Cryptocurrency evaluations focus on white papers. But in a sense, white papers and other materials are oriented around marketing as much as fact-based presentations.

White papers have become standard because people find them relatively easy to write and distribute. Consumers for the most part find them easy enough to read and believe they learn almost all they need to know regarding initial coin offerings (ICOs) from their presentation.

In fact, white papers and other information yield up some of the same questions over and over again. And these questions may have more to do with interpretation of the white paper rather than the substance. White papers should be seen as primarily promotional vehicles.

Instead of evaluating the white paper, the ICO should be looked at from a standpoint that takes in not only the white paper’s current presentation but also the past and future.

New methods of doing business are part of white paper construction but people need to extrapolate from the initial perspective. Look at it from the standpoint of a startup and evaluate the whitepaper as the beginning of an evaluation, not the end.

Consider where it will be, rather than where it is now and how it will get there—and whether it has access to the necessary resources. Understand the team and its point of view, especially going forward. Instead of just absorbing information, try to challenge what you are reading in order to make critical judgments.

Even the technical “yellow” paper is not immune. Again it may be telling you where the concept is now. But it is not telling you where it going and what needs to be taken into account. Like the white paper itself, the technical paper is relatively frozen in time.

Other Factors

In addition to evaluating the past and future of the deal from a theoretical standpoint, you need to look at some other factors. These should include the team itself and how experienced it is and what qualifications it has.

The team should have both business and blockchain experience and the ability to follow through with the effort from start to finish. You should also scrutinize the project itself and evaluate its level of innovation. Its innovation can be evaluated in part by institutional participation and a sense of how long it will take to get from a reasonable starting point to completion.

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