POAPs offer event organizers a foolproof way of confirming event attendance while attendees enjoy a unique and reliable method of recording a precious moment.
In this guide, we will demystify Proof of Attendance Protocols (POAPs), how they work, and provide some examples.
What Is a Proof of Attendance Protocol?
Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP) refers to an indisputable way of verifying event attendance or, for collectors, documenting life experiences. And because avid fans collect POAPs, the acronym also alludes to their collectible nature.
POAPs exist as specially designed NFT badges that can be used in real life or in the metaverse. The unique, blockchain-based identifier is solely accessible by the holder, who receives it as a gift or after a purchase. Moreover, each badge is non-replicable. And given that it’s an NFT, the owner can trade it on NFT exchanges.
POAPs were originally minted through smart contracts and distributed via the Ethereum blockchain as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) using the ERC-721 token standard.
The idea behind the protocol was to demonstrate Ethereum’s capabilities and to enable crypto enthusiasts to use POAPs to confirm their allegiance to Ethereum.
Consequently, POAPs aren’t generally of high monetary value.
The first recorded use of POAP badges was in 2019 at the ETHDenver Convention. Hackers at the event received them as a reward for their attendance and participation in a hackathon.
How Do POAPs Work?
POAP NFTs contain a cryptographic record. This includes an image and event details, such as the time or date, just like on an NFT ticket. Each POAP badge is immutable and comes with a distinct serial number. These features enable a POAP to authenticate the bearer’s identity.
When an individual attends an event, an attendance record is generated, including a timestamp and an image connected to the Protocol. This information is created through a smart contract platform.
Event organizers send the badges to attendees’ wallets as a reward for attending their events and engaging in particular activities. Attendees can also collect the badges through the POAP app and proudly display them on online marketplaces or social media platforms.
With digital distribution, attendees need to connect their crypto wallets before claiming their POAP badges. Those who wish to receive their badges physically can do so via a QR code. The process entails downloading a POAP wallet and scanning the QR code to access the badge.
A POAP NFT must be minted through the official POAP platform or smart contract to protect yourself from scams.
Potential Use Cases of POAPs
POAPs can also be applied in the following scenarios.
Boosting Community Engagement
Apart from ascertaining event attendance, event organizers can use POAPs to engage further with their audiences. After collecting their NFT badges at the event (via QR codes), attendees can participate in activities on the POAP platform. These include raffles, special challenges, the POAP leaderboard, and community polls.
Some organizations use POAP NFTS in their loyalty programs, designing reward systems and awarding tokens to participants who complete certain milestones.
Event organizers could also use them to accord community members special perks or privileges, like invitations to exclusive events, experiences, or private chats.
Proof of Expertise
Individuals can also use POAPs to provide proof of their academic qualifications. For instance, when applying for a job, you can use a POAP badge to prove you studied at a prestigious institution or certify your expertise in a certain field/profession.
Examples of Proof of Attendance Protocols
Here are some examples of POAP use cases.
DecentralandDecentraland is a company that actively uses Proof of Attendance Protocol NFTs. The platform sends its users POAPs to commemorate special in-game events or for participating in challenges. In 2021, Decentraland sent POAP badges to attendants of its 10 million user party hosted by MetaMask.
On May 25, 2022, this cosmetics brand used POAPs to celebrate party prom season in a metaverse party on Decentraland. The exclusive tickets were only available for the first 2,000 attendees who accessed them via the makeup company’s Walmart shopping page. The event was also a unique chance for the brand to engage with its Gen Z community.
In October 2020, the POAP migrated from the Ethereum mainnet to the Ethereum xDai sidechain (now Gnosis Chain). This stable payment chain facilitates fast, low-cost transactions. xDAI rewards members with uniquely designed POAPs for their contributions to the community.
POAPs are similar to concert tickets. Their holders can use them as souvenirs to commemorate their attendance at special events. However, POAP digital badges are unique since they operate as digital tokens on a blockchain.
Consequently, collectors use them to digitally represent their life experiences – a POAP badge collection immortalizing their precious memories. Their immutable data also makes them credible as digital resumes.
Beyond this, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) may reward and incentivize users with POAPs, using them to build loyalty and forge closer relationships with their community.
In the future, POAPs have the potential to play an even more prominent role in the Web3 ecosystem.