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.

Tron Foundation Explains How the DAppChain Project Will Take ‘Quality and Quantity’ of DApps ‘To the Next Level’

The TRON Foundation officially introduced the Sun Network, a second-layer scalability solution for Tron (TRX), one of the largest platforms for deploying decentralized applications (dApps), on April 8th, 2019.

The Sun Network aims to “incorporate a series of scaling projects” including sidechains for smart contract application development and “cross-chain communication,” which has been designed to “further expand the overall capacity,” or throughput, of the TRON blockchain network.

This, according to a blog post published on April 24th, 2019 by the TRON Foundation, which revealed that the Sun Network will help “improve the transactions per second (TPS) rate and smart contract execution efficiency” on the TRON platform.

DAppChain, Tron’s Main “Sidechain Scaling Project”

The post added that “among the projects, DAppChain is a sidechain scaling project designed for TRON’s smart contracts.” The DAppChain is being developed in order to significantly “increase the capacity” or TPS rate of Tron-based DApps, while also “realizing [the] on-chain operation of DApps with low energy consumption.”

Moreover, TRON’s DAppChain project aims to “enhance security and efficiency via customizable methods,” the Foundation’s blog post explained. The first phase of the DAppChain project is scheduled to begin “on May 30, 2019,” the blog mentioned.

Commenting on the basic idea behind the Tron network scaling solution, Marcus Zhao, confirmed:

[The] Sun Network is a TRON scaling solution, incorporating a series of scaling projects such as sidechain and cross-chain communication [protocols]; DAppChain is part of the TRON side chain solution. Other details of the side chain solution will be announced later.

Zhao also claimed that Tron’s TPS rate is “considered very high compared to Ethereum.” He added that the fast-paced development of the Tron DApp ecosystem makes it is “necessary to continue to expand the TPS of the smart contract transactions on TRON." He explained that this ensures that “the DApp ecosystem [will continue to] attract more developers” and users.

According to Zhao: “The overall technical architecture of DAppChain is the decentralized chain guaranteed” by the delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus protocol.” When “compared to other scaling solutions,” Zhao believes the DAppChain is a better alternative as it “supports smart contract transactions and focuses on improving the TPS of the smart contract transactions on the mainnet” itself.

He also thinks that the DAppChain implementation will help to “lower the transaction fees” and that the sidechain would be able to “support more customizable requirements.” Zhao further noted that “major dApp vendor alliances can [also] customize some of the sidehain properties based on their own characteristics,” including creating various “sidechain incentives, transaction rates, block generation speed, and transaction confirmation speed.”

“Biggest Advantage Of DAppChain” for Developers

As Zhao explained:

The biggest advantage of DAppChain for dApp developers is that the Energy fee is very low; the confirmation time of the sidechain transaction can be shortened, thus speeding up the game and supporting more game genres. These advantages are mainly realized by sidechain’s support for smart contracts and the customizable features of side chain.

He continued:

DAppChain interacts with the main chain through a smart contract which defines a series of standard interfaces, allowing main chain to mirror assets such as TRX, TRC10 and TRC21 on the side chain and withdraw the assets to the main chain, etc. An essential principle is that all the valid assets on the side chain must come from the main chain, ensuring that the side chain is an extension of the main chain, instead of a hard fork.

How DAppChain Will Be Implemented

In the first stage of its implementation, the DAppChain will “adopt the DPoS mechanism of side chain to ensure the consensus and correctness of sidechain transactions themselves,” Zhao noted. He also stated that smart contracts would be used “on the main chain and sidechain” to ensure that “assets on the sidechain are safe” and users are able to make withdrawals without any problems.

Zhao also clarified that the MainNet will be able to “support the launch of many sidechains instances simultaneously, and the transaction pressure between different instances will not be transmitted to each other.” This, Zhao explained, would ensure that the “transaction pressure of the sidechain” will not negatively impact the MainNet’s performance. Because of this optimization, Zhao noted that the “transaction cost on DAppChain” can be reduced significantly.

He explained that “if one sidechain is nearly congested, [users would] just need to transfer excess transactions to other sidechains.”

Zhao believes: 

The key to [properly implementing] a DAppChain is the single connection of smart contract between the side chain and the MainNet. Smart contracts on the MainNet are responsible for the entrance and exit of assets on the sidechain. Whereas the sidechain is responsible for the consensus of transaction details.

He further noted:

DAppChain is an important guarantee for TRON to take the quality and quantity of its DApps to the next level, laying the foundation for a more prosperous ecosystem of TRON. Each DAppChain can be a micro-ecosystem itself, constituting the entire ecosystem when brought together.