The Chain

Marc Mazzariol, vice president of product at SecuTix has been piloting blockchain technology with several clients, including Switzerland’s Paleo festival,

Blockchain: Pros

Combating ticket fraud and inflated prices. Far and away the biggest benefit of blockchain is that it can solve the issues of counterfeit tickets and extortionate resale prices. At the heart of the blockchain is the smart contract, to which we can add constraints on ticket transactions such as setting a maximum sale price or preventing ticket resales but allowing returns.

Knowing your attendees. It’s not uncommon to hear of only 20-30 per cent of tickets being traceable. With blockchain, every single ticket is traceable. An event organiser will always know which e-wallet owns a ticket and has the power to cancel that ticket or contact the owner.

Restructure of the secondary ticketing market. I think the secondary market will always exist, but in a restructured format to sell unsold tickets. Currently the secondary ticketing market is working in silos – each platform has its own inventory and there is no link between them.  But because the blockchain is a democratic technology and accessible to everyone we could connect the inventory up. I expect resistance from the secondary market to this because their margins would disappear.

Blockchain: Cons

Data Privacy. When you store something on the blockchain it’s there forever, which in the age of GDPR and data privacy is causing uncertainty about the best way to store customer data. We comply with GDPR as we don’t store customer information in the blockchain. It could be said that storing data outside the blockchain goes against its principles, but the issue is something the blockchain community must solve.

Legal Responsibility. If you purchase a ticket but don’t receive it because there is a bug in the blockchain, who is responsible for that? Currently there is no legal framework that defines responsibility. For the ticketing industry to make full use of blockchain’s potential we need legal clarification.