Ticketmaster Acquires Blockchain Startup Upgraded to Help Prevent Ticket Fraud

  • Ticketmaster has acquired blockchain startup Upgraded, in order to utilize distributed ledger technology (DLT).
  • Ticketmaster aims to prevent ticket fraud by using a blockchain-powered system.

Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc., an American multinational ticket sales and distribution firm headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, is reportedly looking to utilize blockchain technology in order to help detect bogus, or fraudulent, ticket sales.

Tickmaster’s blockchain-related initiative involves its acquisition of Upgraded, a startup that leverages distributed ledger technology (DLT) to create and distribute trustless and encrypted barcodes.

According to Upgraded, the blockchain-based barcodes significantly reduce the chances of fraud that we often see with tickets issued in paper or PDF format. The DLT-powered ticketing system aims to be make the ticket sales process more transparent, so that buyers and merchants are certain that a ticket, or pass, is legitimate.

Other entities involved in the ticketing system such as event holders, or organizers, will also be able to accurately track the tickets being issued. At present, Ticketmaster has not provided an exact date, or time frame, by which Upgraded’s blockchain-powered ticketing solution will be available.

Hiring "Pro Scalpers" For Ticket Sales

Notably, Ticketmaster’s acquisition of Upgraded has come at a time when the company has been accused of hiring “pro scalpers” to conduct ticket sales. However, the ticketing technology and marketing firm has denied being involved in this type of strategy.

Although Ticketmaster has brushed off, or dismissed, these allegations, its clients may be wondering why the company is not trying to focus its efforts on regaining, or rebuilding, the trust of its customers. Instead, the company has chosen to expand its operations by entering the blockchain space.

Skeptics of Ticketmaster’s acquisition have also said adopting a DLT-based system might not attract positive attention as it could just be a “behind the scenes” type database upgrade. However, Ticketmaster - which currently has nearly 7,000 employees - might be among the few companies that is utilizing blockchain technology to solve a legitimate problem.

Document Authentication, Identify Verification

As CryptoGlobe reported in September, Christian Lanng, the CEO of TradeShift, a digital invoicing firm, had said that existing blockchain technology has very few legitimate use cases. They include document authentication and identity verification.

It seems that Ticketmaster will be using Upgraded’s blockchain-based system to verify if tickets are valid, and have not been issued by a fraudulent entity, or person. In other blockchain-related news, BNP Paribas and Capgemini, a large Paris-based multinational professional services and consulting company, recently released a report titled: “World Payments Report 2018”.

Key findings of the report note that most executives think DLT-based payments systems are likely to inefficient due to “lack of regulatory clarity”, and the inability of existing blockchains to scale effectively.