I have a deep love for free distribution and its power to onboard and educate people. This positive, memorable experience acts as a great first impression to the crypto space. POAP provides that experience. It was a significant factor to why I fell so deeply in love with POAP, and why I continue to champion it to this day. In the preservation of on-chain memories, few are more significant than a person’s first steps into the space. Their first wallet, the first thing in their wallet, their first actions. Claiming a POAP as a first action builds a strong foundation for that person as they continue their journey. This is a much different road compared to joining through other traditional ways. It teaches people about how big this new world can be. It’s more than just numbers. This is an on-chain memory (a POAP) that warms my heart to distribute.
Not the Collectors - or at least not all
A core component of what makes POAP so accessible as an onboarding and educational tool is that you do not need to connect a wallet to claim. This has immense benefits to the POAP community, both for accessibility, and security reasons. Benefits that are lost if you are required to connect and transact.
If the user if required to perform a transaction in order to pay for their mint, then POAP does not get to be their first transaction. Their first transaction is the one used to get the funds to pay for the mint. Just numbers. A completely different experience, and a completely different first impression. This potential to lock in that on-chain memory is taken away.
Collectors being required to connect a wallet to claim would also remove POAP’s ability to be claimed by an email address. This is another excellent onboarding tool to bring people in with a way they can understand, then they can learn more on their own terms when they have time.
So Who Pays?
I’m unsure of what the operating costs are to cover the minting of these POAPs. There are however two key groups that are not mentioned in this discussion. The cost does not necessarily need to fall on POAP Inc, or the Issuers. There are many others that benefit from the POAP protocol.
For hundreds of thousands of people, POAP will be the their first exposure to Gnosis chain. Every app on the network benefits from this exposure. For Gnosis, and all of its parties, it’s in their best interest to support POAP as it continues to grow.
The POAP protocol is a public good leveraged by many. Those that do have a direct incentive to help it continue to flourish. This could be done in various ways, such as communal donations, gitcoin grants, or a raise of come kind (see Pooly NFTs by PoolTogether for example).
These two groups coupled with the support of the issuers and POAP inc could produce a sustainable system without the need for the collectors to pay for drops, which would compromise the values mentioned above. POAP can remain the perfect onboarding tool to web3, but there must be ways it remains free for collectors in order to do so.