TM targets 500m tickets on the blockchain
Ticketmaster’s vice-president of blockchain products, Sandy Khaund, says the world’s biggest ticket seller aims to have up to 500 million tickets registered and sold using blockchain-based smart contracts, following its acquisition last year of Khaund’s company, Upgraded.
Speaking at Elev8 in Las Vegas on Monday (9 December), Upgraded founder Khaund discussed the value that Ethereum-style self-executing ‘smart’ contracts can bring to the ticketing sector, telling delegates: “Our goal is to support 400–500 million tickets using smart contracts and blockchain technology.”
According to Cointelegraph, Khaund said Ticketmaster is focusing on the value that blockchain technology (best known as the framework for cryptocurrency transactions) can bring to its business, as well as how best to communicate that to its customers.
“We want fans to get more value out of their tickets, while ensuring that tickets end up in the right hands. Blockchain is the only technology that can do this by using smart contracts to digitally define the ticketing industry,” he explained.
“Ticketmaster has technology that is almost 40 years old. Using smart contracts on a blockchain network creates a unique system for Ticketmaster by writing code for each ticket we sell. We run this over a private blockchain network to ensure privacy and optimisation around tickets.
“We want fans to get more value out of their tickets, while ensuring that tickets end up in the right hands”
To explain how this works in practice, Khaund used a case study focusing on Pearl Jam, reports Cointelegraph. When Pearl Jam performed its series of Home Shows to help raise money for the homeless, he explained, the band wanted to charge US$150 per ticket, which inevitably led to their being resold for profit.
“Some people wanted to pay more than $150 per ticket, even though they were purchased at this price,” he said. “We needed to make these tickets non-transferable, so we gave out two tickets. The first went to the issuer and couldn’t be transferred. The second ticket could only be transferred once. We were able to do this in 15 minutes once we wrote a smart contract for this use case, which contained an overriding function around transfers, along with a transfer counter.”
While the blockchain tech is useful for Ticketmaster, Khaund said it should be invisible to the customer. “We want people to like our products,” he said. “It’s not about the technology for the end users.”
“Our job is to make sure the integration process for tickets is seamless with other systems, like SafeTix,” he added. “We also plan to support millions of tickets that won’t cause lag time for customers. Finally, we plan to make tickets smarter. This technology is programmable by nature and we need to continue coming up with creative use cases.”
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