Blockchain technology could help solve various important aspects of the ticket industry.

As a method to adapt to new technologies, one of the leading companies in the sale of tickets for events, Ticketmaster, is adapting its processes to use blockchain technology in the search for solutions to problems facing the industry.

It is for this reason that Ticketmaster announced, in October 2018, that it would have bought the blockchain technology company Upgraded. With this acquisition, the event distribution company explained it was committed to solving some challenges facing the sector.

One of these challenges focuses on being able to give the companies responsible for holding the events better control over the distribution of tickets, providing in turn, users extra protection of those who sell fraudulent tickets.

On December 9th, Sandy Khaund, who is vice president of blockchain products at Ticketmaster, presented the cases in which the company would be currently working using blockchain technology. In this way, Khaund talked about the use of Smart Contracts to develop the “Smart Ticket” solution. “We are writing specific code for each entry we sell and then we execute it on a private blockchain”, Khaund added.

It is for this reason, that a few months ago they developed a strategy in the form of a pilot plan where the company sold tickets to a rock concert using a kind of “smart ticket”.

This ticket was priced at $ 150 each, and the system kept the ticket receipt until the user made the purchase. The system blocked the purchase if the amount transferred exceeded $ 150. Although the pilot test proved to be a success, there are still many issues to be resolved.

On this subject, Ashton Addison, who is CEO and founder of EventChain, spoke with a news media specialized in cryptocurrencies. He referred to this example adding that there are many reasons to use this technology in the sale of tickets. Among them, it is important to avoid counterfeit tickets. The idea is to customize the tickets.

“The objective of implementing blockchain in the ticket sales industry is to return justice to artists, event organizers, and fans. For example, one of the main problems facing the industry is the counterfeit tickets. This also converts tickets into scarce digital assets, so they cannot be sold twice”, he concluded.

Tokenization Could Consolidate a Better Decentralization

On the other hand, Alex Tapscott, who is co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute, added that Ticketmaster’s complete dominance over the ticket sales market could be less decentralized.

“The recent digitalization of tickets has caused speculation to move from a decentralized market to one where a central speculator, Ticketmaster for example, controls the entire market. As a result, these intermediaries can charge atrocious prices because there is no price discovery in a market open”, he sentenced.

To this, Tapscott suggested that the ticket sale is in the form of tokens. This, in his opinion, could solve certain issues facing the market, for example, to allow the exchange of tickets, trade between peers and avoid counterfeit tickets.

Despite this, Alan Rakov, who is the Vice President of business and associations at FanDragon, commented to the same news website that progressively, what Ticketmaster is developing, will benefit the entire industry.

However, Rakov, expressed greater concern about the use of a private blockchain network by Ticketmaster since, in his opinion, it does provide a greater capacity for transaction operations per second, but entails less transparency for those outside the network. “We believe that the open form is a better way to do it than in a closed one”.

The Future of the Ticket Industry in Hands of blockchain?

Although there are several possible alternatives to the ticket sales industry, it is still unclear what is the best strategy to ensure total success in all sectors and that this, in turn, generates greater peace of mind for users.

Solutions such as True Tickets, developed by IBM, could provide solutions to many problems using an advanced system that serves as an immutable accounting book that helps organizers and event managers keep track of tickets, once they are already sold.

Although the success of this tool has not yet been proven, it is expected that by 2020 the first pilot plan will be executed, using a “mobile ticket” type for Broadway shows.

The organizers of the event do not have to become involved in the technical aspects of the blockchain network, but these alternatives must be developed to help them keep fans happy and satisfied.

Whilst everything indicates that blockchain technology is involved in the sector, it is still unclear if it would represent an immediate solution to all the problems. However, this technology could facilitate aspects that were previously difficult to deal with or resolve; for instance, the fight against counterfeiting and transparency, which are very important aspects of the safety of the industry.

By María Rodríguez


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