Differences Between a White Paper, Yellow Paper, and Beige Paper

By: Jerry Yu

When doing research on cryptocurrencies, you may stumble upon white, yellow, and beige papers. What are they and what purpose do they serve?

The White Paper

A white paper is a marketing document used to persuade potential customers to learn more or use the service or technology. It should contain a problem, the solution, how the token works to create the solution, the team, and the deployment plan. Think of it like a proposal.

The Yellow Paper

A yellow paper is a more technical version of the white paper. It presents the scientific details of the technology in a very concise way. If you think of a white paper as a proposal, the yellow paper can be a part two where all the specific details are.

The Beige Paper

A beige paper is a rewrite of a yellow paper for readability. It re-formats the yellow paper into a more organized format and is usually easier to understand. The information on the beige paper is not as difficult to grasp as a yellow paper.

What papers are necessary?

If a developer is trying to make a new coin, they need to have a white paper. They need it to present their idea and process. Not every company has a yellow or beige paper, but the more sophisticated companies do.

Is there a company with all three papers?

Ethereum is a great example with all 3 papers. Here’s the link to them

White paper: https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/White-Paper

Yellow paper: https://bravenewcoin.com/assets/Whitepapers/Ethereum-A-Secure-Decentralised-Generalised-Transaction-Ledger-Yellow-Paper.pdf

Beige paper: https://github.com/chronaeon/beigepaper/blob/master/beigepaper.pdf


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A Cryptocurrency Research Summer Program for High School Students Supported by Global Coin Research

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