Singapore, SINGAPORE – The Wall Street Journal recently took the effort recently to wade through more than 2,000 white papers of projects on ICORating, Tokendata, and ICOBench. Among them aren’t pompous prose but a carefully (or carelessly depending on degree or lethargy) worded sentence to confuse with conviction. There’s, of course, wanton plagiarism to hit the requisite word count strewn with mentions of huge guaranteed profits and a healthy sprinkling of fraud.
During the halcyon era where white papers were devoured with gusto to decide if a project is worth investing, it has since become an outsourced obligation where project founders tell copywriters to just cook something up that sounds legit. The WSJ cleverly calls it “A Flood of Questionable Cryptocurrency Offerings” with a standfirst that proclaims the “search for hundreds of projects showing signs of plagiarism, identity theft and promises of improbable returns”. We can literally hear the groaning of their sub-editors assigned something so mind-numbingly tedious over the holiday seasons.
Technological game-changers and many a world’s first blockchain innovations were articulated with text on white documents. And the rest is just a whitelisting process away before relieving contributors from their hard-earned BTC and ETH. Laziness is also evident in thousands of repetitive sentences where those copywriters were copying from other technical white papers like cannibals in a cage.
And it’s not just words, and words are all they have to take your funds away. There’re also bogus images of team members that very well are culpable mug shots of exit scams if they just didn’t happen to belong to a British boys’ school staff website.
Team members are a motley crew that run the gamut of nerdy and founder, strikingly handsome VP, attractive yet approachable community manager with a come-hither look on her face – she may very well be a dude named Jack who hasn’t showered in days because of relentless questions by the community on Telegram – and stern looking advisors. We’re not naming names but to give others the benebit of doubt that why not every project is an exit scam, financial motivation to get into the ICO game and its promise of millions to be made easily is too enticing.
Are ICOs still relevant? They have pretty much scared off everyone except for the most reckless of patrons. But more importantly, reading is a chore and if it’s done to make an investment decision where do we stand when we can no longer rely on these ornamental white papers to tell us what to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s well written and but rather is it truthful in terms of an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) that can be a real MVP (Most Valuable Player) in the “blockchain ecosystem” – a word that has likewise been bootlegged to death.
Improbable returns can be seen by teams cashing out their proceeds like the Moses in the Book of Exodus and imparting a last knowing shrug that there was no coercion if one decides to read white papers written like fairy tales to lure your brain to sleep to prevent rational decision-making.
And as this year’s crypto bottom can attest. Many Manchurian candidates are feeling like fools for pouring over whitepapers like treasure maps to Hitler’s gold. Reading a copy of Modern Cat magazine from cover to outside back cover would have been a better use of time. FOMO can be attributed thinking caps are flipped backwards like hip-hop playas. Analytical thinking is often sharpened by reading but in the instance, they have been proven to be detrimental to the crypto wallets of even the savviest of investors.