Each of us has at least one memorable souvenir: a magnet from another country, a ticket to a concert of our favorite band, a boarding pass from an important pace or a badge from a memorable conference. All these items help to keep meaningful moments and impressions in our memory. POAP NFTs have become their digital counterpart in virtual worlds. The term POAP comes from the acronym Proof of Attendance Protocol (or Proof of Attendance Protocol).
These NFT badges are issued to prove attendance at an event, whether it was held virtually or in the real world. Each such badge is unique, which means that the only way to get a specific POAP is to be at the event. Collectors can quickly assemble their unique POAP collection, which documents their experience of participating in events and traveling in the crypto space. POAPs are created using the ERC-721 standard used for NFTs. However, for an NFT to be classified as a POAP, it must meet a certain set of criteria:
- It must be minted through the official POAP smart contract; it must contain metadata relating to a specific time or date up to one year;
- All POAPs must have images associated with them. POAPs were originally created on the Ethereum network, but since October 2020, POAPs have been created and distributed on the Ethereum xDai sidechain. Because xDai is designed for fast and low-cost transactions, issuers can create POAPs for a very small fee.Thus, POAPs are usually distributed free of charge to those who qualify for them.
So far, POAPs have been issued at over 100 Ethereum community events such as EthGlobal, Dappcon, and the recent Ethereum Community Conference in Paris. Over the course of these events, over 7,000 POAPs were requested, creating a provable attendance record stored on the blockchain. Elsewhere, the popular metaverse game Decentraland regularly gives out POAPs to commemorate in-game events such as the recent 10 million user party hosted by MetaMask.
POAP NFTs can be seen as a step in the transition to Web3.0 as mementos of event backstage passes or photos from events, digital collectible evidence of attendance can bring both short and long term value to brands. Seen as souvenirs of the metaverse, along with VIP passes, ticket stubs, and post-event photos on Instagram, these blockchain-based tokens offer significant potential for fashion and beauty brands to incentivize user loyalty and reward them for attending events.
POAPs had a big run at Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW). According to Billy Farrell, founding partner of photo agency BFA, even the less impressive events attracted many visitors. “Wherever I saw a queue at MVFW, I saw a POAP kiosk. Previously, to get event mementos, you had to walk down Madison Avenue to get gift bags or take pictures.”“As POAPs become popular with a wide range of people, more brands will start to come up with ways to use them. Attendance tokens are another way to retain customers using the blockchain.
They can be used to gamify engagement, reward loyalty, and connect the digital with the physical. Think of POAP as a way for customers to prove their loyalty to a brand, and for a brand as an opportunity to create and work with a loyal community. For those companies that want, but are afraid, to touch the topic of NFT and metaverse, or do not have the resources for it, POAP can be the easiest and most cost-effective way to get closer to Web 3.0,” says Anastasia Slavuta, co-founder of Jasnasoft IT company, which helps brands enter the metaverse and release their NFTs.
As people and brands accumulate these tokens, the possibilities go beyond digital collectibles. It’s “one of the most amazing elements,” says Pierre-Nicolas Herstel, CEO and co-founder of Arianee, which issues tokens to participate in events including Paris Fashion Week through the Arianee wallet. For example, a customer can access drop (Drop is a supply system to the store: the retailer “throws” products from the new collection into the trading floor in small batches when it sees fit - or when they were sent by the brand.
Drops are carried out separately from the traditional supply of the current season) as in the Adidas example - or access a special Web3.0 universe with personalized content. Herstel says Arianee is already working with a number of luxury brands on token websites that will be released in the coming months.