Ever since the event badge app POAP announced raising $10M earlier this year, it has become a hot topic among NFT and crypto enthusiasts. According to their official website, POAPs are the bookmarks of our lives or digital mementos. If you keep digging, you’ll find even more superficial terms like attendance badges or NFT event badges.
But the question is, what exactly does this Ethereum-based NFT badge do and what sets it apart? That’s what we’ll be answering in this article.
Starting from what the term means and what purpose it serves, we’ll be reading about how POAP works and why you should collect POAPs. To top it all off, we have also included two in-depth how-to guides on collecting and creating POAP tokens, respectively.
What Is a POAP NFT?
POAP (pronounced poh-ap) stands for Proof of Attendance Protocol. It’s a system for distributing ERC-721 tokens (AKA crypto-badges) that organizers give to attendees as some collectibles they can take home. In simpler words, it’s like souvenirs collected during your trip inside Disney Land.
But that’s not all there is to it. Additionally, POAP provides an open-source standard that crypto developers can use to build crypto event badges for various events.
Just like real-world souvenirs, POAPs tend to have cool, brag-able designs that let you show off the digital proof of records of your life experiences. The best part is POAPs don’t contain any personal data that may invade your privacy – so you never have to worry a thing about displaying your POAP collection in public.
Why Should You Care About the Privacy of Your POAPs
While the importance of the privacy-conscious approach taken with POAPs might not be so obvious, it is actually very much needed. This way, developers can build new functions and features on top of the POAP collections’ personalization without compromising privacy.
For example, giant corporations like Google and Facebook are infamous for collecting and exploiting personal data. Due to that, the developers’ (who work there) works are also often understandably based on the collected personal data. So, it has turned into a vicious circle for corporations with no easy way out.
However, with POAP NFTs, that will never be the case since the tokens don’t provide any detailed personal data, to begin with. Even if the developers want to build any functionalities that invade privacy, they simply won’t be able to.
To conclude, your secrets are totally safe with POAP tokens.
What Purposes Do POAP NFTs Serve?
As we were saying, a POAP is a digital souvenir or collectible that offers some extra features your Disney Land plush toys don’t. However, the catch with POAP NFTs is that the true value of the technology can only be understood when you have more than one POAP token.
Multiple POAP NFTs grouped together are called a POAP collection that only can be owned by one person. And it goes both ways, meaning one person can’t own more than one POAP collection either.
So, it acts as a digital representation or the digital identity of yourself, which is totally unlike any other real-world identity. A passport may have your name, nationality, and gender, but a POAP collection will only consist of the POAP tokens you’ve collected, giving you the freedom to create a low-cost and very reliable digital identity of yourself.
Since NFTs are based on blockchain technology, POAP collections are also not only digital identities – but decentralized digital identities that can pave the path for decentralized identity-related applications that are currently not supported by the existing infrastructure.
Explained Simply With an Analogy
Let’s assume you have a living room in your house where you keep all your souvenirs inside showcases.
The souvenirs range from the papyrus you collected from Egypt to the marble miniature of the Taj Mahal that you bought in India. So, anyone you invite home will get the idea that you have visited many countries of the world and associate that with your identity. This person really likes traveling!
That’s what a POAP collection does, which tells people what events you’ve attended, so they know what kind of people you are. After all, the places we go to tell a lot about us, don’t they?
Lastly, just like we only have one living room in our home (unless you live in a mansion or something), we can only own one POAP collection individually.
How Does POAP Work?
POAP NFTs are usually issued by the event organizer, who is also responsible for verifying the attendance of everyone that is getting the NFT. Each attendee gets one.
It doesn’t matter whether the event is virtual (online or in the metaverse) or in-person or how long it is. POAP tokens can be given away for all kinds of events.
Since there’s no set limit on how many events you can attend, your POAP collection starts getting enriched and unique in its own way when you’ve obtained quite a few POAP tokens.
How Does the Event Organizer Not Hand Out POAP Tokens to Non-participants?
The protocol doesn’t have any sort of built-in feature that restricts the organizer from giving POAT NFTs to people who didn’t attend the event or giving more than one to those who did.
While in order to become an authorized POAP token issuer, the event organizer has to follow the one-attendee-one-POAP rule, the protocol is unable to enforce the compliance of the mandate on its own – unlike a smart contract.
So, it’s technically possible for event organizers to mess up and break the rule – which makes them vulnerable to Sybil attacks. In a Sybil attack, the hacker creates a huge amount of fake identities to harm the reputation and authenticity of the system.
Another problem similar to Sybil attacks is that tokens collected unlawfully reduce the strength of the POAP collections they’re added to.
That’s why POAP strongly encourages organizers to have necessary procedures and maintain transparency regarding how POAP NFTs are given to the participants. A handful of issuers use advanced strategies to distribute the POAP NFTs fairly according to the mandate, which significantly contributes to increasing the strength of the POAP collections.
