Topics NFT
Bybit Learn
Bybit Learn
Intermediate
Jul 25, 2022

What Is a POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol)?

Paper tickets and certificates are so 2010. The future is all about digital souvenirs of different life experiences — and that’s where the proof of attendance protocol (POAP) NFT comes in.

This article will explain everything you need to know about POAP NFTs so you can start creating and collecting them in your digital wallet.

Let’s dive right in.

What Is a POAP NFT?

POAP, or proof of attendance protocol, as the name suggests, is a non-fungible token (NFT) that proves you’ve attended an event, either virtual or in-person. The events can be a ceremony, private function, game, concert or something similar. You can consider these as digital badges or stickers for your wallet as a reward for your attendance in these events.

POAPs can also be proof of your achievements, such as your engagement in an online or offline community. Attendance protocols are also given to commemorate in-game events.

As a representative of real life experiences, POAP NFTs bridge the physical and the crypto worlds. They show that you’re more than an Ethereum address by linking your off-chain (or real-life) physical attendance to your on-chain presence. In a way, POAPs add a touch of humanity to the crypto world — and create a reliable record of your activities in both worlds.

How Does a POAP Work?

When you attend an event or achieve a milestone for which there are POAP badges, you’ll receive one. It’s as simple as that. You can also use it to access a major event or an exclusive online group.

POAPs work a lot like other NFTs. Each proof of attendance protocol is unique. They were first created for official POAP smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. To lower transaction costs, POAPs have since migrated to the Gnosis chain (Formerly xDai), a cheaper and faster Ethereum side chain.

Just about anyone can make a POAP to mark a special moment. But there are three conditions for a POAP NFT:

  1. It must be minted via the official POAP smart contract
  2. It must hold metadata related to a specific date or period for up to a year
  3. It must contain an image associated with the specific event

You can only mint one POAP for an event on a single wallet. That’s because each one represents attendance — and you can’t attend the same unique event twice. POAPs are different from other NFTs in that they’re free for creators and collectors, because there are no gas fees involved.

There aren’t any set rules that dictate which events can have POAP badges, or how big an event needs to be to have one. Some major events can even have multiple POAPs. As long as you can create them and get them approved, you can have POAP NFTs for your virtual or in-person events. You can then invite people to mint them and win gifts.

What Are POAP NFTs Used For?

The primary purpose of a POAP is to prove attendance. Here are a few examples of different ways that POAP NFTs are used:

  • To show attendance at events
  • To access private events, such as an invitation to add pixels to a digital art piece or join weekly community meetings
  • As security clearance for private groups
  • Collectables to show you’re a fan of someone or something
  • Gifts or rewards for achieving something, such as being among the first 100 listeners to a podcast
  • Souvenirs, such as a game shirt worn by a professional athlete
  • Invites to vote on protocols, attend in-person meetups or join private chat rooms

Although there are innumerable use cases for POAP NFTs, they’re not currently used much by people outside several online crypto communities. Event organizers from these groups create badges for attendees of their podcasts, on-site conferences, virtual events, and in-person seminars.

But some off-chain businesses — such as Warner Music Group, US Open and Lollapalooza — are entering the POAP ecosystem. Recently, rapper Kevin Gates gave out POAPs to attendees of his show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Why Collect POAPs?

People typically create a POAP collection so that they can obtain exclusive benefits. After collecting a certain POAP, you can gain access to private online communities and participate in their activities. The more POAPs you collect, the more voting power you acquire in POAP-exclusive community polls, which is a big advantage if you want to weigh in on governance proposals.

For DeFi and crypto enthusiasts, POAP collections can serve as an on-chain résumé. You can get more of these NFTs by attending and participating in more crypto events or protocols. It can build your reputation by creating a provable record of all the special events you’ve attended.

By collecting POAPs, you can connect and chat with community members who also attended the same event through exclusive chat rooms that give access to specific POAP holders.

Monetary Benefits of Collecting POAPs

Sometimes, collecting POAPs can also earn you money. If you have a unique POAP badge from a super-exclusive event, you may be able to sell it for a lot of money. For example, there was recently a POAP on OpenSea entitled 999 Club: Genesis going for nearly $22,500. Now, just to remind you, POAPs are free to acquire — because you don’t have to pay a gas fee. So this POAP is selling for a $22,500 profit!

Another benefit of holding on to these collectibles is that creators can airdrop NFTs to wallets that have collected POAPs. This way, you can get more tokens without having to mint them.

How To Claim a POAP

There are four ways to claim a POAP:

  1. Use a link to claim a POAP
  2. Use a code to claim a POAP
  3. Use a secret word or phrase to claim a POAP
  4. Scan a QR code to claim a POAP

The creator of the POAP has to choose the way they want attendees to claim the NFT.

To begin claiming, create an account on the POAP app or website using your email or ETH address. Open the app, click on Mint and choose the claim type. Options include entering a code or secret phrase, or scanning the QR code.

