Technology is developing faster than ever, which provides us, as an event production company, with a growing arsenal of tools to create the best possible experience at an event. Inherently, this increase in technology also brings its disadvantages, whether this is an entire crowd viewing the gig through their phones, or the extortionate prices of bot-bought tickets resold on the second hand market. With new problems comes new resolutions, and Phil Shaw-Stewart at The Event Production Show discussed a cunning way to manage and prevent ticket touting.
BitTicket utilises Blockchain technology to provide a secure and transparent method of purchasing tickets. For those unfamiliar with the term Blockchain, this technology underpins Bitcoin, the crypto-currency that has been at the heart of many headlines over the last few months. The intricate details of how Blockchain works is not necessary at this point, but a basic understanding of how this differs from the current transaction process is helpful in grasping what BitTicket want to achieve. Two fundamental differences this technology offers are:
All transactions and users have to be authorised by a network of computers known as nodes. This guarantees the authenticity of the buyer, and prevents buying of tickets on a large scale for touting, as the network will not authenticate the transaction.
Once verified, a transaction is added to the ‘Blockchain’ providing a permanent record of the transaction that cannot be altered. This information is then stored across a network of nodes that is continually reconciled and available for anyone to view. BitTicket only allows one wallet per identity, a wallet being somewhere you digitally store your ticket, so it is very easy to see in the Blockchain if someone is attempting to bypass the safeguards put in place to combat touting.
The talk was very captivating and scratched the surface of an incredibly personal problem that effects many music fans across the world. There is no denying that Blockchain, or an evolution of Blockchain, will form the basis of how we handle many transactions in the future. Lots of work needs to be done to understand scalability of this technology, and how large institutions and the public will adopt it. However, we welcome any method that makes music and events more accessible to all.