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What is a whitepaper and how do you write one?

When a cryptocurrency or blockchain based organisation wants to pioneer a new project, it is common for them to launch an initial coin offering (ICO) for investors to buy into, helping them to create revenue and get the project up and running. But before any smart investor hands over their dollars (or coins), they must first thoroughly understand what they are buying into. Potential investors want to know every detail about the project so that they can assess the risks and weigh up whether the project is worth investing in. To give investors the information they need to be convinced that the project is worthy of their financial and emotional backing, companies produce a whitepaper.

What is included in an ICO whitepaper?

An ICO whitepaper is an extensive written document that provides the investor with every important piece of information regarding a company’s initial coin offering and project. An ICO whitepaper should include: 

  • An overview of the company
  • A comprehensive outline of the project
  • What the project aims to achieve
  • How the technology works
  • Technology architecture
  • What problem the technology will solve
  • The tokenomics 

How do I write an ICO whitepaper?

Writing a whitepaper is something that should be taken seriously. It is a very important marketing tool that will fundamentally determine whether your new project will become a booming cash cow or an absolute flop. When writing your white paper, there are a few fundamental things that you must consider.

Identify your target audience

Before you begin writing your whitepaper, identify who you want to read it and ultimately who you want to invest in your project. Build a detailed profile on them and then work to tailor your offering to suit their needs and appeal to their level of comprehension.

Map out a structure

Before you put your pen to paper, map out a rough outline for the content. Make sure that your segments are clear, laid out in a logical order and that they fulfil all of the requirements listed above. Once your outline is complete, then fill in each section with more detailed dot points so you can easily plan the flow of information.

Write well and authoritatively

Your ICO whitepaper must be expertly written and show that your company is trustworthy and knowledgeable. After all, you are asking people to invest their hard earned money into your project. It is essential that your company is perceived in a professional manner and that the investors feel as though they are making a profitable decision by investing in your project. To achieve this, it is recommended that you write in an academic and authoritative tone.

Capture the uniqueness of your project

Your ICO whitepaper should allow the user to gain a holistic view of the company, the project and what problems it aims to solve. Most whitepapers that are released don’t adequately explain why people should invest in a project. If the project doesn’t appear to offer the investor anything new or solve a particular pain point, then they will be unlikely to give you their financial support. You have to ask yourself, have I explained why they should put their money into my project over any other?

Thorough explanation of the technology

Don’t leave any ambiguity when it comes to explaining how your technology works. Your investors will want to know all of the technological details before deciding whether they believe your project will be successful or not.

Have your whitepaper proofread

Having your ICO whitepaper proofread by a third-party can be extremely conducive to publishing a piece of A-class fundraising collateral. Working on a long-form writing project can often make it difficult for the writer to pick up on their own grammatical errors. Since you wrote the piece yourself, you know what you intended to write. Therefore, when you read over your writing again to proofread it, you can sometimes read it in the way that you intended to write it, rather than what’s actually on the page. Consider engaging an external proofreading service to go over your work or at the very least, ask someone who was not involved in the writing process to proofread it for you.

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