Every Initial Coin Offering (ICO) that is destined for success at the marketplace should have a white paper. The white paper gives an outline of the problem that should be solved by the project. It also formulates a solution to the problem and gives the details of your offering, its design and how it interacts with its users. When drafting an ICO white paper, the following talking points should be included, among many others (there is no definitive order).
When writing a white paper, there should be a place where the company writes a legal disclaimer or notice. This is where you write all the important notifications or restrictions. An example of a restriction is exempting residents of certain countries from buying into the project due to the presence of certain laws or a notification that future investors are not guaranteed a profit from the investment.
Just like you do when writing any document, drafting a compelling introduction is essential. The introduction sets the mood for the whole paper. In this case, you are the CEO of the token addressing your future token investors.
Then, you should describe the problems in a way that they understand it. You should also show why the problem is important. Where possible, you can also show the effects of not dealing the problem.
You need to capture your readers’ attention all through the paper. Let them know the advantages of going through the document. You can have an overview of the whole document in a page so that they know what they expect from it. You can use any tools available, including graphics and charts.
Being a technical document, the length of any white paper should be around 25 pages. Therefore, you should make it easy for your readers to navigate the whole document. Your table of contents should be structured appropriately with links taking the readers straight to the said chapters for ease of navigation.
If there are technical terms that require definition on your white paper, create a glossary for the same as you end the document.
Take your time to give your investors an in-depth look at your project, explaining how it fits in the current market. Ensure that the reader will understand what the project is all about and all the parts that make the project what it is.
Most people want to include lots of numbers and figures in their white papers. However, nobody will take a keen interest in the numbers if they are not backed by factual information, research and in-depth analysis.
State the project: Use this section to tell the prospective investors the state of the project. Provide the prototype data, any first users, your strategy for its development and the overall goals. Most of the investors love to put their money in a project that already has something to show because if your already have users and a set ecosystem, it increases the chances that the project will survive in the marketplace. Let the readers know of any such elements if they are available.
Finances: The financial section of the paper should take a large portion of the paper. You should convince the readers why your project requires its own tokens, when and how you expect to distribute them. Do you plan to have a limited issue of tokens at the ICO? When do you want to start sales in the marketplace?
Plan on the use of funds: It is important that you tell the investors where you will be taking their cash. How much cash do you need to complete the tasks that you set forth? The white paper must not talk about expenditures such as industry development and networking events. Show the investors that all their money will go to development and no other expense.
Roadmap: Your white paper should not just be a technical description. It should also have a roadmap for its development. Ideally, it is important to have a working plan for about 12-24 months in your document and include at least one beta-launch. If you have completed some of the tasks that you outlined in the roadmap, state that clearly on the white paper. Ensure to point to the completed tasks also. It will be advantageous to your investors.
Your team is an integral part of your project and its success. You should present them as such. There are only very few cases where an ICO became a success when lead by anonymous developers.
Since the rest of the paper will be a detailed and technical description of the project, it is important that this section has a human touch. You can do this by adding brief biographies and pictures of the team responsible for development. It will be beneficial for investors to see it. Ensure that, in addition to giving a description of each of the members of the development team, you also give a reason why they are very crucial to the success of the project. Moreover, tell the investors how they will make the project work.
Give a brief outlook into their previous experiences that are of help to reach your goals. If there is a team member with experience in cryptocurrency or blockchain technology, let your readers know about it as it increases their confidence. You can finish off the section by talking about the project advisors. Ensure you avoid pointless name-dropping. The kind of project advisors you should mention are experts in the field or what the projects aim to achieve.
When writing a white paper, the choice of language should be a formal language that is written in academic style. The document should bring out a descriptive and very professional tone. It should also have a very narrow perspective. Pick a few topics and give a detailed focus on them.
Most of the white papers just mention extensively what the technology may be used for in the future and other potential use cases, forgetting the most important task at hand. Talk about the core problem your solution will solve now, and avoid talking to much about potential collaborations and other hypothetical use cases.
In addition, all the information contained in the document should be factual at all times. Do not make any assumptions, unverified claims and guesses. In the same breath, ensure that you have checked the paper for grammar and spelling errors. Fact-check all claims made in the paper too. You also have to format the document properly so that it looks professional. If you would like to present the document in a number of languages, look for a professional translator.
We help our clients avoid the potential exposure for founders in the future by covering all aspects of legal and taxation in detail. Our legal team will thoroughly review your ICO to ensure that it complies in full with the ICO regulations of Malta.
In the recent past, there were several cases where the ICO campaigns were held in several Bitcoin-related forums that had ‘white paper’ as their titles in the threads. However, due to the white paper craze that is going around the internet, most companies are opting for their websites.
There exist several alternatives like GitHub forums that can serve the same purpose. However, you should ensure that there is a central access point for your white paper. Avoid the copy-pasting of information from one forum to the other. Instead, give a link when promoting the white paper in the given forum or website.
Just like other semi-complicated business papers, you will find several online templates of the same. Generally, using the readily available templates are not liked by investors and the community at large. If you need a unique paper, you need to take the time to create a unique paper.
Since ICOs are now more popular than ever, there are many freelancers who offer to write white papers. Most startups have been using the service, which is usually not more than around 100 eur. However, any serious project holder should not go for a random freelancer, but collaborate with a team of legal and product experts like us in order to get a professional and legal White Paper.
Remember the white paper is your selling point for the project. If you have a unique vision of your product, then treat the document seriously. You may hire a freelancer and end up with a sub-par outcome, fail to raise the expected funds and end up in legal disputes.
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