• Posted Feb. 18, 2020

The Worth of Words: How Technical White Papers Influence ICO Blockchain Funding

Study: The Worth of Words: How Technical White Papers Influence ICO Blockchain Funding


Each ICO has an associated white paper that describes the firm's business model, market, cryptocurrency, the team behind the project, and the technology. Then investments are made in the startups. The white papers differ in scope and detail. Comprehensive white papers describing technologically-sophisticated details raised more money than superficial ones simply making claims. Examples of ICO successes and failures are described.

How it was studied:

Blockchain initiatives face a number of challenges, among the most eminent is the need to quickly and clearly communicate the strategic position and technological credibility of the platform. Presented is a discussion of blockchain startups through the lens of initial coin offerings (ICO) and their accompanying strategic positioning documents, white papers. Lessons learned from the ICO market include the need to emphasize robust technological write-ups rather than those that focus on a single key dimension. Further discussion explores the practices that have emerged since the collapse of the ICO market and the key takeaways for the CXO.

Take away:

- Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are important to understand because startups play an important role in the global blockchain landscape

- ICOs resulted in $14 billion invested during their first five years

- Insights about the processes involved in ICOs shed light on the relationship between technical white papers and the amount of money raised

- Detailed and comprehensive white papers were most successful

- This paper follows the "conversation" model, where Barraza's research is explored

- Insights from history are augmented by insights about changes in the market since his analysis

Benjamin Barraza

Publication Details

MIS Quarterly Executive
  • Year: 2019
  • Volume: 18
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: NA

  • 2459