What is a Whitepaper?
If you’ve been exposed to the crypto world even for a tiny bit, there’s a good chance you’ve come across the term of ICO, short for Initial Coin Offering. An ICO is a new-age fundraising mechanism that helps new project sell its crypto tokens in exchange for other more popular and widely used crypto coins such as Bitcoin and Ether.
However, for an ICO to become a successful campaign, a whitepaper is required. A whitepaper is a comprehensive, informational document issued by a crypto company to promote or highlight the features of a service or product.
Another very important aspect of a whitepaper is the fact that it needs to outline a problem that the project at hand is looking to solve, along with the solution to that specific problem, as well as detailed a description of the product. Whitepapers are used to persuade or entice potential investors/customers to learn more about or purchase a particular product or technology.
Whitepapers are marketing tools aimed to be used before a sale, and should not be treated as a technical document of any sorts. To conclude, whitepapers are used to inform the public of the project’s nature, technical details, and goals. It should also include a fair description of why the team behind the project thinks the product is indeed needed, the project’s roadmap, and the proposed methods for meeting the said goals.
The typical structure of a whitepaper
Usually, a whitepaper should at least include most of the talking points listed below:
- An Introduction and a detailed disclaimer;
- A table of contents;
- A clear description of the problem or a certain situation that needs solving and why;
- A detailed description of the proposed product and how the said product is going to solve the problem;
- Very comprehensive details about the tokens (number, what is their purpose, how and when will be distributed;
- Solid information about the team (members, their background, their motivation, and so forth);
- A clear description of the project’s roadmap.
How to write a whitepaper
Ask any writer of any sort what’s one of the most important aspects of any work or document, and he or she will probably answer that the introduction is incredibly important. This applies to whitepapers as well. A whitepaper with a compelling introduction has more chances of attracting the attention of potential investors.
At the very beginning of the document, there should also be information (such as a legal notice or a disclaimer) that should mention any important restrictions, notifications, or similar cases where residents of various countries can’t buy the project’s tokens due to law boundaries.
This section should help the reader get to know more about the specific problem that the project intends to solve, alongside detailed explanations. A good whitepaper should make it very clear why the problem at hand is important, what are the consequences of not solving it, and the benefits of reading this document. It’s all about grabbing the reader’s attention without exaggerating.
Since a whitepaper is by no means a short document (usually around 25-30 pages), it’s very important to make it as convenient to read and to navigate for potentially interested parties. Following the same idea, it’s also important for a whitepaper to provide a specific glossary of terms to help the experienced readers get a better understanding of everything the whitepaper describes.
Another important aspect that whitepapers have to cover is the project as a whole in the current context of the cryptosphere or the world’s situation. A whitepaper has to accurately explain for all potential investors where will the project fit in the current market. It should also contain a detailed description of the current state of the project.
A big section of any whitepaper should be dedicated to explaining the project’s finances. Explanations of why the project requires the tokens, how and when are they going to be distributed, as well as other such as aspects should all find their way into the whitepaper.
From an investor’s standpoint, it’s very important to clearly understand where their money goes before committing. The document needs to clearly explain for what purposes will all the crowdfunded money will be used for, usually exclusively for development.
Regarding the roadmap, the whitepaper should include a detailed description of the project’s development map, but also a detailed working development plan for the next 12 or 24 months. Any completed roadmap section needs to be outlined in the whitepaper as well, as it may offer potential investors peace of mind seeing a project that has ready accomplished various development tasks before exterior funding.
It’s often said that a crypto project (or any type of project, for that matter) is as good as the team behind it is, and it couldn’t be any true. Hence, a top-notch whitepaper should include as much information about the team. This section, in particular, should have a personal touch to it, and it should not contain too many technical details. A solid team with team members who already have great accomplishments in the crypto field is sure to be viewed as a plus by most investors.
Companies looking to issue whitepapers should not forget that the style of writing has to be very formal, alongside a very professional tone. The topic it covers has to be precise and should always be factual, meaning that assumptions or any sort of unverified claims are not welcomed as they may portray an evident lack of professionalism. The whitepaper should also be grammatically sound. Depending on the targeted audience, it might be worth considering creating a whitepaper in several languages.
Best places to post a whitepaper
Having an exceptional whitepaper that’s not effortlessly accessible by the public would be a total waste of potential. That is why it’s important to know where to post it. Without a doubt, the best place for a whitepaper is on the project’s official website. This displays professionalism and inspires confidence in the project at hand. The website will act as a central point from where the whitepaper can be accessed by numerous users.
Nowadays, there are plenty of websites specifically created to promote whitepapers, which can also bring in a hefty number of investors. Dedicated forums are also good options when it comes to promoting a whitepaper.
The whitepaper is a crucial part of any serious Initial Coin Offering, and that is why it’s very important to be done with extreme care and dedication. To end with, don’t forget that a good whitepaper can lead to a successful ICO, and this, in turn, will eventually increase the chances of success of any crypto project.