If blockchains are immutable records of our digital history, what kind of history do we want to inscribe on them? Predictably, most records so far have been transaction data, but as entrepreneurs expand their ambitions for NFTs, startups are looking to link these asset transactions to real-world events and interactions.
POAP, which stands for Proof Of Attendance Protocol, wants to deepen the idea of using NFTs to create communities on the Internet, with a protocol that helps build more active communities and rewards individual participation like attending an event. POAP is organized around badges as the visual signifier of its protocol. In the real world, a user can scan a QR code to receive an NFT souvenir that can unlock admission to an online community and earn future drops.
Much of this functionality exists elsewhere in Ethereum projects, made possible by some of the underlying blockchain features, which allow developers to create “snapshots” of active wallets that were linked to the project at a given time. The POAP ecosystem also includes a number of other tools, including Etheruem-backed surveys, raffle contest mechanics, and private chat verification technology.
The startup announced this week that it has raised a $10 million Seed round led by Archetype and Sapphire Sport with additional funding participation from Sound Ventures, The Chernin Group and Advancit Capital. A number of native cryptocurrency funds have also invested, including Collab Currency, 1KX, Libertus Capital, Red Beard Ventures, 6th Man Ventures, Delphi Digital and A Capital.
POAP faced some challenges in 2021 As the growth of the NFT community accelerated and the number of people looking to access their platform created an overwhelming influx of spam that brought the platform to a halt. In a blog post, the company says it plans to use its new funding to invest in its app and platform tiers.