Using POAPs to Issue Certificates in a Distributed World

Using POAPs to Issue Certificates in a Distributed World

Students of all types, all over, are turning to online courses to learn.

This is the case not just in school but in the workplace as well.

Google Analytics has several free online courses, and many on LinkedIn choose to show off their course certificates.

There are courses of all kinds available; hard skills to soft skills, STEM to cooking to business development.

The current landscape

Right now, the solution to showing off a course completion certificate is:

  1. Tell and offer no proof — the simplest, least expensive, least trusted solution.
  2. Upload a certificate — could easily be forged.
  3. Have some sort of certification number — usually hard to verify.
A LinkedIn learning certificate.

The future with POAPs

This is what the future could look like with POAPs:

  1. Connect your wallet and choose which NFT badge you want to show off. That’s it. Your experience is verified by the blockchain and oracle of the badge provider. The interested party can click on the badge to see more information recorded on-chain.

That’s all.

A POAP showing that a user voted on a DAO initiative.

But first, let’s take a deeper look at…

POAPs — what are they?

POAP stands for Proof of Attendance Protocol.

Originally, POAPs were a way for you to prove you participated in an event. However, now they are used for so much more.

You can get a POAP if you voted in Snapshot, or if you helped out with a project, if you went to an event, and yes, even if you completed a course — a solo activity.

For reference, here’s the POAP badge case of the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin:

Vitalik Buterin’s POAP badge case for 2021.

The future of remote work?

There are many issues with LinkedIn. A big one is that anybody can lie about their place of employment.

You can say you were a senior director at Facebook or programmer at Apple, and one would have to jump through hoops to verify this.

Director of Engineering roles at Apple and Adobe. How do we quickly verify if real?

What we need is:

Proof of work.

A lame pun, but a true one.

Some organizations, with and without DAOs, are becoming anonymous. However, some who are involved with these anonymous organizations may also want to unmask themselves.

We already mentioned POAPs are being used to verify involvement in helping with projects, but why can’t the use case go deeper?

Maybe a POAP could show the person’s role and indicate the company the person worked at; suddenly, it becomes a lot harder to lie.

NFT badge wallet verifications through all sorts of platforms could be instant and meaningful. A POAP case could act as a digital resume that you can connect anywhere.

Would these be NFTs?

These could still remain tradable NFTs.

As long as the origin of earn is displayed, a person could have their POAP and sell it too. Tradable NFTs could remain, but the origin proof is recorded on-chain.

We have a long way to go…

We have a long way to go before this is reality.

Blockchain technology is still in its infancy, as is adoption.

However, POAPs offer an exciting glimpse into the future of remote work and learning as they allow people to verify their certifications and work experience.




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