Author: Wang Yanhua
Blockparty, a blockchain-based startup doing live event ticketing, launched its platform last month. The blockchain solution aims to solve prevalent issues in the event ticketing industry.
Led by esteemed veterans across the live events and blockchain industries, Blockparty aims to eradicate bots, eliminate fraud, verify ownership and create real demand in order to both deliver an optimal event ticketing experience for consumers, and to allow for sustainable growth for artists, venues and ticket providers.
Notably, Blockparty came up with a solution for the high frequency transactions required for the processing of event tickets.
Block Asia caught up with Blockparty CEO Shiv Madan in an email interview to find out what Blockparty is up to.
- Blockparty is going through an exciting time — how are you feeling?
It has been a thrilling couple of months since we launched Blockparty to the public at the start of the summer. I’m really excited that we have been able to ticket festivals, tech events, and gaming events within a few months since launch. So far the enthusiasm from event goers, event promoters, and the blockchain community has been infectious. With the music festival and concert season in full swing, our focus now is to partner with more events, venues, and artists. We’ll have exciting new announcements rolling out over the next couple of months.
- How does Blockparty set itself apart from its competitors?
The Blockparty blockchain is designed to solve all of the major challenges in event ticketing. Fake tickets, scalpers, bots, unfair prices and gate security. The killer app is our ability to enable event promoters and artists to earn a share of secondary ticket sales.
We differ from competitors because we’re truly tackling every aspect of ticketing and live events. We offer an end-to-end ticketing and live event experience using blockchain — from ticket purchase to event check-in, and eventually, any experience within the event.
First, Blockparty uses smart contracts in a more robust way than any other blockchain competitor. We have built a protocol that seamlessly combines ERC-20 and ERC-721 contracts in order to enable high frequency transactions for non-fungible assets. That means we can process tens of thousands of seated tickets without bogging down the Ethereum network. This system has not been done before in blockchain as far as I am aware and it can be used for any type of complex or unique digital asset.
Second, one of the technologies we have built that we’re very proud of is “digital identity”. We tackle user privacy and security in an unparalleled way that othd2 bbnher ticketing platforms simply don’t deliver. Blockparty encrypts each user’s digital identity and associates that identity with a ticket. We encrypt a users touch ID or facial recognition scan from a phone. When you purchase a ticket, your digital identity is attached to the ticket QR code. When you sell the ticket, your digital identity detaches from the ticket and is attached to the buyer’s digital identity. With this process, we can verify the identity of the person entering the gate, no matter how many times the ticket has been transferred. It also enables us to split revenues for ticket transfers. This is an issue that has yet to be solved until now.
Finally, with smart contracts, we enable event promoters, artists, venues and sports teams to earn a share of secondary ticket revenue while capping ticket price hikes. For example, Taylor Swift could earn a 20% share of any secondary ticket sale margin. She could also set a price cap of 10% above face value, so that no tickets could be resold above that price. Artists and event promoters have been calling for a system that can offer these capabilities.
- What is Blockparty going to do to reach more people?
In just a few short months since our launch, Blockparty has been used to ticket events such as Elements Lakewood Festival, Harrah’s Casino Crypto Poker Tournament and the Grand Opening of the Atlanta Bitcoin Embassy.
Currently, we are gearing up to produce ‘BestLife Music Festival’, a new 8,000 person festival in Miami this September, where Blockparty will be used as the sole ticketing and technology provider. This is really exciting because it will allow us to offer the first ever end-to-end blockchain event ticketing experience for event goers, allowing us to bring blockchain tech to thousands of consumers on a mass scale.
We will also be ticketing several other festivals and music tours throughout 2018 as well as several blockchain and tech industry events. We’re in talks with a number of well-known concerts and festivals and will have some more announcements later this summer, so be on the lookout!
- Why facial recognition and fingerprints?
Just to clarify, all identity data is encrypted before it reaches the Blockparty blockchain and it does not store any information other than the encrypted key. So users remain anonymous and privacy is protected. Digital identity is the only way in which the secondary ticket market can be controlled. At the moment, the secondary market is rampant with fake tickets and exorbitant prices. Once a ticket is sold on the secondary market, such as Stubhub or Seatgeek, there is no way to track the owner of the ticket or control resale prices. There is also the massive security threat for venues and event promoters, as events do not know their final customer. By attaching digital identity to a ticket and recording the transfer of ownership of the ticket on the blockchain, we ensure that the each attendee is the verified ticket owner.
- How has your experience in NME helped you with Blockparty?
As one of the world’s largest music media brands, NME really helped open doors for me into the music and entertainment industries, from Sony Entertainment and BBC Radio to major artists such as Slash and Pink. I led a team that managed major events, radio, television, digital media and sponsorships. As part of my experiences on the live events side, I saw firsthand many of the issues that exist within ticketing today. I learned more about the pain points and see how the events industry works from the inside, which led to the inception of the Blockparty concept.
- Why did you go into blockchain?
I became fascinated by blockchain in 2015. A friend of mine owns a large technology consulting firm that had built a blockchain practice, and I utilized my experience in trading to help them design a blockchain for bond trading that they presented to several bulge bracket banks. After that, I decided to apply this newfound blockchain skillset to launching my own startup – I wrote a business plan in 2016 for an event ticketing blockchain.
I had co-owned a music festival in 2015 and saw all of the challenges in ticketing and I realized that blockchain could offer a perfect solution to accounting for ticket sales, distributing profits and incentivizing demand with reward programs. This was before all the recent hype and my plan didn’t get any traction with venture capitalists. The idea gained renewed traction in 2017 when I met my cofounder who had built and exited a blockchain startup and I felt the momentum was behind us to move forward.