When it comes to shortcuts in creating cryptocurrencies and Whitepapers we have seen it all. From copying reams of code to rewording whitepapers, crypto start-ups these days are becoming increasingly lazy.
There is, however, a particular job listing that is the crème de la crème of high expectations. According to a job listing for someone in Canada, they would like a developer to create a cryptocurrency for him that is based on the Ethereum blockchain.
What price do you ask? Perhaps $1m? Not less than $500k?
In fact, the job listing has a starting price for bidding at only $5. According to the person who listed the job, the extremely low ball offer was created because “I’d like to gather proposals”. Well, there is perhaps no surprise that proposals are extremely short.
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Dearth of Listings
One may be forgiven in thinking that this was a mere anomaly. Unfortunately, there seem to be quite a few people on Upwork who think that a crytpocurrency can be created for mere peanuts.
For example, there was someone in the US who was looking for a developer who was willing to produce an ERC20 token for him. At least we are glad that he knew the developer should know Solidity. Unfortunately though, his knowledge stopped there when he described the project type as “I am not sure”.
What is perhaps even more surprising than the listing is the fact that there are a number of developers who appear to have expressed an interest in the project and are now interviewing for the position.
We were also able to find a listing that was eminating from the UK which was even more sparse on the details. The budget for the project was only listed as “$$$” and the description of the project was a mere “Support with an innovative ICO”.
There indeed seems to be a trend going on as lazy founders are more interested in raising funding than completing the work required to develop a great project. While they may have an idea which is good on paper, they can’t really be bothered to develop that paper themselves.
An example of this would be the great number of freelancers on Fiverr.com who are more than willing to offer their services in writing up a white paper for “bargain prices”.
There are numerous examples and a mere search on Fiverr for “ICO white paper” will produce reams of results. For example, there is this seller who offers her basic white paper gig for a mere $80. She seems to have moved over from writing people’s resumes to the ICO white paper field.
You can also see the number of reviews that she has received from satisfied customers. Here is an extract from one of the customers.
This seller was amazing!! We gave her the information we had and she gave us a fantastic white paper. She was very prompt in her responses and answered all of our questions. I definitely recommend her services!
While we are not one to judge the freelancer who makes a living writing white papers, there is something really uneasy about a team trying to raise millions of dollars on the back of a white paper outsourced for an $80 gig.
Degradation of the ICO
There is no doubt a great departure in the ICO whitepaper from the extremely technical and comprehensive examples from some of the more established cryptocurrencies. The original Bitcoin whitepaper, for example, was a great exposition in true scientific writing.
As the ICO has progressed and less technical people have invested in cryptocurrencies, it has been dumbed down considerably. While there is nothing wrong with making a white paper easier to understand, laziness is not an option.
This becomes even more disconcerting when people are trying to develop an entire cryptocurrency for a few hundred bucks. These could no doubt turn out to be ICO scams like Coinfido which are merely being developed to dupe unsuspecting investors.
Lessons in Due Diligence
What is clearly evident from these listings is that there are a number of ICOs that are taking place that are less than desirable projects.
When you are considering an investment, make sure that you do proper ICO due diligence. If the white paper appears to be generic or badly written then it is more than likely outsourced.
There are hundreds of good quality ICOs that will be raising funds this year. Don’t allow your emotions and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) cloud your judgement. Focus on the small details and the bigger picture will emerge.