Moroccan police have begun rounding up known counterfeiters after a spate of incidents at Casablanca's Stade Mohammed V
Sign up for IQ Index
The latest industry news to your inbox.
Crypto.tickets is offering the ticketing industry the chance to implement its open-source blockchain-based smart ticket standard into their own platforms, free of charge
By IQ on 23 Apr 2018
The crypto.tickets team, developers of an Ethereum-based platform for event organisers and ticketing systems and a mobile app for ticket buyers, has published its smart ticket standard alpha on GitHub and invites ticketing industry professionals to join forces.
“While start-ups in different countries are working on their own versions of blockchain-based solutions for ticketing – but, in fact, are following the same route – we have created an open-source unified industry standard,” explains Egor Egerev, CEO of crypto.tickets.
“In other words, it is a library for setting up smart contracts and issuing a new generation of tickets on blockchain.
“Smart tickets’ behaviour is programmed to follow a certain set of rules registered in a smart contract, enabling event organisers to control the entire ticket lifecycle. This is the world’s first description of how ticket data should be stored on Ethereum.”
Crypto.tickets invites companies operating in ticketing as well as individual developers to join the standard development and contribute to future releases. This cooperation will provide the entertainment industry with a global unified version of smart ticket.
“The best example of a successful standard, around which a lot of commercial services with individual monetisation are being built, is the ERC20 standard, created by Vitalik Buterin to run ICOs [initial coin offerings] and issue tokens,” continues Egerev. “The standard is supported by all exchanges and a variety of wallets – a lot of developers have already created smart contracts with completely different economic models and rules.
“If it were not for the standard, widely adopted by all these companies running ICOs, such rapid growth of this industry would hardly be possible. We’d like to provide the ticketing market with a similar launchpad.”
Another example of a similar global standard is HTML, the standard markup language for web pages and applications. Created as a means of structuring and formatting documents to display correctly on any device, HTML describes web page structure semantically and originally included cues for page appearance.
Crypto.tickets invites companies operating in ticketing as well as individual developers to join the standard development and contribute to future releases
Later, new versions appeared, and browser developers, competing with each other, went on introducing new elements, thus pushing the standard development forward to what we now know as HTML 5.2.
The global entertainment industry and ticketing industry has long extended beyond borders, jurisdictions and closed solutions, just like the world wide web. This is why smart ticket standard is needed, being the very catalyst that will help significantly accelerate long overdue qualitative changes in the industry.
The first event company to work together with Crypto.Tickets to develop a unified blockchain-based ticket standard is KickCity, a decentralised event management and event promotion platform. The project is developing a P2P protocol for efficient marketing in the events industry.
KickCity co-founder and product director, Artem Shatilov, shares his vision: “Working together on a unified standard will enable many start-ups not to waste time on developing their version, instead focusing on narrower tasks and important problems of the events industry, moving it forward. We are happy to do our part and help with the development of the standard.”
Egor Egerev, CEO of Crypto.tickets, described the unified standard for blockchain-based ticketing at ILMC 30. “We appear to be one of the first companies in the world to have invested in smart ticket standard development,” he said.
“However, this is a long-term investment and we don’t set commercial goals. Instead, we are creating a community of blockchain-based ticketing experts. If you are experienced in e-ticketing or blockchain, please join us. Let’s create a solution for safe and transparent ticketing for everyone.”
The goal is to develop a global unified standard for blockchain-based smart tickets. Advantages over conventional e-tickets are numerous, including protection from counterfeiting and copying, full control over entire ticket lifecycle, both on the primary and secondary markets, for event organisers and ticket sellers and convenience for ticket buyers.
With such a level of protection from counterfeiting that was previously unattainable – and now has been made possible by blockchain technology, as well as control throughout the entire ticket lifecycle, “it’s time to realise that things have changed from ‘a ticket for a ticket buyer’ to ‘a ticket buyer for a ticket’”, said Alexey Kondratiev, smart ticket evangelist and IT director of one of the leaders of the Russian ticket market, Ponominalu, at Moscow Ticketing Forum earlier this year.
“Please join us. Let’s create a solution for safe and transparent ticketing for everyone”
The current ticket standard version features the latest event admission control functionality – a dynamic QR code, generated with asymmetric cryptographic algorithms.
Conventional QR codes can be easily copied, so tickets can be resold several times. This is why instead of conventional QR code, a dynamic one is used in the latest release of the ticket standard, as it’s impossible to fake a dynamic QR code. At the same time it does not require any additional scanning equipment, and the scanning procedure does not change, which makes it most attractive for venues, concert halls and stadiums, as well as those who handle admission control.
How it works
Smart tickets are stored in a free wallet app that ticket buyers install on their phones. Each user’s wallet is unique and is linked to a mobile phone number and Ethereum wallet.
In order to get through gate control, all ticket buyers have to do at the door is to show their tickets on their smartphone screens – in other words, right in the app that is protected with a QR code. However, this is not a conventional QR code; it is a constantly changing, dynamic code, encrypted with a secure cryptographic algorithm.
Why blockchain-based smart tickets are impossible to forge
A unique message is signed in the app with the user’s private key that is generated based on three variables: smart contract address (a constant variable within an event), a unique ticket hash and current time with precision to minutes. The QR code is generated using the signature and ticket hash: The first 130 symbols comprise a signature hex code, the next 64 symbols the ticket hex code.
On the ticket verification side, another public message is generated, and a public part of the user key that was used to generate the signature and user’s unique identifier is obtained by means of verification. Further on, it is possible to verify whether a certain ticket belongs to a certain user based on the data obtained from blockchain.
An example of message signing and verification methods implementation is available on Runkit. These methods are based on the same algorithms that are used on the Ethereum network and are compatible with Ethereum network clients.
This QR code is valid for a limited period of time and expires after one minute. A new code signed with a unique private key of the wallet is generated every minute, making it impossible to forge smart tickets.
The system works in such a way that smart tickets can be scanned from the ticket wallet app on the phone screen without Internet connection.
Smart ticket standard: benefits for the industry
The whole industry will benefit from adopting the standard. First of all, why reinvent the wheel and develop different versions of smart contracts to issue smart tickets, with the only difference being in structure and field order, while the information stored is the same?
Second, the standard will develop faster and will be more stable than if it were only worked on by one team.
Third, the standard can be used with different settings and rules free of charge, as it is an open source. In other words, there are no costs for ticketing systems to use the standard, etc. In addition, an ecosystem of different services can be created around the standard. For example, ticket systems using it, ticket wallets, ticket resale exchanges, etc. At the same time, users can safely move their tickets from one wallet to another, since the tickets are of the same standard. Secondary market exchanges will not have to adjust to different ticket standards and so on.
Finally, without a unified standard, every project investing in the development of blockchain-based tickets would not only have to create its own standard, but the entire ecosystem around its type of smart tickets, which would only slow down the improvements that are so badly needed in this industry.
Crypto.tickets is a multinational company based in Moscow and London, which is building a cutting-edge blockchain-based platform for issuing smart tickets for events on the blockchain, as well as mobile wallet app for ticket buyers.
The first smart tickets were sold in November 2017 for Kraftwerk show at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow in February.