A white paper  is an informational document, usually issued by a blockchain driven company to share public information about their site. Think of it like a public pitch. The rise of white papers emerged mostly during 2016-2019 when ICOs (Initial coin offerings – like IPOs but not listed on a stock exchange) became a popopular way of funding a project. A white paper was meant to share all business insights to entice prospective investors to invest in the project.