What is POAP?
Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP) is a protocol that creates unique digital badges as verifiable proof of attendance for virtual or in-person events. A digital memento, if you will. These badges are a class of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), based on the ERC-721 standard, and issued on the xDAI Ethereum sidechain. They must be minted via the POAP platform or smart contract, contain an image and metadata about the event, including the specific date and time.
POAPs are gaining in popularity, with several use cases seen today. Communities and companies are handing out POAPs for attending weekly/monthly meetings, voting on snapshot governance proposals, and also using them as a mechanism to determine eligibility for token airdrops. POAPs are a good tool for communities to increase participation, improve retention, and foster a sense of belonging and loyalty. You can explore the public POAP gallery here.
In this post, we'll walk through the process of minting and claiming POAP NFTs for your events.
Mint POAP NFTs for Event Attendees
To mint sample POAP NFTs for a fictitious event, head over to their drop site, and click
Create new POAP.
Specify a short title and description to let your users know what this drop is all about. Check the
Virtual Drop option and ignore the
Country fields. These are not relevant for now, but may be if you want to commemorate a physical event. Select the
Start Date and
Expiry Date (default expiry date is one month from the start date).
Specify the website details for the attendees, choose
Standard template as the base template for this POAP and upload the artwork image file. Note the specified image requirements and
Edit Code - you'll need the latter to make changes to the drop, if required. Next, specify the
email address to receive the claim codes and the number of codes (
mint links) that you need. Finally, check the
Private Drop option as this is a test drop (leave this unchecked for a real drop), and click
Shortly, you'll receive an email with the drop details. The POAP Curation Body will review your submission against the POAP drop policies and respond via email, generally within 24 hours. You can reach out to them via Discourse if you don't get the confirmation within a day. Also, since we made it private, the drop will not be visible in the public gallery; use the URL provided in the email to access the drop.
Once you receive the codes, you need to distribute them to your event attendees. Typically, this can be done using a Discord bot, email marketing platform or just manually sharing the links. You can also use the POAP Kiosk (formerly Magic POAP QR Dispenser) to distribute mint links using unique QR codes.
If you prefer a self-service approach for your users, skip mint links during the drop creation process. Instead, you can use secret words for short-lived events, POAP websites for distribution, or the delivery tool to airdrop the POAPs directly to attendees' wallet addresses (assuming you have collected them). See the article on POAP distribution methods for more details.
If you decide to use secret words, access the private URL from the email to edit the drop, click on the hamburger menu in the top right corner, and select
Manage Secret Words. This will bring you to the authentication page. Specify the event ID and edit code (from the email) and click
Create Secret page, specify the
Secret Name (case-sensitive, no spaces),
Start Date (UTC) and
End Date (UTC), and the number of
Requested Codes. Leave the
Active Secret option checked and click
Submit. Once again, the POAP team will review your submission and respond via email within 24 hours.
Once you have distributed the mint links to users, they can claim the badges using their unique links (redirects to the POAP Claim site). You can mint the POAPs on xDAI sidechain for free, or uncheck the
Free minting in xDAI option and pay gas fees to mint on the Ethereum main chain.
Users can explore all published badges and claim the ones they are entitled to directly from the POAP Delivery site. They can connect their wallet to the POAP Scan site at any time to view the badges they have collected so far. They can also download the iOS or Android apps to view their badges on the go.
POAP is open-source and community-owned, with the ultimate goal to be a public good. With that in mind, the POAP team has released a few sites to showcase the versatility of the protocol. For example, you can use POAP Vote to set up sybil-resistant polls, or POAP Fun to create raffles for event participants!
While POAPs are meant to be a verifiable badge of attendance, they are technically NFTs and can be traded on marketplaces like OpenSea, partly negating their original value proposition. Vitalik, the co-founder of Ethereum, recognised this inherent contradiction and proposed non-transferable soulbound tokens (SBTs). The concept is sound in principle, but there are several technical and privacy-related challenges as outlined in his essay. Suffice to say though, this is an interesting space to watch in the months to come.