Crypto white paper fraud, exposed

I’m so darn glad I never allowed myself to be succumbed to the temptation of writing white papers for ICO, cryptocurrencies, or new blockchain business models. I’ve previously expressed my concerns, based purely on research and my gut instincts.

Now, this newly published report abundantly affirms my perceptions of what is, unfortunately, a fraud-infested cottage industry for crypto and blockchain white paper creation.

First, let’s begin with the overview:

… the writing of these papers is largely outsourced to contractors—many with limited technical knowledge. Some are freelancers, while many others are employed by private white-paper mills. They rake in between $1,000 and $50,000 for a single job, which might take up to eight months of hard work. Most find their employers through social media—Upwork, LinkedIn and Facebook.

The report lays out the many instances of deception and even outright fraud. They include misleading or overly exaggerated facts and statements, faking budget estimates for their projects (to bring in as much as possible in an initial coin offering), and even fabricating crypto or blockchain business models from thin air.

[Businesses] often go into blockchain with little understanding of what they want to build—or even how to build it—merely hoping the word “blockchain” will attract investors. That means the white-paper writers are often tasked with inventing business models on behalf of their clients.

A danger of getting into such deceptive activities is the possibility of legal exposure, something surely never desired or intended of any white paper writer.

“I’ve had CTOs ask me to write about patented technology from another white paper as if it were my own idea, change the words a little, and then put it in a new white paper,” he said. “This is patented technology in another part of the world.”

When it comes to writing white papers for crypto or blockchain, extreme due diligence is an absolute must. There may be some good business models out there, but in general, I’ll opt to steer clear of all this.