Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP)

Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP)


Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP) is a protocol that creates digital badges or collectibles through the use of blockchain technology. While the acronym derives from the protocol name, POAP is also used to describe the collectibles themselves.

POAPs are minted through smart contracts as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain. They are ERC-721 tokens created to celebrate and record the attendance of an event.

Typically, the unique NFTs are given out for free to event attendees, which serve as verifiable proof that the holders attended that specific event. You could compare POAPs with a collection of concert tickets, except that they are digital and secured by blockchain technology.

POAPs were initially minted and distributed on the Ethereum mainnet. It was first created at the ETHDenver Convention in 2019 to reward hackers who attended and participated in the hackathon event. In October 2020, POAP migrated to the Ethereum sidechain xDai due to its higher speed and lower transaction costs. This allows issuers to mint POAPs for very little cost.

POAP NFTs can be minted through the official POAP platform. They must contain an image and information related to the event, with a specific time or date. Each POAP badge has a unique serial number. They are immutable and can be collected via the POAP app as a digital representation of the holders’ life experiences.

Since POAPs are NFTs, they can be traded on various NFT marketplaces as well. However, POAPs are essentially proof of holders’ personal attendance at an event. According to the team, POAP was designed to showcase what Ethereum can achieve and for crypto enthusiasts to prove their commitment to Ethereum “before it was cool.” So, they are not intended to carry very high monetary value, as trading POAPs would be a contradiction to the original use case.

POAP offers a new way for event organizers to engage and interact with their community. Typically, event attendees can collect these unique NFT badges via QR codes at the event and join additional activities on the POAP platform, such as community polls, raffles, and the POAP leaderboard. For example, SushiSwap airdropped POAPs to their AMA attendees and those who voted for its governance proposals; Decentraland also gave out POAPs for virtual event attendees inside its metaverse.

In the future, POAP may expand its use cases beyond proving one’s attendance. For example, it can be used to acknowledge contributions or to offer privileges to community members. POAP collection could also function as a reliable blockchain resume for people to prove their expertise and educational background.

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