What is a POAP and why is everyone collecting them?

Updated: Mar 31



POAP {Proof of Attendance Protocol) is an Ethereum based app that enables event organizers to distribute attendance or participation badges in the form of NFTs to event attendees. The free POAP protocol makes minting and collecting participation NFTs accessible and easy. Who doesn't love free shit?


People are awarded a POAP token each time they participate in an event, whether it’s in-person or virtual. This POAP token is "verifiable proof that [attendees] were part of that event at the certain point in time it happened."


POAPs have been gaining in popularity since their debut in February 2019 at ETH Denver, a Web 3 conference based in Colorado (also the largest and longest running ETH event in the world). With over 2 million POAPs minted, let’s just say POAPs are popping.

ETH Denver | 2019

What’s the Big Deal?


The appeal of POAPS lies in their collectibility and in their utility. POAP collectors are able to curate a "visual diary" of all the events and experiences they have participated in, both digitally and in real life.


POAPs are being utilized as a fun community engagement tool to connect and reward folks in some out of the box ways. Some orgs have chosen to use POAPs as attendance badges for attendees who participate in community programming, that can be used later as admission to access exclusive Discord channels, events, giveaways, content, etc. This has allowed community organizations to reward their most engaged users and has allowed for a growing ecosystem of POAP enthusiasts.

Imagine having the ability to prove your loyalty to a certain community, collective or creator from the very beginning, before the hype? Are you a loyal fan or community member for real?

Essentially, POAPs are an "identity system for building digital reputation and enabling social coordination," making very clear the communities and initiatives an individual interacts with and allowing for innovative ways to emerging use cases like

  • Community Polls

  • Conference Discounts

  • Merch / Fashion Discounts

  • VIP Parties

  • POAP gated content


How do I start collecting/minting POAPs?


The easiest way to start collecting POAPs is to attend a POAP-sponsored event, either digitally and/or IRL. The organizer of the event will distribute claim codes in the form of QR codes or URLs.


Scan the QR code or enter the URL in your browser to claim/mint the POAP using your Ethereum address, ENS name, like wellnesssbritt.eth for example, or enter your email to reserve the POAP so you can claim it at a later time. You read that right! To start collecting POAPs, you can begin to reserve your POAPs with just your email address.


How does reserving a POAP with my email work?


If you reserve a POAP with your email, it will be reserved for you until you decide to claim it with your Ethereum address. To claim it, go to POAP Scan and enter your email.

After entering your email, you will see your POAPs. Click on one and then click the "Claim POAP" button. You will then receive an email with a link that allows you to input your Ethereum address and claim all of your pending POAPs.


What is an ENS name?


ENS stands for Ethereum Name Service, which is an ETH based app that replaces your long, unreadable ETH address with a friendly, memorable ENS address. It makes it easier to receive crypto assets as well as enter your ENS address into ETH dapps (decentralized applications) without needing to copy and paste the long public address.


Your ENS is basically your web3 domain name.


Things to Consider


Communities issuing POAPs have been running rather smoothly up until a few weeks ago when a flood of new users, known as POAP farmers, or accounts trying to game the system by collecting POAPs from events they didn’t attend, forced the app to announce major changes to its business.


POAP team issued an announcement to the POAP community stating,


“We’ve come to the difficult conclusion that until we’ve had the chance to substantially improve the security and reliability of the system, we’ll need to establish limits on usage of the protocol.


As many of you have likely seen in the Discord and the Telegram, the explosive growth POAP has seen over the last few weeks and months - combined with the behavior of a few bad actors - have left our dev and ops teams fighting a hard battle on two fronts.


This is a sad decision for us, but in truth, we need to take a step back and reassess how we approach the various issues that come with scale, including security, assuring responsible issuance, quality, content moderation."


POAP farmers are blamed for orchestrating mass automated attacks on POAP websites and claiming all the POAPs before true collectors had the chance to do so, comprimising the integrity of the event badge app.


In response POAP has restricted the amount of codes that newer users can request, while launching the verified issuer program, where early adopters to the app received access to a private discord channel in the POAP server and can continue to use the service without disruption. POAP halted the sign up of new issuers for two weeks in November 2021 and are rolling out new features to improve the security and user experience on the platform.


Early adopters can continue to use the platform, however, POAP’ing will now come with a major responsibility to distribute these NFTs in a secure and reliable manner.


Collect Your First POAP!


THC is at the forefront of new technology and so of course we wanted to get in on the POAP fun! THC distributed it’s first POAP during our THC IG Live with Araba Ankuma, and we've since distributed POAPs for all of our virtual programming, the collection of which will have great utility in 2022 when we unroll some new major programming and surprises for our community.


Join our Discord to stay up to date on upcoming events, where they’ll be plenty of opportunity to get in on the POAP action!


Additional Reading

1 How to add your POAPs to your Metamask wallet

2 POAP FAQs


Written by Judith Brittany Wallace; Edited by Naomi Arroyo

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