A new way of showing your leadership cred is here. While a POAP may sound like something vaguely medical, it’s actually a blockchain-based crypto-badge that can attest to where you’ve been, what you know, and who’s in your active network.
You get POAPs by attending events. Collect enough of them and you can unlock bonus privileges and gifts, depending on who issues them.
At Virbela, our favorite thing about POAPs is how they extend the connections you’re already making in virtual worlds. If you attended Hands In, our first user-conference, you can claim a limited-edition POAP. You can grab another if you participate in the Virbela EcoChallenge.
In the enterprise Metaverse, your POAPs create a chain of reference for others to understand more about your industry knowledge. Attend enough events with Metaverse pioneers like Alex Howland or Philip Rosedale and your colleagues can trust that you’re equipped to lead business into virtual worlds.
Stay up to date with Metaverse thought leadership: Follow Virbela on LinkedIn
A Primer on POAPs
Let’s start with the basics. POAPs are issued by event organizers. To claim yours, you’ll usually follow a link sent to you after you’ve attended an event. Your POAPs are reserved to your email address and minted on the blockchain.
POAPs satisfy three rules:
- They’re minted under the contract located in a specific address of the Ethereum Mainnet. It’s 0x22c1f6050e56d2876009903609a2cc3fef83b415, but no one expects you to memorize that.
- They have metadata related to a time period associated with the event that could be hours or even months, but not more than a year for now..
- Each POAP has an image associated with it.
POAPs don’t come with an outsized environmental impact like some other crypto assets. They’re issued on a side chain that doesn’t burn through electricity the way other blockchain assets might.
Your collection isn’t attached to personally identifying information, either, but you can still display it, by connecting your ETH wallet address to the POAP site.
How Do You Pronounce POAP?
It’s pronounced poh-ap. Easy enough.
OK, Now What About a Wallet?
We’ll give you the very simple answer: Your crypto wallet serves the same function as your regular, physical wallet. It stores things for you. In this case, it stores your POAPs.
You can learn more about crypto wallets on the Ethereum site.
How to Collect POAPs
This is another straightforward answer for you. Collect your POAPs by attending an event that issues one, follow the link sent by the event organizer, usually in an email, like the one we sent Hands In attendees after the event.
Once you have a link, you can claim your POAP on the POAP site.
How Do POAPs Help My Career?
Can a crypto-badge really prove you’re a leader in your industry? Yes, if you’re attending the types of events that empower you to learn, connect, and innovate.
Think of POAPs like you might think of LinkedIn Learning or any other professional development courses. They’re not the same as earning an MBA, but once you’ve soaked up the content, you’re smarter than when you started. You can bring those smarts to work and lead positive change.
The idea of credentials has been undergoing a rapid evolution for awhile. Its most recent definition refers to logins, but for centuries after its late 15th century origin, the word referred to proof of merit, credibility, and power on a broader scale.
In an information age, we don’t always require traditional credentials to believe in someone’s knowledge. Sometimes, this gets wild, like the scourge of fake news. Mostly, though, the democratization of knowledge has been a wonderful thing.
A prime example: Years ago, online college was considered second-tier or, worse, a rip-off so predatory that loans taken out to attend may qualify for forgiveness. But Columbia University, one of the top-ranked colleges in the world, also offers an Ivy League master’s degree completely online.
We now accept the acquisition of valuable and even institutional knowledge can happen from anywhere, across increasingly creative formats, thanks to the connectivity of the internet.
In this sense, POAPs are co-opting the original meaning of credentials–and maybe even borrowing from ideas of street cred. Is it cooler and, ultimately, more satisfying to have learned from tech luminaries live at the foot of an event stage than it is to watch pre-recorded online videos alone? Probably, yes.
Follow Virbela on LinkedIn to find out about virtual events featuring top tech leaders.