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Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP) Meaning

Oct 13, 2023 | Updated Oct 13, 2023
Proof of attendance protocol is a collectible that acts as a digital badge to prove that an individual attended an event.

What is Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP)

When you attend your favourite artist’s music concert, you may want a memento – something documenting the experience. You may also want to show it to your friends as proof that you actually attended the event and it’s not a bluff. Or it could be a ticket stub for a movie theatre. Or a badge from a seminar, workshop, conference, or hackathon. In the blockchain industry, this souvenir is called proof of attendance protocol (POAP).

Proof of attendance protocol (POAP) describes collectibles or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that users acquire in events to prove they were there. They are the blockchain version of traditional “checking in” on social media without exposing your data. In short, it is a way of preserving memories for in-person or virtual life experiences.

How Do POAPs Work?

The primary participants in a POAP event are event organizers and attendees of event goers. Event organizers plan or create the event and distribute the badges at the event while event goers collect them. The first-ever POAP event was 2019’s ETHDenver Convention, a hackathon event, where the participants were rewarded with POAP badges. The badges are created using the ERC-721 token standard, hence they are NFTs. Note that not all NFTs are POAPs. 

In essence, POAP tokens are minted using smart contracts, each showcasing the relevant information, such as event name, date and time, purpose, and venue. The tokens are distributed to attendees at no cost as irrefutable proof that they were part of the event. The event organizers typically make the NFTs mintable by sharing QR codes or links during the event. The POAP badges are rare and immutable, making the holders part of that event indefinitely.

Do they have monetary value?

Well, POAP badges are still NFTs and NFTs are tradeable in marketplaces. However, the original objective of the concept is to demonstrate attendance and document the experience rather than provide transactional or economic value.

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