-- 4 minute read
Explanation of the POAP ecosystem and components, and how they all fit together.
Short for "Proof of Attendance Protocol," P.O.A.P. is the platform and infrastructure that enables the creation and storage of memories by POAP issuers and POAP collectors. This is a set of smart contracts which, for practical reasons, is currently governed by POAP Inc.
POAPs, the collectibles, are NFTs minted under the Proof of Attendance Protocol smart contract. Each POAP is a digital record held by collectors as digital proof that they attended, or participated in, a physical, virtual, or spiritual event; the POAP can double as a token qualifying its collector for potential future utility.
A POAP collection is one or more POAPs reserved with an email address or minted to an Ethereum address. Thus, a POAP collection is a digital representation of the bookmarks of your life that doesn’t rely on any typical Personally Identifiable Information (PII) like name, gender, nationality, passport number, etc. As such, this becomes the best way to track your attendance to unique and distinctive experiences without risk of leaking your personal data.
How can people use POAPs?
POAPs are a gift from issuers to collectors that acknowledge the non-material (and, yet, invaluable) contributions that members of a community contribute to the collective health of the social organism in the form of time, energy, attention, participation, goodwill, talent, and other forms of prosocial activity.
These collectibles can be issued for any activity that deserves an attestation: from attendance at a town hall or IRL event, to participation in governance (submitting or voting on proposals), to participating in working groups or ongoing projects. You can think of them as badges that carry reputational and social value that may come with corresponding privileges.
POAPs act as an attestation of some form of interaction between the issuer and the collectors and have many uses for growing and connecting with your community. These collectibles can be used to control access to content and communication channels, engage people in collaborative initiatives like painting parties in POAP.art, distribute awards through airdrops or raffle, and various other applications, all without collecting or storing any personal information.
The POAP ecosystem has two main actors:
- 💭 Issuers: People or institutions that create a POAP and distribute it to collectors to further build or add to their community value, and encourage engagement. More info can be found in the Issuers section of our Help Center.
- 😍 Collectors: People that receive POAPs and collect them as an immutable record of their greatest and most special moments, digitized into a collectible and trackable token.
POAP provides the platform to mint the NFTs. Every issuer determines the aesthetic, distribution, quantity, and validity of the POAPs they issue, among other characteristics, with only one condition: it must be a quality drop.
Some examples of popular use cases are:
💍 Collectible - Such as an attendee to a wedding receiving a POAP to commemorate the event, which has significant emotional value to the holder.
🏆 Recognition - Such as an academic institution issuing a POAP to graduates of a school program.
🎖️ Reward - Such as a musician who rewards the attendees of a live performance with a POAP that can later be used to provide access to exclusive content or merch.
A single POAP can serve multiple functions throughout its lifetime. That functionality ultimately depends on the issuer's spirit and desire to engage with their communities.
Characteristics of the POAP ecosystem
POAP is a tool for individuals to maintain custody of the records representing their participation in the various communities they belong to, and to commemorate shared experiences more reliably, via a growing ecosystem of third-party applications
- Since POAPs are NFTs, they’re minted and secured on a blockchain. By default, POAPs are minted on Gnosis Chain (previously xDai), an Ethereum-based sidechain that uses a proof-of-stake mechanism.
- This allows POAPs to be free for everyone, both for collectors to mint and issuers to distribute. Our interest in the matter is to help brands, individuals, and the rest of the world build toward better ways of engaging. We consider well-executed drops that strengthen interpersonal connections as the indicator of a job well done.
- POAP is an open platform where all parties are equal citizens. As such, brands use the platform under the same terms as individuals and social groups.
Technically speaking, POAPs are standard ERC-721 tokens minted by the POAP smart contract. A POAP is a digital record stored on a blockchain that is backed by a cryptographic record , which is simply a fancy way of saying tamper-resistant logbook. The tamper-resistant nature of this system is what enables the following characteristics and features:
- Authenticity: POAPs each have a unique, unmodifiable serial number.
- Ownership: POAPs are fully owned by their collectors, which means they can be traded, sold, and otherwise moved between wallets at the owner's discretion. Given that every operation on a blockchain is registered and audited in real-time, the entire ownership record of a POAP is recorded in the unalterable ledger of the blockchain.
- Immutability: Blockchains are the best data storage method for immutable and unalterable information due to their ability to be truly decentralized. With no one central power ruling over the chain, the information contained within it cannot be altered to benefit one's own interests.
Note: Currently, Eporio and Rarible have Gnosis Chain marketplaces for POAPs, while POAPs on Mainnet trade on OpenSea under the POAP smart contract.
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