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If you are in the process of writing an ICO White Paper, there are few things as valuable as the ability to highlight authority and credibility to your readers. After all, you are a new venture seeking to raise capital from big and small investors by having them buy into your idea. This requires their trust in you.

What are some quick and easy ways to add credibility to your ICO Whitepaper? This is what we will go over in today’s blog post. Without further ado, here are 5 bulletproof ways to add instant credibility to your whitepaper.

1. Discuss potential challenges and roadblocks, and how you will overcome them

Probably the most powerful and underused of all is admitting to and openly discussing challenges and roadblocks that can come up as your start-up enters the market. There may be technical challenges inherent in your blockchain protocol, there may be regulatory challenges due to the market and industry in which you are active, there may be marketing challenges as your users have to adapt to a new way of doing business…

Don’t worry! It’s not a bad thing to admit there are challenges! Neither does it hurt discussing them. In fact, investors worry the most about a pitch that sounds too good to be true, as if it was all milk and honey.

Every serious investor knows there are challenges and roadblocks to be encountered on your way to the top of the market. It only speaks of professionalism and expertise if you can bring these challenges up proactively and already present plans and measures on how to deal with them!

The alternative is, of course, to lose your readers as they are telling to themselves “This sounds too good to be true…” or “Oh my god, they haven’t even thought about [CHALLENGE X] or [CHALLENGE Y]…”

Tip: Include this part after you have provided a market overview and done your SWOT-analysis. Here you are basically describing how you compensate for Weaknesses and deal with Threats.

2. Describe a successful, pilot-test/proof of concept

The best business models are obviously those that have already been proven to work in practice. Now, you may not be a 7-figure-business yet – after all this is part of the reason you are seeking to do an ICO – but you have already built a minimum viable product and it is time to showcase it. (I know, some of you may say “It doesn’t even take an MVP to do an ICO, just look at Cardano, …” Sure. It’s still better to have one…)

How can you present your pilot-test or proof-of-concept in the ICO Whitepaper? Ideally by describing the customer or institution with which you have been working to implement the pilot test. You see, this is also so effective because it demonstrates that there are reputable institutions that have already bought into your idea and are at least willing to test it.

Even better of course if you can offer a more detailed description of the pilot-test (basically a case study), describing the initial challenges the organization has had and how your implementation has already achieved concrete benefits and positive results for the client.

Be sure to get permission from your client on what information you can include and how detailed your description can be. But why not offer them some more services in exchange. Clearly this is a win-win-situation.

Obviously, this point requires for you to already have a successful pilot-test – but you will have a rather hard time raising money without one. And if you are really about to “disrupt the marketplace” with your “innovative solution”, you can certainly find 1 or 2 customers for which you can build the proof-of-concept, can’t you?

3. Discuss a 24-month-roadmap and milestones

As I have described in detail in my blog post on 3 Common Mistakes in ICO White Papers, many companies fail to offer a roadmap that goes longer than the coming 12 months. There are a few issues with this, mainly:

  1. It makes it seem as if you don’t have a long-term plan for your company.
  2. You will especially lose trust with long-term investors (the type of investors you want to attract).
  3. For many readers it is going to trigger the always-active “SCAM ALERT” warning system.

The road map is typically discussed towards the end of the ICO White Paper and should be accompanied by a graphical representation of the coming milestones over the next 18 to 24 months.

Naturally, it is impossible to predict the future in detail, and you might have to make changes to the plan as it is currently laid out. Still, you should definitely include the current plan for the coming 24 months and include a note clearly specifying that the roadmap is subject to changes as they are deemed necessary. (This is very important for legal reasons, but please get professional legal advice on exactly such questions).

4. Include an extensive SWOT-analysis, competitor analysis and USP

In short, a SWOT-analysis is an analysis where you analyze both your business idea and model in great detail (internal view) in terms of its strengths and weaknesses and the marketplace (external view) in terms of opportunities and weaknesses that your company is facing. A competitor analysis typically goes hand-in-hand with a SWOT-analysis and compares your strengths and weaknesses to theirs.

The result of such an analysis should naturally be the definition and highlighting of your USP, or as we say in the business world “a sustained competitive advantage”. It may not be sustainable forever but should be sustainable at least until you can reach critical mass in your market.

This is a standard business plan element and has to be included in the earlier stage of your ICO Whitepaper as you discuss the market overview and market potential.

5. Spend half a page introducing each core founder/team member

Frequently forgotten but critically important is to introduce the members of your team, especially the founders and core members in detail. After all, it has often been said that “Investors don’t invest in ideas, they invest in teams.” They know that an idea may change when it meets the market, but they trust the right team to pivot on it, iterate and follow through until they make the business succeed.

However, the way in which most start-ups do this in their ICO Whitepapers is NOT EFFECTIVE. The typical way of offering two or three sentences is just not extensive enough to introduce yourself and strengths to a stranger and make them invest a few K into your start-up idea. You need to be more extensive and descriptive than that.

My recommendation is to use about half a page of your white paper for every core team member. Put an image of the person in there on the right side, describe the key qualifications, motivations, previous working experience and responsibilities inside the founding team for all of the core team members. A clickable link to the person’s LinkedIn profile also helps, as it lets the reader verify the credentials.


When you are publishing an ICO Whitepaper, it is essential to show credibility to your reader who has probably never heard about you before. Especially when you want to raise funds from people in other countries, jurisdictions or even continents, the need to build credibility becomes even bigger.

Luckily, there are a few helpful strategies you can use in order to facilitate and speed up this process. By showing authority and credibility in your ICO White Paper, you help interested and potential investors to develop the necessary trust so they can commit considerable amounts of cryptocurrencies into your project.

Utilizing the 5 strategies outlined above, you can make sure your ICO Whitepaper reaches its audience and your ICO will raise the required funds to take your start-up to the next level.

If you would like assistance and support from an ICO Veteran in the creation of your ICO Whitepaper and also get access to Switzerland’s First ICO Accelerator Platform, contact me now to discuss the next steps.