Having said that, POAP tokens distributed by shady organizers still play a crucial part in strengthening POAP collections since exploitation attempts are very easy to detect on the blockchain.
Why Should You Collect POAP NFTS?
Since you can’t collect POAP tokens without attending the events they were distributed at, it’s safe to say that the more POAPs of a particular community you have, the more time you have spent at their events.
POAPs Help You Get Incentives for Your Loyalty
Many organizations have started using this to identify their loyal customers or followers and calculate their loyalty levels with the formula that more POAPs = more loyalty. After that, they can simply allocate funds for incentives based on how many POAPs a customer/follower has in their wallet.
This is almost like a frequent-flyer loyalty program offered by airlines. Except it’s better because, with the help of POAPs, organizations can measure your loyalty without compromising privacy.
Some Examples of POAP Holders Getting Rewarded
In 2021, the Bankless DAO airdropped NFT tokens to crypto wallets that had collected Bankless POAPs before. The more POAPs a wallet had, the larger was the share of the airdrop received.
Another example would be SushiSwap, which has recently started providing perks for users who collect their POAP tokens. Their perks include the ability to draw faster on community artworks where everyone collaborates and then gets fractionalized NFTs as rewards.
It might not sound as impressive as an NFT airdrop, but not that bad either, considering Sushi POAPs are issued to all attendees of their events. In contrast, Bankless POAP NFTs were distributed only to paid subscribers.
POAP Collections Can Serve as Blockchain Résumés
POAP collections can act as decentralized, highly reliable identities from which employers can know about the past engagements and commitments of someone they’re considering recruiting.
What’s more, they don’t need to spend any time or effort on cross-checking as POAP collections tend to be very authentic. Everyone can write a lot of nice stuff and oversell themselves through ordinary resumes – but with POAP collections, applicants have no option but to show their true self of themselves.
This can be especially useful for self-governing entities that take a community-first approach – like Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO), for example. Since they aim to align their staff’s values with the organization’s goals, POAP collections will enable them to easily find candidates that are the right fit for their culture.
The host of SushiSwap AMA sessions, 0xTangle, has discussed the possibility with members of the Sushi community a couple of times already, so this isn’t just a random idea we’re talking about. The crypto-savvy employers have already started considering using POAP collections to make their recruitment process more efficient.
Sooner or later, this is the direction the HR departments would start moving towards. If you don’t want to fall behind, start working on your blockchain resume now.
Collecting POAP NFTS: The Supreme How-to Guide
Firstly, You Need an Ethereum Wallet. If you have one already, skip to the next step. Otherwise, read on.
Having an Ethereum wallet is a pre-requisite because you need to have access to the private key. The ETH address provided by exchanges like Kraken or Coinbase won’t do.
If this is the first time you’re tinkering with NFTs, you don’t need to set up something super-secure like cold storage private key solutions. Instead, we’re going to set up something called Hot Wallet, a crypto wallet created by a device connected to the internet.
Hot wallets are easy to set up and work great for inexpensive POAPs and small amounts of cryptocurrencies. Some of our favorite Ethereum-compatible mobile Hot Wallets are:
- Coinbase Wallet
While setting up the wallet, you’ll be provided with the private key (aka seed phrase), which will be either 12 or 24 words long. We strongly recommend you to write them down in the same order on paper and keep it somewhere secure.
This is extremely important because if you ever lose your phone and forget your seed phrase, you wouldn’t be able to access your crypto wallet anymore. All the funds and NFTs stored in the wallet would be gone forever.
After the setup is done, you should get an Ethereum address for your wallet – a random combination of letters and numbers. Once you have this, you’re ready to claim the POAP token!
Time to Claim the POAPs
If it’s an in-person event, you’ll probably be given a QR code by the organizer upon scanning, which you’ll receive your POAP.
In virtual events, the organizers often provide the attendees with a special link to claim POAPs or request everyone’s ETH addresses. After that, tools like poap.delivery are used to distribute the POAP tokens.
If you’re still in confusion, ask the organizer. They’ll be happy to answer your queries regarding collecting the POAP.
How Do You View Your Collection?
After claiming your POAP, the most hassle-free way to view it is to use the POAP app, which you can find at app.poap.xyz.
All you have to do is connect your Ethereum wallet to see your POAP collection. Pasting the ETH address would work too. To view your POAPs on mobile, download the POAP mobile app for Android or iOS.
Since POAPs are basically NFTs on the xDAI chain, you don’t necessarily need to use POAP’s apps. You can also configure your mobile Ethereum wallet to view your POAPs by adding the xDAI network to MetaMask. After that, you’ll have to add the POAPs manually one by one by entering the contract address and the ID of your POAP NFT.
While this is not as convenient as the POAP apps, it might be preferred more by those who would rather not connect their wallet to the POAP app – which is smart.
On a side note, keep in mind that the MetaMask browser extension is not compatible with POAP NFTs yet.
The Event Organizer’s Guide to Creating POAP NFTs
Before you create your POAP, you need to determine whether what you’re celebrating is worth having a POAP giveaway for or not.
