When we think of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), we often think of art, collectibles, and crypto gaming. Further, the rise of metaverse gaming platforms and NFT collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks have made NFTs one of the most widely discussed topics in the Web3 space. However, it’s becoming evident that NFT utility extends far beyond gaming and art. Moreover, NFT ticketing is quickly becoming a significant driver of blockchain adoption, and NFT tickets are replacing physical tickets for all kinds of live events.
Furthermore, prominent ticket merchants are adopting blockchain and NFTs in an attempt to reduce counterfeiting and fraud. Along with additional security benefits, NFT tickets provide novel mechanisms for marketing and audience interaction. What’s more, NFT tickets also help event organizers and artists to gain detailed insights into ticket sales on secondary markets.
In this article, we’re going to explore the concept of NFT tickets. We’ll discuss how they work, what makes them different from physical tickets, and why so many companies opt for NFT ticketing. Additionally, we’ll highlight some of the problems with traditional ticketing models and how NFT ticketing can address them.
The Problem with Traditional Events Tickets
Ticket scalping has become a serious problem for the events industry. If you’ve tried to get tickets to a major event recently, odds are you’ve noticed how quickly they sell out. Now, despite the many efforts to reduce the number of tickets that can be purchased at one time, the majority of tickets for major events are snapped up by bots and resold at a premium.
Also, physical and digital tickets make it easy for fraudsters to deceive ticket issuers and event staff and gain access to events without paying for them. Furthermore, the true cost to the music industry is still unknown. However, the ripple effects on fans and paying attendees can be seen in the rising cost of ticket prices.
Another problem with current events ticketing models is that they often fail to capitalize on marketing and fan engagement opportunities. Selling event tickets via third-party vendors does little to help artists engage with their audiences. Plus, the traditional forms of ticketing are in need of an overhaul to meet the evolving technologies that power our everyday lives.
Traditional ticketing methods make it almost impossible for event organizers to track customer data. Without a protocol or framework in place, secondary markets go unmonitored and can lead to fraud and scalping. This also creates a security risk for venues as they don’t know who is attending events. In addition, the current models for event ticketing allow fake tickets to circulate, reducing the trust between issuers and attendees and often resulting in a loss of funds.
What are NFTs?
Non-fungible tokens are digital representations of assets on the blockchain. Fungible assets such as USD, ETH, or BTC are interchangeable. Each unit is worth the same amount, making them ideal mediums of exchange. On the other hand, non-fungible assets are not interchangeable. Additionally, NFTs can represent anything from art to real estate, stocks, currencies, or commodities. They provide a transparent and immutable ownership history that lives on the blockchain. As such, NFTs are particularly useful for crypto gaming and collectibles.
For example, when you play a Web3 game, you may collect a range of in-game items such as weapons and armor. Such weapons may improve as you level up throughout the game. When this occurs, the statistics relating to your weapon will be updated on the blockchain. Furthermore, these in-game items can be bought and sold on NFT marketplaces. Any potential buyer can view the ownership history of items that catch their interest and verify their authenticity on the blockchain.
There are many types of NFTs available. However, the two most prominent token standards for NFTs at the time of writing are the Ethereum ERC-721 and ERC-1155 standards. The former (and its derivatives) are used widely for one-off, unique items. Moreover, the latter is useful for creating batches of items for collections.
Just like regular tickets, NFT tickets serve as permits or passes for live events. However, NFT tickets have several advantages over other types of ticketing, such as physical tickets and traditional QR codes. First, ticket providers can track their sales on the blockchain. This provides an immutable timeline of sales and provides event organizers with an accurate attendance record. Also, ticket issuers can include additional perks with their NFT tickets, such as exclusive content, merchandise, and experiences.
Furthermore, NFT tickets help prevent reselling tickets and ticket touting. Nowadays, buying a ticket to a major event first-hand from an original issuer can be pretty difficult. More often than not, tickets are bought in bulk and resold at a premium. However, NFT tickets are issued to a crypto wallet address, making it more difficult to buy them in bulk. In some cases, NFT tickets are rare, exclusive, and distributed only to the most committed fans.
Examples of NFT Ticketing
Now it’s time to discuss NFT tickets. Tokenizing event tickets on the blockchain is one of the most advanced use cases for NFTs to date. With so many events taking place globally each day, the scope for NFT ticketing is vast. Furthermore, 3LAU is a producer, DJ, and NFT-enthusiast. In 2018, the DJ released NFTs for attendees of “Our Music Festival“. Though these NFTs weren’t tickets, they did lay the groundwork for some of the NFT ticketing innovations that would follow. In addition, these NFTs allowed holders to purchase real-world items during the event.
