The 2022 Champions League final will occupy a checkered position in the competition’s history book. Real Madrid emerged victorious over Liverpool inside the Stade de France, but the pandemonium outside the stadium before kick-off highlights the need for innovative event ticketing solutions.
Counterfeit tickets played a huge role in the chaotic scenes that unfolded in the French capital in June 2022, as fans stormed the stadium grounds while authorities pushed many away. French authorities valued that 35,000 people had arrived at the Stade National de France with fake tickets or not at all, in addition to the 75,000 supporters who had legitimate tickets for the grand final.
Black market ticketing and vantage has been a fixture of the world of sports and events for decades, but the advent of blockchain-powered ticketing appears to be a promising solution. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are multi-faceted in that they provide banknote credibility and enable Internet of Things (IoT) functionality while also serving as a unique digital collectible to commemorate an event.
The NFL has already tested the waters with the NFT ticket office, having distributed approximately 250,000 NFT tickets after its launch in November 2021. Fans who attended NFL Super Bowl LVI were also eligible for commemorative NFT tickets, all free of charge. The appearance of this NFT ticket and what it includes depends on the creators. NFL NFT tickets are minted on the Polygon blockchain and characteristic different animated visual elements.
The French envoy for the Paris 2024 Olympics also suggested the use of NFT ticketing solutions to manage event attendance, as well as a trial at the 2024 Rugby World Cup, which will also be hosted in the country.
NFTs are multi-faceted in that they ensure ticket credibility and enable IoT functionality while also serving as a unique digital collectible to commemorate an event. The appearance of this NFT ticket and what it includes depends on the creators. NFL NFT tickets are minted on the Polygon blockchain and characteristic different animated visual elements.
Cointelegraph reached out to a handful of industry participants who are already using blockchain-based NFT ticketing to gauge the impact of the technology.
Amsterdam-based event technology company GET Protocol issues tickets that are minted as NFTs on the Polygon blockchain when a user purchases a ticket in their mobile app. Tickets are tied to mobile phone numbers, which is a key part of eliminating ticket sales.
Users can claim the actual NFT when they scan the ticket QR code on the given event, which links back to their GET Protocol wallet. This is where digital collectibles and other exclusive perks can be extended to users.
Colby Mort, who leads the company’s NFT strategy, told Cointelegraph that NFT tickets help add transparency to what has traditionally been a “black box” industry. All tickets are transparently visible in real time, providing proof of ticket authenticity, given the immutability of the underlying system
The secondary sale market is also formalized. Tickets can only be resold within the system, giving organizers control over tickets, revenue, data and direct contact with ticket holders. Tickets also benefit from extended lifecycles, both before and after events, with the GET protocol exploring decentralized event funding for a Coming Lewis Capaldi Art Exhibition in Iceland. This explores fundraising initiatives with technology that could benefit small artists and creatives.
The digital collection is a major feature of the post-event NFT utility, but Mort also highlighted its potential as a community-building tool for artists and event hosts.
“NFT ticketing for many mainstream audiences is the ‘lightbulb moment’ of understanding the underlying utility of an NFT combined with familiarity with the collectible side of NFTs, as all NFT tickets can include a digital collectible.”
Josh Katz, CEO of NFT marketplace YellowHeart, told Cointelegraph that the ticket industry is plagued by authenticity and scalping issues that are primarily driven by the ease of forging or duplicating paper tickets with modern hardware. .
The finite element and ticket exclusivity also leads to massive resale at inflated prices. Katz noted that the online ticketing market is expected to be valued at $68 billion by 2025, while secondary sales could generate $15 billion in sales of which organizers and artists give up their fair share:
“NFTs, on the other hand, can help solve most, if not all, of these problems. On the one hand, the open and transparent nature of blockchains makes it extremely easy to verify the provenance and authenticity of NFT tickets. , making it much harder for scammers to trick people.
Katz also highlighted the freely programmable nature of the smart contracts that power NFTs, bringing dynamic benefits to holders and issuers. This also applies to secondary market sales, where NFTs can be programmed to provide a percentage of sales to the artist or event organizer.
Mort insists that a focus on form and function has been important to the success of their ticketing solution to date. Ticket buyers use fiat currency to purchase tickets linked to bank accounts or cards and access and interact with their NFTs through an app.
“Since our inception in 2016, we have prioritized abstracting the complexity of blockchain and NFT technology, but over the past year we have seen huge demand from ticketing companies and event organizers to explore the Web3 side of their ticketing with claiming NFT post-event.
GET Protocol was designed to be blockchain-agnostic, as clients and customers will use the event and ticketing marketplace without having to understand the underlying technology.
Finding a balance that ensures ease of access for new users while leveraging the programmability, utility and immutability of blockchain technology is a key theme highlighted by Mort and Katz in the adoption of NFT ticketing. .