5 min read

What to Avoid When Writing Your Cryptocurrency White Paper

What to Avoid When Writing Your Cryptocurrency White Paper

While it might seem like a holdover from a more antiquated tech past, cryptocurrency white papers still hold plenty of weight in the industry. Sure, these all-in-one tech-heavy documents may not be the end all be all, like they were in the early days of Bitcoin and Ethereum, but plenty of investors from retail to institutional still look to these documents to grasp the mission of a project, its possible use cases, its overall value and who’s working behind the scenes.

Crafting a well-organized and comprehensive white paper can be a challenge. You need to strike the right balance between knowledgeable and approachable. So what should you be on the lookout for when crafting your project’s white paper? What are some common pitfalls that make an otherwise great white paper into a boring, overbearing mess of tech jargon and loose promises? Read on to find out.

If you’re looking to take the next step toward success, hiring a qualified freelancer with experience in space can help you communicate your mission clearly, effectively and in a way that brings in more users. Hire a Writer is here to help. From white papers to press releases, our team can tackle your writing needs with quality and speed. 

Remember: People are Actually Going to Read Your White Paper

When it comes to how to write a cryptocurrency white paper, It’s easy to get wrapped up in the amazing tech behind a project. In a sea of around 11,000 blockchain projects, it seems like revolutionary startups pop up daily. Communicating your worth to potential investors is a skill, and one that takes some time to develop.

The last thing you want is a white paper that people won’t read. Remember, investors come in all shapes and sizes. Most white papers, well, they aren't exactly one size fits all. So what are some tactics your team can employ to keep readers’ attention?

Too Much or Too Little

If you’ve been in the crypto space for a while, you’ve probably had to dredge through some very long and boring white papers. You’ve probably also seen some that were white papers in name alone — meaning more marketing copy than a technical document.

You’ll want to ensure that your white paper rides the line between describing your project in full detail and leaving out all the important information. Take a critical look at what information is essential. What really matters?

At the end of the day, if you can get investors to sacrifice ten minutes to get a full picture of what your team is trying to accomplish, then you’ve cracked the code for effective white paper writing.

Tailor Your White Paper to Different Reading Styles

We already touched on this idea earlier, but it bears repeating: you need to cater to different reading styles, time constraints, interests and knowledge. Some readers are going to be tech-evangelists who will scour through every piece of your blockchain whitepaper. Others only have a passing interest in the crypto space and may only get through the introduction.

A good tactic to appeal to a broader audience is to have supporting documents and content that can simply describe elements of your project and answer common questions that some readers may have. This is a great opportunity for SEO-focused blog posts and supplemental materials like litepapers or even a yellow paper for the blockchain gurus.

Watch the Jargon and Trendy Language

Peppering your content with catchy tech jargon may make your white paper appear professional, but it also has an alienating effect on people who don’t eat, sleep and breathe cryptocurrency. As a general rule of thumb, if you have to read something more than twice to grasp the concept, that’s not effective writing.

You need to be extra careful of what kind of language you use. Always keep in mind that you most likely have a distinct advantage in terms of insider knowledge. If you’re struggling to make sense of your own white paper, you can bet a potential investor won’t even have a chance.

What Does “Tokenomics” Even Mean?

Go ahead and take a peek at the original white paper for Bitcoin. While you will find a lot of great fundamental knowledge about blockchain, you won’t find the word tokenomics. But, you might be saying, the project still has them, right?

Of course, it does. Tokenomics is just the understanding of how cryptocurrency operates in a broader ecosystem. It is almost an inherent quality of any project with a tokenized asset. So why does every trendy new project sporting a cutesy animal mascot go on and on about their “revolutionary tokenomics?”

Let’s be real here: the crypto space is volatile. People who know the industry see words like tokenomics as a major red flag because most projects use the term not to describe the underlying mechanics but rather latch on to what’s trending in the space.

That’s why it's so important to critically look at what language you are using in your white paper. You might be able to snag a few users who are trying to “FOMO'' into a position that “prints” with that kind of language, but for long-term projects looking to build foundational technology with real-world use cases, it's something you want to avoid 

Match the Style and Content to the Project

It’s not 2014 anymore. You don’t have a binary choice between BTC and ETH when it comes to crypto investing. Store of value, smart contracts, NFTs, DAOs, DEXs, the list goes on and on. Matching your project and goals to what kind of content you create is key to meeting your potential investor halfway — and you can find plenty of reasons why your crypto startup needs content.

Developing a thorough Initial coin offering (ICO) white paper is part of launching a new token project. But you might not need a comprehensive dive into the underlying blockchain technology if you’re minting non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for art-enthusiasts. 

Finding which direction your project should take is the first step in developing the supporting documents and content you need to succeed.

Litepaper vs. White Paper

As the crypto space develops, more people are jumping on the bandwagon. That’s good news for mass adoption but bad news for the developers and nerdy-tech fanboys with an intimate understanding of what makes blockchain tick. Why? Because it's becoming more and more important to develop your project to cater to a bigger, more diverse audience.

Most people don’t want to deal with a massive headache after mowing through pages of dense tech content. Some people do, we can’t deny that, but most people, well, they need something a bit more digestible.

Again, think of who your project is targeting. If you can get to the core of your mission in just a few pages, maybe a litepaper is more appropriate. If your project is looking to reinvent how business computer systems communicate with each other via distributed ledger technology, like IOTA, then you probably need that extra space to satisfy your demographic.

Don’t Leave Your Team Out of Your Blockchain White Paper

When it comes to red flags, an invisible team is one of them. Bad actors in the crypto-verse often come in the form of anonymous developers. You’ll want to avoid this as much as you can.

Potential investors want to hear about your team. It gives them peace of mind knowing that you’ve got real-breathing humans behind the keyboards who are just as invested in building your crypto startup as they are to shell over their hard-earned fiat.

If you can, offer a detailed breakdown of your marketing, development and other departmental teams. Link out to other projects they have worked on, offer up their LinkedIn profiles, whatever it takes to drive home that this isn’t some rug pull scheme. Offering a transparent look behind the scene in your white paper is the key to building trust — and in the crypto space, trust is hard to earn.

Looking to Get a Leg Up with Your Cryptocurrency White Paper?

Whether you’re looking for an IDO white paper or killer SEO-optimized content to drive potential investors to your project, having an experienced copywriter on your side is a huge advantage in this space. It’s no secret that the projects which communicate effectively and know how to reach their audience succeed when similar platforms fail to take off.

The team at Hire a Writer has the experience and skills you need to outperform your competition and create cryptocurrency white papers and other content that hit all the right notes. Get in touch today to get started!


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