Alt text: Screenshot of the POAP app showing the mint option

Source: POAP app

Screenshot of the POAP app showing minting options: Secret word, Scan QR and Enter code

Source: POAP app

How to Claim a POAP via Direct Link

To claim via a direct link, open the link in your browser and click on Claim. The proof of attendance protocol NFT will move into your Ethereum address, if that’s what you used to create your account. POAPs are stored on the Gnosis Chain (xDai). You can always shift them to the ETH blockchain by paying the required gas fee.

If you enter your email address to try to claim a POAP, the POAP will simply be reserved against your email and not minted right away. You can mint your reserved NFT by:

  • Going to the POAP app or POAP Scan website
  • Entering your email
  • Clicking on a POAP
  • Selecting the Claim POAP option.

You’ll receive an email with a link to enter your ETH wallet address for your NFT. Once you do that, the POAP will transfer to your Ethereum wallet.

How To View a POAP

You can view your claimed and reserved POAPs on POAP Scan, POAP app, Etherscan and OpenSea.

To view your NFT on POAP Scan:

  • Go to the POAP Scan website
  • Click on Input an address manually
  • Connect your wallet or enter your ENS name in the field.

To claim via a direct link, open the link in your browser and click on Claim. The proof of attendance protocol NFT will move into your Ethereum address, if that’s what you used to create your account. POAPs are stored on the Gnosis Chain (xDai). You can always shift them to the ETH blockchain by paying the required gas fee.

Alt text: POAP Scan homepage with manual input option displayed on the screen

Source: POAP.scan

Screenshot of POAP Scan wallet of a user, showing all their POAP NFTs

Source: POAP.scan

You can view anyone’s POAP collection on Etherscan the same way you view any other ERC-721 token. Type the smart contract address of the POAP NFT in the search field and press Enter on your keyboard.

Screenshot of POAP view window on Etherscan

Source: Etherscan.io

OpenSea has a list of all POAPs on its website. You can view them by going to the official website and navigating to the Collection tab, or by clicking here

Screenshot of the page with POAPs listed on the OpenSea website

Source: OpenSea.io

How To Create a POAP

Event organizers can create a proof of attendance protocol NFT by going to the POAP platform or clicking on this link. Select the Create new POAP option. Then:

  • Insert the title, metadata related to the NFT, location of the event, start date, end date, POAP NFT expiration date and a link to your website
  • Upload a graphic file of the POAP art with the correct dimensions, in PNG format
  • Copy the edit code to somewhere safe. You can’t lose this — because it’s required to make edits in the event later on
  • Enter the email address where you want to receive the claim codes
  • Enter the number of links you need, if that’s the way you want to distribute badges to event attendees. Leave it blank if you’re going with a secret phrase or QR code
  • Screenshot of the admin page on POAP Scan, with option titled Create new POAP highlighted

    Source: POAP.scan

Later, you’ll receive an email with a six-digit POAP ID number. You can find your POAP on the POAP Scan website by using that ID, and make changes to the event if you need to. You’ll have to wait for the POAP team to manually approve your POAP before it goes live.

How to Request More Codes After Creating Your POAP

To request more of the secret words or QR codes for attendees, access the POAP NFT using your edit code and click on the small button with three lines at the top right of your page (see red arrow in the image above). Then click on Manage secret words. Enter your POAP ID and the edit code again. Now, enter the number of codes you need and you’re done.

The official POAP help center has a detailed post explaining the process of creating a POAP.

Can You Sell a POAP?

Yes! To sell a POAP, follow these steps:

  • Open the POAP you want to sell at the POAP Scan website and scroll down to the Migrate POAP button
  • Click on it to move your POAP onto the Ethereum main net, and pay the required gas fee
  • List your POAP on OpenSea or other sites and sell it as an NFT
  • Screenshot of the Migrate POAP window on POAP Scan

    Source: POAP.scan

Should You Sell POAP NFTs?

Sometimes, you hit the jackpot and secure a POAP that goes viral after a special event. But that’s rare. Usually, it’s not feasible or economically wise to sell POAPs. That’s because you might have to pay a higher gas fee to migrate it to the mainnet than what you’ll get from the sale itself.

The Future of POAP NFTs

The future for POAPs looks bright, because bigger brands such as Adidas and Garyvee are launching their POAP collections, creating heightened interest in collecting and selling these NFTs. POAPs are a great opportunity for event organizers to offer a customized experience to their attendees and make their events more appealing.

This is the only type of NFT that ties the decentralized network and the physical world together. It links actions in the physical world with decentralized identities. All other NFTs are created, collected and sold digitally on blockchains.

So many of us lose autographed pictures signed by our favorite musicians, or have nothing to prove that we actually participated in a certain event. POAPs solve this issue by giving you a unique and enduring sticker to prove your attendance.

POAP NFTs have only just begun to gain momentum. We have yet to see their full potential. If you haven’t explored POAPs before, now’s the time to do so.