Blockparty Uses Blockchain to Accelerate Online Ticketing Business and Eliminate Fraud
Blockparty Accelerates Online Ticketing Business By Using Blockchain To Enhance Transparency And Eliminate Fraud
Music concerts, sports events, movies and comedy shows are very popular sources of entertainment globally. In 2017 alone, the market for online ticketing for these events was valued at about USD 46 billion and it’s expected to grow by close to 50% by 2025. The ticketing industry has however faced a number of challenges including scalpers and ticket bots that resell event tickets at a large profit making them relatively inaccessible to the fans. The Ontario government recently had a crackdown on such entities but fans still face a number of challenges in trying to access tickets for events.
Blockchain technology has been identified as a potential solution to illegal online ticketing. A number of blockchains platforms are already tackling this issue. One such platform is Blockparty. This is a blockchain based live event ticketing platform that provides alternative to online ticketing companies including Eventbrite and Ticketmaster. The platform provides solutions to ticket bots and scalpers and eliminates some of the buggy check-in procedures found with traditionally used systems. The company begun making ticket sales in March and has so far been involved in sales of private tickets mainly for music festivals and technology conferences. The blockchain is looking to expand and offer sales for other events as well and is also working on creating a secondary ticket resale platform on the blockchain through which tickets can be tracked.
Blockparty’s CEO, Shiv Madan identified customer experience as the main challenge of running an online ticketing platform. In his view, giving fans confidence that the tickets they buy are real and fairly priced is important in ensuring sustainability of such a business. His inspiration for Blockparty came in 2014 while he was running a music festival. He says they experienced a lot of problems with ticket resale and ensuring their prices was not inflated on StubHub, an online ticketing platform. Another challenge they faced at the concert was filling up the stadium while ensuring that everyone had real tickets. Getting revenue from tickets sold through promoters was also difficult as some promoters were hard to tress after being given the tickets to sell.
Solutions offered by Blockparty include leveraging blockchain technology to track tickets from the moment it is issued through the secondary market. The tickets fully encrypt the user’s personal information taken from phone, touch or facial recognition scans and this information is stored on the blockchain. Fans are able to unlock their tickets using a Blockparty app which associates the ticket’s QR code with the user’s encrypted identity. The ledger enables tracking of the tickets from one owner to another eliminating the risk of fraud in the ticket resale process.
Andrew Macdonald, a blockchain analyst finds that blockchains are able to eliminate most of the online ticketing problems since they are able to instantaneously verify the validity of a ticket, offer transparency in the transfer of tickets between individuals once they are issued and prevent the use of fraudulent tickets (double spending). Macdonald also sees an opportunity for traditional online ticketing platforms such as Ticketmaster to tackle the challenges by simply issuing their tickets on the blockchain rather than creating an entirely new ticketing platform based on the blockchain.
He notes that despite the initial integration costs being high for such platforms, it would in the long run reduce the fraud rate and save them on maintenance costs. Madan notes that most of these platforms come with a token whose functionality is limited only to the buying of tickets. He however finds that cryptocurrencies come with incentives pointing to Blockparty’s token which he says has helped accelerate the business.
However not everyone is convinced that blockchain technology solves the problems encountered in online ticketing. Jonathan Rivers, CTO at software development company 3Pillar Global says blockchains fail to deal with the issue of origin or delivery of the tickets. He further notes that the non-trusted marketplace running on the blockchain further reinforces the problems. Rivers also points out that blockchain technologies are not entirely secure since encryptions used can be broken given sufficient time and computing power. Human behavior is also a great drawback in the efforts made by this technology.
According to Rivers, human beings very easily give up personal information and passwords, a habit that bots can simply exploit. Nonetheless, Rivers appreciates that blockchains would establish some level of security for tickets by keeping and tracking records of ownership. Tracer is another blockchain based online ticketing platform that aims to eliminate the problem of scalpers and improving transparency in the entire process.