Practical Uses of the Metaverse: What is a POAP? 

By Jennifer Andrus

May 5, 2023

Practical Uses of the Metaverse: What is a POAP? 


By Jennifer Andrus

A POAP (POE’-app) is an acronym for a proof of attendance protocol. It’s a digital souvenir offered to commemorate special events, conferences, or other meetings. The New York State Bar Association offered this POAP to those who attended the “Deep Dive Into the Metaverse and Web3″ event at NYU last month.

The technology looks like a video game but it offers much more than moving a character around a digital backdrop. The NYU Metaverse Collaborative Hub brings you to a park setting with trees and a water fountain. After choosing your avatar, move your character to different areas to learn more about the speakers at the conference and how the NYU collective works.  An additional attraction is the Garden Gallery in the park is full of vibrant digital artwork created by NYU graduate students.

New York State Bar Association President Sherry Levin Wallach explained the technology during the metaverse conference and why she wanted to use it. “It’s an NFT (non-fungible token) that we created for this conference and its proof that you came here,” she said. “It’s to give you the experience of receiving a POAP and creating a wallet to save it there. You can add to it as you go to other conferences.”

The process of creating a POAP, much like currency, is called “minting.” The POAP has a unique serial number, giving one ownership of the item, which in the digital space means it is an NFT.

The technology is being embraced by the entertainment industry where an artist’s superfan might get a POAP that has a limited quantity, thus increasing its value. Companies are also offering this as a thank you gift to their volunteers or vendors at an event. Where in the past you may give out a special T-shirt or hat to volunteers, now they will have a digital keepsake, one that won’t fade or wear out over time.

The use of the POAP is still in the early stages of development but in time, it could have a wide range of uses. One might  include tracking and storing information on your attendance at events, which garner CLE credit.

“For conferences like this, these QR codes can be displayed instead of a CLE code,” said Levin Wallach. “You would save it in your block chain and eventually download all of your CLE credits. It may be a lot easier than collecting and filling all of those forms to prove your attendance.”

The NYSBA Task Force on Emerging Digital Finance and Currency continues to study the use of blockchain technology and how the law applies, and promote the appropriate use of the technology within the legal profession.

The task force is working to develop recommendations on legislation while also studying how this technology might expand membership in NYSBA and the organizations Web3 footprint.

The full metaverse symposium is available for viewing on demand.






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