Want to read a white paper but find them too difficult? This PDF makes it easy.

If you are brand new to crypto, you may face a steep learning curve in this PDF. I suggest you first take a look at my Intro to Crypto and progress through the other free PDFs such as How I Bought My First Cryptocurrency before continuing here.

A white paper is an informational document written to persuade people to support a product, service or idea.

In this PDF, you will learn how to become a wizard at understanding white papers.

When dealing with cryptocurrencies, white papers explain the purpose and technology. A white paper is created by the founders and/or developers of a crypto to help sell the crypto. But instead of pushing emotional buttons, they provide facts, diagrams, statistics, and quotes.

White papers are written by technically focused individuals for technically interested buyers. They are written to explain a complex and technical subject or product.

With many hundreds of cryptocurrencies, there is an equally massive amount of white papers. One of the first steps for a cryptocurrency to be recognized as professional is to have a published white paper.

Some cryptocurrencies are also publishing what can be called a “light paper”. Just like a white paper, light papers explain the purpose and technology, but unlike a white paper, they are not technical.

Please note, none of the writings by me or Decryptionary are investment advice. Decryptionary cannot accept responsibility for any loss or inconvenience caused by reliance on any material contained in this document or on Decryptionary.com. For more information, please refer to the Terms and Conditions.

Why I’d Read a White Paper

There are often two reasons I find myself opening a white paper:

  • So I can quickly understand if this crypto is legitimate and valuable.
  • So I can understand how this crypto differentiates itself from others and what makes it valuable.

The first reason requires me to scan the white paper. The second reason requires me to read most, if not all, of the white paper to gain a complete understanding of it.

This PDF will help you apply the first method: quickly scanning a white paper to quickly understand a crypto.

White Paper Formula

Almost all crypto white papers are designed in this sequence:

1. Abstract – A summary of the document.

2. Introduction – A statement describing a current problem and how the crypto might solve the problem.

3. Technology – A series of chapters describing the technology of this cryptocurrency.

3a. Transaction Technology – A description of how the crypto is exchanged between people.

3b. Mining Technology – A description of how transactions are verified and recorded.

3c. Network Technology – A description of the blockchain technology and how data is sent, received, verified, and recorded.

4. Incentive – A description of why anyone would want to participate in the mining.

5. Emission Plan – The strategy for the creation and distribution of new cryptocurrency coins or tokens. It has also been called a Token Generation Event (or TGE).

6. Conclusion – A review of the information shared.

7. References – A list of other white papers and documents mentioned in the white paper.

There may be many other chapters, especially in the technical section. But all white papers follow the above formula.

Common Terms Found in White Papers

The following terms are very common in many of the white papers I’ve recently studied. Becoming familiar with these terms will help you study white papers and get a better understanding of them.

You can find these in my dictionary, just click on a word to jump to its definition.