“Proof of Attendance Protocol,” also known as POAP, is a digital bookmark for your life. They are minted as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) to your account or wallet.
POAPs are used to mark participation or attendance at an event. Just like you might save ticket stubs from concerts or movies, buy pins at a sporting event or festival, or collect matches from restaurants or hotels, a POAP is a digital version of that same notion, satiating our desire to collect items that mark our experiences throughout life.
The Origin of POAPs
POAP is a native crypto culture project featuring an open-source and community-owned web3 ethos. POAPs have been percolating in the crypto culture for a while ever since they were created in 2017 at ETH Denver. (A cryptocurrency conference held annually in Denver, Colorado, based around the Ethereum ecosystem.)
Because POAPs started within the Ethereum culture which is deeply rooted in community and participation, it makes sense that POAPs flourished at crypto events, meet-ups, parties, and conferences worldwide. POAPs started as a niche crypto curiosity but have grown in popularity so much so that, in April 2022, Warner Music Group has announced a $10 million seed round of funding to partner with POAP to begin issuing POAPs at concerts for musicians that are on their music label.
Major brands and events such as the US Open, Lollapalooza, Adidas, and Budweiser have all partnered with POAP. Up to this point, over four and a half million POAPs have been issued so far to over half a million POAP collectors.
How Do You Claim a POAP?
Claiming a POAP is easy. Depending on the event, there may be different ways to claim the POAP issued by the event organizers.
The most popular way POAPs are distributed is through QR codes displayed at events. All you need to do is scan a QR code with your phone and then enter your email address or an Ethereum wallet address. If you use an Ethereum wallet address, the POAP gets minted on Gnosis chain (formerly known as xDAI chain) to save you from paying gas fees.
Afterward, you can migrate your POAP to the Ethereum blockchain—if you wish—by paying the gas fees. However, it’s not necessary to do this unless there is some utility for the POAP that only works on Ethereum. This may be the case if the POAP badge is used by a community to unlock gated content or channels in forums like Discord.
As a temporary placeholder for a crypto wallet, POAPs can be reserved with an email address. Claiming by email is different from using your Ethereum wallet. By using an email, you create a reservation within the POAP system for the ability to mint your POAP onto the blockchain at a later date.
If you claim using your email you still get to enjoy all the functionality of your POAP by using your email to view your account’s POAP gallery either through a web browser or an app on your mobile phone. However, it’s important to understand that the POAP does not become an NFT until it has been cryptographically minted to the blockchain.
What Else Can You Do With POAPs?
You can do some fun things with your community of POAP holders to create engagement like host a raffle or hold voting. POAP.fun allows you to include all the holders of your event’s POAP to participate in a raffle that is transparent and verifiable.
POAP.vote hosts a unique voting is a mechanism in which the voters need to be a holder of your POAP in order to cast a vote. This is a great tool for gauging community sentiment or deciding on community actions.
There’s lots of possibilities beyond raffles and voting because you can view the list of Ethereum wallet addresses that have claimed your POAP and this can be used to reward your POAP holders with airdrops or special access.
POAPs Are Fun
POAPs are a way to mark the moments of your life in a digital way that won’t decay over time, take up a whole wall in your room, or get lost. We all form identities based on our experiences, and the modern world moves so quickly that we can forget what we even did last month.
In a world where our digital identities are becoming ever more important, POAPs are a fresh crypto-friendly way to foster community and honor nostalgia in a verifiable and playful fashion. I love collecting POAPs from crypto and web3 events I have attended, and I hope that you get to enjoy the simple act of acknowledging that yes, indeed, you were there.