Legal professional John van Rijck has built the biggest white paper database currently available for potential investors to search through around 1,600 projects for free via his website All Crypto Whitepapers.
Van Rijck told Bitcoin News why he single-handedly put in the time and work developing the website, who he thinks is actually reading all of the white papers, what their true value is and how he believes they can help users to avoid scams.
The man has been involved with crypto since 2016, pulled in like many others by the disruptive ideals contained within the Bitcoin white paper. ”I just had to get on board”, he said, talking about his enthusiasm to see so many others inspired to create similar cryptocurrency projects.
At first, he began researching coins for investment purposes but soon became interested in developing something useful that he could contribute to the community. With a full-time job working in the legal department of an IT company, he was always on the lookout for websites that could provide quality information resources. Unable to find such a website solely focused on crypto white papers, he decided he needed to build it himself.
The true value of a white paper
For van Rijck, there is nothing more indicative of a quality project than a solid white paper: ”I am 100% convinced that a white paper is an ideal form for project owners to provide potential investors with all the necessary information on their project.”
All technical, financial and commercial information about a project can be conveyed in plain enough language for readers to gauge their own interest and cast their own judgment on the project’s worth. It needs to describe the projects purpose, processes, future plans – ”the why and how”, as John puts it. This makes it difficult to convey all of the information necessary in a short video presentation as some teams have attempted.
Investing in a project that does not have a white paper runs up a whole lot of risks. Besides not being able to make a fully informed judgment on your investment, not having a written reference for what the project has promised may create issues at a later date.
”Websites can change their information anytime and promises made via other channels are easier to back out from if there’s nothing written down,” John explains. He thinks that a white paper can be both a document forcing the team to stick to their promises and a useful means for investors to force the team to explain why they have deviated from their original plans.
While most of the time, this written proof of the project’s commitments can indicate a higher level of legitimacy, there is, unfortunately, no guarantee and some scams may even steal the work of others in order to look more credible. Van Rijck told Bitcoin News: ”I almost participated in scam initial coin offering (ICO) that had a proper white paper… This scamcoin used stolen pictures in their white paper for their product’s User Interface and their team photos were random pictures of some school board members in Australia.”
Investors cannot rely wholly on the white paper to judge the project. Further research is always required but the fact a project’s white paper exists for you to follow up with research is ”definitely a step in the right direction to avoid scams”.
Who is actually reading all of these white papers?
Van Rijck said, ”I think I read around 200-250 throughout the years. When I come across a project that I’m interested in, I always check out the white paper.”
Unless you are particularly tech-minded, he suggests that the token allocation, roadmap and the team are much easier to verify then the technology sections. Each white paper abstract or conclusion on the website has been manually copied and pasted by John so he has glanced through every one of these, although not read them thoroughly. Still, it sounds like he has read “blockchain” and “decentralization” recently perhaps more frequently than others.
Despite his personal enthusiasm for white papers, he understands that this maybe isn’t shared by everyone.
”I get that people may think that nobody will read the white paper and there’s no added value for the site but I honestly think that only the good projects will survive in the crypto market… In the last bull run, so many hyped coins got bought without any logic behind it, other than it was popular and rising fast, but I think this market is growing up and those unfit projects are slowly filtered out by people who’ve done their research,” he reasoned.
Not every project is worthwhile
Even a technically good white paper may not equal a very useful project; many projects do not have use cases and do not solve actual problems. Some may be established as a money grabbing attempt, provide a useless fork or simply be created to make a certain statement but van Rijck does not think these will be around long: ”Eventually, people will learn that these projects do not contribute anything to crypto and the world around it, so only the good projects will survive.”
This should lead to fewer scamcoins being developed and less inexperienced investors losing their cash in pump and dump schemes or overhyped projects.
Van Rijck points back to the white paper as a key help in filtering out projects and finding promises that cannot be kept or identifying solutions that the world simply is not waiting for. ”So many projects want to solve a problem through crypto, which doesn’t need solving at all since there are enough real-world solutions out there,” he noted, hoping that people would read the white paper to get a head start in identifying red flags.
Creating All Crypto Whitepapers
So far, the All Crypto Whitepapers website offers around 1,600 white papers that can be accessed by anybody for free. Its creator used his background in IT to develop the website himself and quickly found ”everything takes a lot of time if you are doing so much yourself.”
He had help collecting each of the individual paper’s url but other than that developed each box, title, link, and text himself. With no prior marketing experience, setting up blogs, writing articles and working on SEO and SEM have been a large part of the learning curve.
And no, not every single crypto-related white paper is available on the website as it is currently missing around 300. He explained, ”The problem is that every day about 10-15 new coins are announced on Coinmarketcap. I try to list only the coins that are already being traded, to have some safeguard that it’s legit. But since this still is a one-man-show and I have a 9-to-5 and a family, I’m a bit behind.”
Despite this hectic schedule, he plans to have everything up to date in Q4 of this year and it is clear this is a project he truly cares about.
”I just hope that people genuinely like what I’m trying to build for the community and come back to check out white papers if they found a project that interests them. If they see the website as the “Wikipedia for Crypto Whitepapers”, that would be the best outcome I can imagine”, he said.
The future of the website
The website is already monetized, featuring several advertisements that allow John to reap some small rewards for the time he has spent creating it. This he reinvests into marketing in an attempt to grow the number of website visitors. Currently in talks with quality crypto-projects, in the future, he says people can expect to see a consistent ”white paper of the week” with participants featuring as the week’s star project. More features being considered include additional coin information, the embedding of white papers themselves, and maybe a community discussion board so people can contribute their own perspective on projects.
The man is still firmly focused on offering the best white paper database he can, however: ”I think that I shouldn’t stray much from the goal, which is being THE Wikipedia for crypto white papers and remaining the largest crypto white paper database in the world. There are many other great sites out there with different parts of info on crypto projects, which I do not intend to replace.”
He has no plans to sell the website in the near future as he is still enjoying the experience that can also help him perfect any future ventures.
You can visit All Crypto Whitepapers here to check out his work.
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Image Courtesy: John van Rijck, All Crypto Whitepapers