John Wu


My Top 3 Favorite Whitepapers

San Francisco, CA
August 3rd, 2018

Having spent more than a decade as a hedge fund investor, many of my friends are now curious about my formal entry into the blockchain space as an operator and ask for resources that they can use to educate themselves about the space.

My personal favorite whitepapers are the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and 0x’s whitepapers — all for different reasons, but my favorites nonetheless. I’ve taken some time to put down some thoughts on why I think each of these whitepapers stands out to me.

  1. Bitcoin Whitepaper: This whitepaper was what originally sparked interest in the virtual currency space — Satoshi Nakamoto (under a false name) wrote about the “double-spend” problem in payments which had required a third party to prevent. The whitepaper subsequently goes into key concepts that are still prevalent in literature pertaining to blockchain today, defining key terms that you see in everyday discussion now such as “proof-of-work” and concepts such as “public keys” versus “private keys.”
  2. Ethereum Whitepaper: This whitepaper represents a turning point where the community goes from looking at cryptography as a perfect use case for Bitcoin — a peer-to-peer payment system — to understanding that cryptography can also be used to build decentralized applications that do not have to be related to payments or financial technology such as Namecoins, Colored Coins and Metacoins. I am a fan of this whitepaper because it was able to spark a movement around creating ecosystems of (dApps) built on top of various public chains, Ethereum being the first.
  3. 0x Whitepaper: The 0x whitepaper does not try to be longer or shorter than necessary at fifteen pages. The Abstract clearly lays out the structure of the following material in a clear and succinct way and provides a clear and compelling hook for the necessity of a new protocol.ther systems are “opinionated” whereas the 0x protocol will be “unopinionated — not impos[ing] costs on its users or arbitrarily extract[ing] value from one group of users to benefit others.” In a climate where tokenomics consultants create dozens of use cases for a token that may or may not be realistic, I like the simplicity of the utility of the 0x token — “for market participants to pay transaction fees to Relayers and for decentralized governance over updates to the protocol.”

What are your favorite whitepapers and why? Do you think that the blockchain ecosystem should start creating a standard around what types of information should be included in every whitepaper? Let me know in the comments below.


Disclaimer: These opinions are solely my own and do not represent the opinions of Sharespost or any companies that I may advise or invest in.

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