The 2022 UEFA Champions League Final will have a fickle place in the competition’s history book. Real Madrid beat Liverpool inside the Stade de France, but the clamor outside the stadium before kick-off highlights the need for innovative event ticketing solutions.
Fake tickets played a big role in the chaotic scenes that unfolded in the French capital in June 2022, with fans storming the stadium while many were dismissed by the authorities. French authorities estimated that 35,000 people arrived at the French National Stadium with fake tickets or no tickets at all, as well as 75,000 fans with legitimate tickets to the Grand Final.
Black market ticket sales and promotion have been an integral part of the world of sports and events for decades, but the advent of blockchain-powered tickets appears to be a promising solution. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are multifaceted in that they ensure the authenticity of tickets and enable Internet of Things (IoT) functionality while also serving as a unique digital array to celebrate an event.
The NFL has already tested the waters with NFT tickets, having distributed about 250,000 NFT tickets after the launch in November 2021. Fans who attended the Super Bowl LVI were also eligible for NFT commemorative tickets – all for free. What an NFT card looks like and what it includes is up to the creators. The NFL NFT tickets are minted on the Polygon blockchain and feature various animated visual elements.
The French envoy for the Paris 2024 Olympics also proposed the use of NFT ticketing solutions to manage attendance for events, as well as a trial run at the 2024 Rugby World Cup, which will also be hosted in the country.
NFTs are multifaceted in that they ensure the authenticity of tickets and enable IoT functionality while also serving as a unique digital array to celebrate an event. What an NFT card looks like and what it includes is up to the creators. The NFL NFT tickets are minted on the Polygon blockchain and feature various animated visual elements.
Cointelegraph has reached out to a handful of industry participants who are already using blockchain-based NFT tickets to measure the impact of the technology.
Amsterdam-based event technology company GET Protocol issues tickets minted as NFTs on the Polygon blockchain when a user purchases a ticket in their mobile app. Tickets are linked to mobile phone numbers, which is an essential part of eliminating ticket promotion.
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Users can claim the actual NFT when they scan a ticket QR code at the selected event, which is linked to their GET protocol wallet. This is where digital collectibles and other exclusive benefits for users can be expanded.
Colby Mort, who heads NFT strategy at the company, told Cointelegraph that NFT tickets help add transparency to the traditional “black box” industry. All tickets are transparently viewable in real time, which helps to prove the authenticity of the ticket, due to the stability of the platform
The secondary selling market has also been formalized. Tickets can only be resold within the system, giving organizers control over tickets, revenue, data, and direct contact with holders. Tickets are also given extended life cycles, both before and after events, with the GET protocol exploring decentralized event financing for Lewis Capaldi’s upcoming art show in Iceland. This explores fundraising initiatives using technology that can benefit young artists and creators.
Digital compilation is a major feature of the NFT post-event tool, but Mort also noted its potential as a community-building tool for artists and event hosts.
Issuing NFT tickets to many mainstream audiences is the ‘light bulb moment’ to understand the primary utility of NFT combined with familiarity with the collectible aspect of NFTs as all NFT tickets can include digital collectibles.
Josh Katz, CEO of NFT affiliate marketplace YellowHeart, told Cointelegraph that the ticket industry suffers from issues with authenticity and scalping that are primarily driven by the ease of counterfeiting or copying paper tickets using modern hardware.
The limited and exclusive element of tickets also results in mass resale at inflated prices. Katz noted that the online ticket market is expected to be worth $68 billion by 2025, while secondary sales could generate $15 billion in sales that organizers and artists are giving up on their due share:
“NFTs, on the other hand, can help resolve most – if not all – of these issues. First, the open and transparent nature of blockchain networks makes it very easy to verify the provenance and authenticity of NFT tickets, so it is difficult for fraudsters to deceive people.”
Katz also highlighted the freely programmable nature of smart contracts that power NFTs, providing dynamic benefits to owners and issuers. This also handles itself.