Fast-forward a few years, and NFT tickets are quickly becoming mainstream. Famous music festival Coachella is using NFTs for exclusive memorabilia and lifetime event passes. Also, Las Vegas Afterparty and Swedish music festival Way Out West have experimented with NFT tickets. Additionally, several prominent artists use NFTs as backstage passes. Such artists include Steve Aoki, Pip, and The Cool Kids.
GUTS Tickets is a blockchain-based digital smart ticket service. It aims to revolutionize ticketing by using an NFT that can be tied to an attendee’s wallet address. Also, GUTS Tickets help to reduce ticket fraud and create controllable secondary markets for ticket resales. Plus, ticket issuers gain access to real-time analytics to monitor their NFTs.
Furthermore, artists who use GUTS Tickets gain a share of all secondary market revenue, creating a novel dynamic for ticket sales. Though the project is still in the early stages of its development, GUTS Tickets is positioned to capture a significant share of the NFT ticket market.
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Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP)
Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP) is a blockchain project that uses NFTs for creating digital badges and collectibles, known as “POAPs”. POAPs are ERC-721 NFTs that can trace the attendance of live events. Furthermore, attendees receive POAPS to verify their purchase of an event ticket, just like regular event tickets. However, POAPs are stored immutably on the Ethereum xDai sidechain. As such, users can mint POAPs for a nominal fee with little latency.
When users mint POAP NFT badges via the POAP platform, they receive an image along with details about the event they’re attending and a serial number. These badges act as digital representations of a user’s life experiences. Although NFT marketplaces can sell them, POAPs tend to hold little resale value.
Ticketmaster is a leading event and ticketing company based in the US. The subsidiary of Live Nation made headlines in recent months following the news that it would allow event organizers to issue NFT tickets for live events on the Flow blockchain. Flow is already a leader in NFTs. Overseen by Dapper Labs, the Flow blockchain is home to some of the biggest NFT projects and collaborations with sports stars, including NBA Topshot, UFC, and CryptoKitties. Not only will these NFT tickets provide holders with access to live events, but they will also grant them exclusive perks, memorabilia, and experiences.
In November 2021, Ticketmaster began working on an NFT offering with the Ethereum layer-2 project Polygon to develop virtual tickets for NFL games. However, Flow was the final choice for Ticketmaster NFTs. The initial offering included more than 70,000 Super Bowl digital collectibles for ticket holders. Following this, Ticketmaster will issue NFTs to attendees of select NFL games. At the time of writing, Ticketmaster has issued more than five million NFTs on Flow.
SeatlabNFT is an NFT ticketing marketplace and events ticket issuance service. The project enables ticket issuers and event organizers to connect fans with their favorite entertainers. Also, SeatlabNFT harnesses the power of the Near Protocol blockchain and uses NFTs for digital collectibles and rare experiences. As such, the project can generate additional value from ticket sales.
Furthermore, users can earn loyalty rewards just for attending their favorite events. The project also aims to reduce fraud and scalping by tokenizing tickets on the blockchain as NFTs. SeatlabNFT uses smart contracts to automate royalty splits and price ceilings. Additionally, artists and event organizers can allocate a predefined percentage of tickets for resale on secondary markets.
The final project on our NFT tickets list is Wicket. Wicket aims to remove dishonest behaviors from ticketing using blockchain technology and NFTs. The project intends to eliminate fraud and secondary markets by connecting tickets to attendee phones on the blockchain. Also, the project is lowering the barrier to entry for Web3 adoption by creating a frictionless user interface for its NFT tickets.
Only the official Wicket marketplace can sell Wicket tickets. Furthermore, each time a Wicket NFT ticket resells the attendee data updates on the blockchain. As such, event organizers gain insights into secondary markets while having an accurate register of this in attendance. Moreover, currently being piloted in Italy and the Netherlands, Wicket NFT tickets continue to gain adoption by major venues, promoters, and event organizers.
NFT Tickets – The Future of Live Events – Summary
NFT tickets benefit event attendees, promoters, artists, and marketers. Further, they provide a unique opportunity for artists to engage with fans and audiences via rare and limited edition merchandise, content, and experiences. Also, NFT tickets help to prevent scalping, where tickets are purchased in bulk and resold at inflated prices. In addition, the immutable storage of blockchain data allows ticket issuers to attach identity data to concert attendees for security and marketing opportunities.
The music industry is becoming one of the most significant sectors to adopt NFTs. From creating novel marketing avenues to generating new audiences and creating unique fan engagement opportunities, NFTs are quickly becoming an essential format for musicians. Moreover, as the NFT landscape continues to evolve, we can expect to see NFT utility increase and serve more roles within the arts and entertainment spheres.
In addition, don’t forget to reach out to us on Twitter or Discord. We’d love to hear your thoughts about NFTs and NFT ticketing! Plus, check out our “Crypto Terminology” article to expand your Web3 vocabulary, or see our “How to Invest During a Crypto Bear Market” article to learn how to navigate market downturns!