POAP (pronounced poe-app) is one of my favorite crypto application. There is a good overview of what POAPs are for. I think POAPs are a great way of capturing memories and events, and potential creating connection and community. I love that they are a crypto app that has no monetary component. I’ve created many POAP events as well as collecting many.
I love how POAP has gown thus far! The growth has been amazing and the organization has continued to create meaning and value. There are three areas that I would like to see POAP extend and wanted to explore in more detail.
POAP has an existing API which is great for people looking to create applications using POAPs. However, there is a bigger opportunity for POAP to offer simple integration hooks that could be used by many services and people to extend as they please.
- RSS has been around since 1999 and is still one of the most widely supported way to syndicate activity across the web. RSS is used by hundreds of different Feed Readers, which would be great for POAP to support. Equally important are services like IFTTT and Zapier that can take any RSS feed and use that as a trigger for automation. If every event offered an RSS feed of POAP claims, that could be used by event organizers to power a ton of automations when a token is claimed.
- Webhooks would also allow additional integrations with POAP events. Webhooks would be a great middle option between the full POAP API, and something simple like RSS. If you could register one, or even multiple, Webhooks for an event that would be triggered on a claim you could do even more powerful extensions into platforms like Zapier. Additionally this would allow an easy way for app developers to connect to POAP events and claims.
POAP events themselves are pretty simple today. They have a summary, image, location (text), a URL, and relevant date information. Events could be enhanced in two material ways: authenticity and different types of events.
- Creating a POAP event is incredibly simple. You don’t need to even create an account, all you need is an email address. This is great to remove friction but it also means that anyone can create any event. POAP has put significant effort into the curation body and review process to make sure that events meet some basic standards. But there is no way to assert that an event is truly from the organization or event it describes. It would be great to be able to sign the event with your wallet! For example, my Birthday POAP would be more authentic if the event was signed by the thingelstad.eth wallet. This opens up a common set of issues associated with verification, but verifying that events are authentic would make those POAPs more meaningful.
- There is an opportunity to have POAPs for things that are bound to locations instead of times. There is already a POAP Geocaching app in the store and there has been at least a couple experiments like this. That would be a cool capability, but I would also think that POAPs that are well known to collect at locations would be very neat. I would make one for my house that visitors could collect (preferably signed by both thingelstad.eth and knoxave.eth!). Another use case I would love is a POAP for summiting a climb. If you removed time limitations, this would be ideal for restaurants and cafes to have a perpetual POAP you can claim for visiting their location.
POAP is a great way to introduce people to crypto. I have personally introduced well over 100 people to crypto by giving out POAP tokens for various events. I’ve put together a very simple guide for people to claim their first POAP, including setting up a wallet! But more could be done here to make it easier for people.
- POAP events can currently be minted from a claim code, or reserved using an email address. The email option is a nice intent but it doesn’t do much. You reserve your POAP to mint later, even after the expiration date for the event. But until you mint it you will not show up on the list of token holders, and cannot do anything else. This is an okay feature but it is confusing. People tend to thing they are done after reserving with an email address. POAP should send reminder emails to nudge those that have reserved to move forward with minting. And it would be great for event organizers to be able to see reservations to help people get them minted.
- Better yet would be to have POAP provide a non-custodial wallet for users that don’t have one. This could work very similar to what Reddit has done to get Collectible Avatars working. In Reddit, you can provide your own wallet, or you can let Reddit make one for you. The wallet that it makes is completely real, and you have the choice of letting Reddit store the seed phrase to recover it, or you can manage it on your own. This would be ideal for POAP as well. With this capability you could get rid of the reservation process entirely by creating a wallet and managing it for people. If it is fully capable, like a Reddit wallet, you could even give it an ENS name and add it to a MetaMask or Rainbow if you wanted.
I’m sure that POAP has a long roadmap and more things to work on than they have time to do. I think it would be great to see enhancements like the above because I think they hit on key areas that would drive POAP growth and adoption.
Enabling integration capabilities would allow POAP issuers to do things like send a Tweet every time a POAP is claimed. Additional authenticity would allow more confidence in POAPs, particularly if POAP Checkout is used to raise funds for a good event. And taking on more of the wallet tasks for users would make onboarding new people to POAP so much easier.
See also POAPathon Future Thoughts.