Learning Crypto: Understanding White Papers

in cryptocurrency •  2 years ago 


It is a great day for another installment of Learning Crypto, today I want to speak on the importance of reading the white papers of tokens and cryptocurrencies.

Lots of times these white papers are long and full of technical lingo. If you ever actually take the time to read an entire white paper, often times you feel like you ought to get an award for your efforts. But the best you can do is subtly brag to your crypto friends that “You read the white paper”

Sure, bragging rights are great but there are other, much more important reasons for taking the time to do this.

What you will learn about crypto white papers is that (the good ones at least) they are designed to do several things:

  • Inform the public of the project,

  • What they want to accomplish,

  • Why they believe their product is needed,

  • Their roadmap which is a timeline of milestones they want to reach and when,

  • Their methods for meeting their goals

  • (If it is a project that will hold an ICO) You can also find how they will distribute the tokens that are created.

Learning about these aspects of a crypto project will help you better understand all that goes into creating new crypto currencies.

White papers are great tools for beginners to be exposed to higher level crypto vocabulary. More often then not you will come across words that make you feel like you’re missing something, and that’s when dictionaries come into play.

Don’t be afraid to look up words you don’t know, and don’t be afraid to learn something new.

Sure it can be tedious and overwhelming but if you’re interested in deepening your knowledge of this space, white papers are a good source and there are plenty out there for you to explore.
After you’ve read over a few of them you’ll begin to develop a better sense of what makes a good white paper, which is also an indication of the quality of the crypto project itself.
You’ll notice things like:

  • What kind of info they are leaving out

  • If their project has legitimate use cases

  • The type of philosophies that are behind the project.

Slowly but surely you’ll begin honing your skills and developing more confidence in your knowledge of this space.

Additional Reading/Sources:

Dictionary...USE IT:)
10 Keys for Evaluating ICOs
White Paper Definition
Valuable Resources for ICO research
Investitin Research Guide
Fundamental Analysis for Cryptocurrencies

Good White Papers to Explore
Bitcoin White Paper
Ethereum Homestead Document
OmiseGo White Paper
IOTA White Paper
DecentBet White Paper

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That is helpful.. Thank you for posting :)


Nice post! What will happening, if someone resteem your post?

Does anybody create summaries and comparisons of the white pages? Cliff notes to Litecoin. :)

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Well done @heiditravels :)

Great post about white papers @heiditravels . I always try to read them before investing in a new IÇO or even a new coin that I’m interested in even though it can be overwhelming at times with all the coins I am interested in. How do you narrow down what you want to spend the time researching and investing in? Also even though it was brief, it was nice talking to you at SteemFest² in Lisbon.

Very helpful information, great article!

The range in quality for various crypto whitepaper is extreme. Some are professional, articulate, and contain great vision. Others, well... were probably written in crayon and should best be used as a fire-starter.

excellent video and info from my favorite cute blogger... @heiditravels
i cannot agree more about the importance of white papers although i must be honest and confess that i usually dont find time to read white papers... being someone who trades on coins...but to do a proper dd, one needs to read the white paper, websites, social media options...bitcoin blog talks...etc... thanks for sharing this and reminding me the need for white papers..will now do the needful..thanks dear...

Excellent post. Too many people are jumping into ICO's based on what they hear, or whichever one they see pumping, rather than doing the work themselves and researching the company.

thanks Heidi for a wonderful video... you are among one of the people whom I seek for when I need some knowledge regarding cryptos... keep up the good work..


I'm honored :)

Great article. I will use this to instruct my friends so they can really start to think about how important whitepapers are
Keep up the good works!


Yes! Spread the word.

Thank you for this helpful article. Reading the whitepaper can help you evaluate how well the coin may execute its roadmap, which will give a prospective coin buyer good insight into how well the coin will perform.

very interesting reading thank you

Thanks for sharing!

What do you do if the white paper has grammar and spelling errors but the idea is solid? Quite honestly, I feel like that's a huge red flag and I've seen a few like that. Aside from that, buying into an ico is the same as partnering up with someone you don't know well enough for a business. Good information! And good luck to everyone who is looking at an ico!


I have to agree with you on the grammar problem. To me that says a lot about their attention to detail, it's good that you noticed it!
ICOs are such a gamble, that's where the good ol' saying comes in: "Never invest what you can't afford to lose"
Thanks for the comment :)

Good article. I agree a lot can be learned between the good and the bad whitepapers. I posted an article (https://steemit.com/ico/@bjt34/current-ico-s-falconcoin-cybermiles) on two icos I’m following and I see quite a few red flags on one of them. The white paper was a big one of those.

Follow me and I’ll be posting more info on these in the coming days.

Useful for all @heiditravels

Do you think white papers are trustable? They are set up the way convincing people to spend money. Some of them are so pretty and charming tho! BTW, everything is not WPs. Team members and how they can tolerate each other is also important. A good example is Tezos!


Absolutely WPs are not everything, and they certainly are designed to be appealing to those who want to learn about the project. But if you want to understand the team's perspective and motivations, many times you can find this in their white paper. The more WPs you read, the better you'll get at understanding why they include some info and leave out others.

Cool, thanyou for this post,
upvote me back some day :)

very good post you...✌✌✌

Oh God! Some whitepapers are just fancy words of our idea but we really don't know how to do it but we need your money to try and figure it out.

Then you get a lot of them placing well known people and angels, VCs that they say support them to get people feel interested and secure.

Yet I want to believe in several of the diffent ICOs that I have been monitoring. Mostly it those that have real world use or have an existing product that they want to incorporate the blockchain.

Great article.

Thanks for the info.

Crypto Tips on Steemit! very cool :) Thanks Heidi, love your updates

Super intelligent post, thank you for taking the time to create and share. So much to learn, not enough time to read, but these kind of posts do make it easier, followed and upvoted.

I have used Bitcoins, steem and all other crypto currencies but never read a single white paper before I recently got white-paper hard copy at EOS meetup in our area Mumbai, that's when I started reading white papers. Thanks for sharing with us.

Great tips as always. Thanks.

Thanks for the info. Love to learn

Also, its important to understand that there are a lot of scams out there and simply having a whitepaper does not provide legitimacy. There are people on fiverr.com willing to write up a whitepaper for $30. Always do you due diligence before separating from your coin.

Thank you for this awesome and excellent cryptocurrency post

This post have been choose to be one of the 3 best cryptocurrency post, the last 24 hours by @minimalpris and are included in our daily report


Great job

Great to finally find a writeup on this. I have just gotten so used to reading about white papers everywhere that I have just stopped questioning them.

as always nice spin on cyrpto white papers

Congratulations @heiditravels, this post is the forth most rewarded post (based on pending payouts) in the last 12 hours written by a Superhero or Legend account holder (accounts hold greater than 100 Mega Vests). The total number of posts by Superhero and Legend account holders during this period was 22 and the total pending payments to posts in these categories was $991.22. To see the full list of highest paid posts across all accounts categories, click here.

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@heiditravels, Great Post, Great Video, Thanks a lor for teach me and share with me your knowledgement about Criptocurrencies

What about the steemit whitepaper would love to see how this all started :)

Thank you for your great post. I found it very helpful and is a great reminder to read more white pages in general.

Great info..I needed this ...

thanks @heiditravels, one question though is how to spot a bullshit whitepapers?what i mean is how do we know that a whitepaper is not feasable if you are novice in crypto? maybe its a stupid question but i am new :D

Instructive, thanks!

Great post to learn more how to start up new ICO and create new crypto coin.