Blockchain

Blockchain and NFT Ticketing: The 2021 Guide

In this article, we set out to answer these key questions:

  • What is a blockchain?
  • What are NFTs?
  • What are the advantages of using blockchain and NFTs for ticketing?
  • Which events can benefit the most?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges?

We’re answering your most burning questions on using blockchain and NFTs in ticketing for events and listing the leading vendors operating in this space.

What Is a Blockchain and What Are NFTs?

First things first. What is blockchain? What is an NFT?

Blockchain is a complex concept, so it’s best to focus on the most relevant ticketing.

A blockchain is a database. In regular databases, there is one computer that holds a master copy of the data. In a blockchain, the database is shared across multiple computers interconnected in a network. Thus, various computers hold identical copies of data in a distributed way. Most blockchain systems are also decentralized, meaning that there is not one central entity with control and decision-making power.

Blockchains are best known for powering cryptocurrency (including Bitcoin and Etherium), but there are also blockchains in use in banking, healthcare, and many other industries.

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, and these are unique digital tokens that store information on a blockchain. Unlike cryptocurrencies which are mutually interchangeable (fungible), NFTs cannot be interchanged. NFTs can be used to represent physical items, people’s identities, or properties. As all NFTs are entirely different from all others, thus they are ideal for uses such as ticketing.

For more information on how blockchains and NFTs work, we recommend this and this page on Investopedia, respectively, and this graphic by Reuters.

What are the advantages of using blockchain and NFTs for ticketing?

The main advantage of using blockchain and NFTs for ticketing is that it enables event organizers to keep track of the tickets after they are sold. All tickets are securely linked to the purchaser, and these transactions and any others on the exact tickets are entered in the blockchain. Any further sale or transaction involving the tickets will also be listed in the blockchain. Keeping a shared database of all the transactions involving each ticket limits or even eliminates the possibility of scalping, uncontrolled price gouging, and fraudulent transactions.

There are other advantages to controlling the transactions through blockchain, including ensuring that ticket prices are kept fair, even when resold, and the opportunity to award royalty payments for each transaction to artists or event organizers.

NFTs build on these advantages by also potentially providing additional revenue streams in the form of transaction fees for used tickets as collectibles. NFTs can be produced quickly at low cost, which is not necessarily true of other uses of blockchains.

Which events can benefit the most?

Blockchains are constantly evolving, and they have the potential to be part of ticketing and registration for all events. Currently, the advantages of using blockchain and NFTs are more relevant to some types of events.

Consider the following criteria to see if blockchain ticketing is a good fit for your event:

  • The event is in high demand
  • The event has a strong potential for ticket resale
  • You want to control who can to re-sell tickets
  • There is an active community of fans around your event

These criteria reflect that security and control are the most significant advantages for event professionals. They also reflect that music and sporting events can benefit from blockchain ticketing as ticket scalping and unregulated secondary markets are widespread issues.

Business events are not commonly plagued by issues like ticket scalping and unregulated secondary markets, so it’s easy to dismiss using blockchain technology for them.

Not so fast.

Blockchain and NFT technology offers immediate benefits to larger-scale events public with control issues, yet security is an area of increasing concern to event professionals. Tightly controlling access to business events has never been as crucial as now, with in-person taking place in many parts of the world under strict safety regulations.

It’s relatively easy to forge registrations or get access to discarded name badges. There is also commonly limited care in terms of identifying each participant entering business events. Ticketing and registration platforms offer varying identity checking and security features, but matching the ticket to the participant’s identity on-site is not always guaranteed.

While the issue confirming the identity of those attending business events may not be perceived as high risk, the impact of the wrong people accessing an event can be catastrophic. From sexual harassment to active shooter occurrences, blockchain-powered ticketing could give potential intelligence to avoid unwanted individuals gaining access. It’s important to note that blockchain and NFT technology are not the only way to do this; however, these technologies have security and control at their core.

What are the opportunities and challenges?

In this section, we asked subject matter expert Eric Rozenberg on what he sees as the opportunities and challenges of blockchain for ticketing.

Eric Rozenberg, CMM, CMP, HOEM, FONSAT

Founder and CEO of Event Business Formula

Eric is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, bestselling author, and the host of “The Business of Meetings” podcast. He has helped thousands of business owners grow and manage their business better.

OPPORTUNITIES

Blockchain solves many of the main issues faced by venues and organizers: security, fighting the bots, eliminating scalpers, increasing targeted marketing. As it is a “smart contract”, blockchain allows the organizer to set the price and the conditions based on which the ticket can be transferred or resold … which could be beneficial for the true fans.

CHALLENGES

The only past limitation could have been the scalability/cost, especially for small numbers of tickets. Post-pandemic, everyone now wants mobile delivery of their tickets, and enhancing it by injecting tickets into the blockchain is an affordable solution.

Blockchain Ticketing Providers

If you are convinced that blockchain is for your event, this next section gives you an overview of all the existing blockchain technology providers to sell tickets for your events.

Here they are listed alphabetically:

IN CONCLUSION

Blockchain is a promising technology that has obvious benefits for seasoned event professionals looking to secure their events.

The benefits of blockchain for ticketing are substantial if:

  • Your event has a problem with the secondary market
  • Your event is in high demand
  • You want to secure who access the tickets
  • You want to offer ticket reselling capabilities only to trusted individuals or organizations

The high number of startups and established players in the event ticketing industry embracing blockchain is a clear indication that this technology is valuable.

Blockchain is set to create a new wave of services for the event industry and we are just witnessing the first iterations of the technology. Watch this space!

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