Difference Between Crypto Whitepaper, Yellow And Beige Papers

By CNBCTV18.com IST (Published)

A crypto whitepaper is a useful guide for investors looking to determine the future potential of the crypto project. However, it is only one of the many sources of information that the project offers. Some developers also publish yellow and beige documents to provide more detailed information about the project. Read on to learn how yellow and beige papers differ from standard white paper.

Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile. The prices of these digital assets can fluctuate wildly over days, hours, and even minutes. However, projects with strong fundamentals, practical use cases, a good vision, and a strong technical foundation often offer long-term value appreciation. But how do you check if a cryptocurrency checks these boxes?

Well, that’s where the white paper comes in handy. It provides a lot of information about the project, the problems it seeks to solve, its tokenomics, and its founders. As such, it is a useful guide for investors looking to determine the future potential of the project.

However, the whitepaper is only one of many sources of information published by the project. Some developers also publish yellow and beige documents to provide more detailed information about the project.

Follow along as we tell you more about yellow and beige paper and how it differs from standard white paper.

the white book

White papers have become common in the world of cryptocurrencies. It is usually the first thing an investor will go through before participating in an ICO, STO, IEO, IDO or any other crypto fundraising event. It is a detailed document that sheds light on the project’s market strategy, value proposition, roadmap, token flows, core team, and investors.

the yellow paper

While the white paper is relatively easy to understand, a yellow paper is often more technical and scientific. It often describes the research or technology being investigated, as opposed to a white paper, which covers all planned aspects of the project. So if we look at the white paper as a proposal, the yellow book is like a deep dive or ‘part two’ where all the specifics are given.

Yellow papers are often created with future collaborations in mind. It is an extremely useful document for other blockchain companies, development teams, and Layer 2 solutions looking to use the project’s open source technology for their applications.

the beige paper

As you can imagine, a yellow paper is not light reading. It is often only understood by developers and blockchain experts, and ordinary investors may need help to fully understand its content. With this in mind, some projects also introduce a beige paper that is easier to grip. The content is often reformatted in a more organized way and is generally easier to understand.

The example of Ethereum

Ethereum is one of the only crypto projects to produce all three of these research papers. The whitepaper is titled “A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform.” It covers the history and background of the project, the philosophy, technology and applications of Ethereum, and how the Ethereum token works. It’s a bit technical but easy to understand with a little research.

On the other hand, the yellow paper of the project is titled “Ethereum: A Secure Decentralized Generalized Transaction Ledger, Version of Byzantium.” From the title, it can be understood that this is a more technical document. It begins by introducing the technology and providing definitions of various concepts, but quickly jumps to complex computational equations designed for expert blockchain readers, users, or developers.

Finally, the Ethereum Beige Paper is titled “An Ethereum Technical Specification.” It is simply a rewrite of the yellow paper to make it easier to read. The language used is simple and explains the various technical details of the project in an easy to understand way.


As an investor, the white paper contains all the information you need to make an informed decision regarding the prospects of a project. If you are interested in researching the technology behind the project, flipping through the beige paper is a good option. However, only a few projects create this document, and even if they do, it will still take a fair amount of additional research to fully understand it.