapers are not the sign of exceptional service in the world of crypto – at the moment, it is a must for every ICO project providing reliable and high-quality product. However, this shift is relatively new, as in the very beginning of all the crypto mania in 2017 some entrepreneurs did not put much effort in creating this important piece of documentation. This might have resulted in the public mistrust in crypto services and even in a large number of ICO scams. The consequences of both are still alive nowadays.

Anyway, times are changing and whitepapers can be found in nearly every website of ICO. Of course, it is not enough for a decent proof of good reputation and reliability. The excellent whitepaper requires some time and involvement of written communication specialists, but there are several ‘golden rules’ on the content and discourse; consequently, they could greatly serve as a basic guidance towards desirable results.

Legal background

The inclusion of this feature is crucially important regarding not only the attention from potential investors, but also the approval of governmental institutions. As the industry of cryptocurrency has already faced a number of cases when projects have taken advantage of certain legal loopholes and thus breached the laws of particular countries, the appropriate maintenance and realization of regulations are strictly supervised at the moment.

Therefore, the well-developed whitepaper definitely requires a separate section on legal regulations explaining the general rules of ICO along with the rights and duties of investors or project managers. Due to specific terminology and necessary competence, it is highly unlikely that a random team member will complete this task according to all requirements. As a result, it means that collaborating with private legal bureaus or hiring an advisor with the background in law should be included amongst the most important initial steps while organizing the ICO.

However, the part defining the background and purposes should not be quite long. For example, the whitepaper of Ontology which operates a blockchain-based data transfer network and is considered to be one of the most successful projects this year, has included a short paragraph confirming that legal norms are satisfied (full whitepaper can be found here).

Market research

Of course, from the first sight, probably all ICOs seem pretty innovative and exciting when it comes to evaluation of product provided. On the other hand, the team behind the project has to be absolutely sure that the idea is original in the context of crypto projects as well as holding the potential to become the more convenient substitute of similar products outside the world of digital currencies. Since one of the primary functions of whitepaper is to encourage a potential investor to acquire cryptocurrency of the project, advanced marketing strategies should be clearly reflected there.

Comparative analysis is a relatively easy and attractive method to provide necessary background of market; therefore, it is definitely worth including in the beginning of whitepaper. Along with the general features of particular markets, the problem should be arisen and expressed. Following these steps, the presentation of revolutionary and innovative ICO product would become significantly less complicated and better supported by empirical arguments.

On the other hand, selective market research is a really good choice in some cases. Dragon ICO analyzed the market of famous Macau casinos specifically, what also allows to conduct a deeper research containing detailed explanation and include more interesting facts which could be appealing to potential investors.

Precision in language and style

First of all, the grammar should be polished to (at lease close to!) perfection. After hearing the idea of Internet’s 101, claiming that professionals should not make sloppy errors in official documents, many representatives of crypto and other industries still underrate this factor and do not pay enough attention for it. Good grammar not only demonstrates the high level of intelligence, but also suggests that the customer is definitely respected. On this purpose, an expert of linguistics in the team can be relied on in order to stay safe and reliable.

Furthermore, the nature of crypto businesses is pretty innovative and youthful. The content style in the whitepaper should be also established according to these features. It does not mean that slang is acceptable – this one should be avoided due to the lack of professional approach. However, quite sophisticated language is a perfect choice for academia or fictional literature, but the documentation of crypto projects should not be too complicated. Matching involving narrative with simple (but not oversimplified!) forms should work great!

Clear structure

Let us assume that the Project A is predicted to be one of the best ICOs this year. A lot of people have just heard about cryptocurrencies for the first time and decided to do some research on the widely advertised Project A. It seems that the idea of the Project A is almost perfectly fulfilled – they have innovative product, broad reach due to the marketing on social networks or media outlets and experienced team members who have gained the experience at global companies of finance and technology. Nevertheless, the whitepaper they have uploaded to the official website seems a bit too difficult to understand. The interest of people suddenly decreases.

What might be the problem in this situation? As in any written piece, the structure of whitepaper should be clear and contain a logical sequence. For instance, it would be at least strange to present the business expansion plan without the explanation of product purpose. Given the fact that some people may be investing for the first time in their lives, the impression of clear and understandable explanation is entirely important. All in all, might seem a small thing, but could become an important determinant.

The structure of the whitepaper of Theta Token could be followed not only because of clear written representation, but also due to the appropriate use of visual schemes. These details are especially important and convenient regarding the clearer understanding how particular processes within Blockchain work.

Although the mentioned ideas should establish the essential ground for the excellent whitepaper, this list is definitely not finished. The purposes of various ICOs are quite contrasting, what suggests that there is no universal method how to compose a perfect document. Despite the potential confusion, the whitepaper should be developed by the whole team, as the responsibilities for different functions can bring out the different remarks on the ideas in the most important document in ICOs. As a result, the mixture of approaches has a potential to reveal the variety of aspects within the project which will be interesting for potential investors and sufficiently satisfying for bureaucratic institutions.