It is important to pick events wisely because if you release POAPs at your events every weekend, their exclusivity and sentimental value will be somewhat reduced among the collectors.
That being said, POAPs can help spread the word about your event among NFT enthusiasts when done right. So, if you believe you’re organizing something you want people to remember, go ahead and make your mark with POAP NFTs.
Now, let’s take a look at a couple of other things you also need to keep in mind:
- Creating POAP NFTs don’t cost anything as long as you’re willing to do everything yourself – which is just filling up a form and designing a visual.
- Approving POAPs might take up to 24 hours. Don’t wait for the eleventh hour; start creating your POAP ahead of time.
- The POAPs aren’t unlimited in supply; the number of codes you’re given equals the number of POAPs that have been created for your event. So, make sure to get enough codes so all attendees can have one.
- You’ll be able to edit the POAP even after launching it, but you’ll need your unique Edit code, which is given in the application form. Write the code down on paper, and don’t lose it.
- Only distribute POAPs to people who actually attended the event. If necessary, come up with a system for it, like emailing the POAP code to the attendees individually.
The Information Checklist: What You Will Need
Firstly, go to https://app.poap.xyz/admin, click on Manage Events, and create a new POAP.
You’ll find a form there.
In the form, you’ll need to submit all the details regarding your event and the POAP. Let’s take a look at them below:
- Name of the POAP: Whatever you want to call the POAP made for your event, write it here. It can be named after the event, for instance.
- Description: Explain the purpose and history of this POAP, so people can actually remember what it was distributed for when they look at it in the future. Along with that, you’ll have to include how the POAP will be distributed. The description will be stored on the NFT metadata and displayed in the POAP mobile app.
- Virtual event: If your event is taking place virtually, whether online or in the metaverse, check this box. Otherwise, no need.
- City and country: Totally optional and should be filled in if the event is in-person. That being said, you can still fill out the country and write the name of the metaverse it’ll be taking place in – should you want to.
- Start date, end date, and expiry date: The first two are self-explanatory; fill out accordingly. If it’s a multi-day event, make sure to check that box. As for the expiry date, it’s the deadline for obtaining your POAP. If any of your attendees don’t collect the POAP NFT before that, they wouldn’t be able to get it anymore.
- Website: If the event has a website, landing page, or Facebook event page, put the link there. Make sure to paste the full URL, including the https:// in the beginning.
- Template: There are a lot of existing templates that you can choose to use for your POAP. Or, if you want, you can design your own as well. If this is your first time, we recommend using one of the pre-made templates and editing it per your needs. To browse the templates, go to app.poap.xyz/admin/template/
- Choose file: Here, you upload the visual of your POAP. We’re going to learn how to make the visual in the next section.
- Edit Code: As we’ve explained before, you’ll need this code to edit the POAP after launching it. Be noted that you won’t be able to edit the visual.
- Email: The POAP codes will be sent to this email address, which you can distribute to attendees later.
- Amount of Codes: Neither ask for more than you need nor apply for less than you need. Requests for up to 99 codes get tend to get approved easily.
- Private event: Check this box if you don’t want your event to show up in the event list of POAP. This can be changed later.
Now that you know what information you’ll be asked for, let’s move on to how to design the visual.
Design of the POAP: How to Do It Yourself
If you have an eye for design and can’t afford to hire a graphic designer, free online tools like Canva can be such a lifesaver.
Canva has a plethora of customizable templates that you can use in your design – so you don’t have to start from scratch. If you’re good with Photoshop or Illustrator, that’s even better. They’ll allow you to make a more complex and fascinating design for the POAP.
The requirements of the visual are given below:
- Dimensions: 500px by 500 px
- File size: Less than 200 kilobytes
- File format: PNG/APNG is recommended. Make the edges of the design rounded and keep a transparent background.
Make sure to design a catchy visual for your POAP NFT, so people feel excited to have it in their POAP collections. Tip: Check out some popular POAP NFT designs on the internet for inspiration.
Launch Your POAP: Get Set, Go!
After you’ve filled up the form, wait for the POAP to get approved. The list of codes will be sent to your emails when it’s done.
Send the codes to all your attendees so they can claim their POAPs, and please distribute them responsibly. Keep the rules of thumb in mind – one attendee = one POAP code, non-attendee = zero POAP code.
Congratulations, you have completed your first POAP giveaway successfully!
The Bottom Line
In this article, we’ve learned what POAP NFTs are, what they do, and how they work. After that, we’ve looked into why you should and how to collect POAP tokens. And last but not least, we’ve checked out all the intricacies of the process of collecting and creating POAPs!
POAP is still a very new NFT project, and we’re barely scratching the surface of its immense possibilities. With a seemingly unlimited range of applications and a low entry bar, POAP is anticipated to redefine what decentralized digital identity means in the crypto space. We hope this article has answered all your questions regarding POAP NFTs.