Ticketmaster has confirmed that it has acquired blockchain technology firm Upgraded.

Upgraded is a smart ticketing app that converts traditional tickets into secure interactive digital assets protected by blockchain. It is designed to improve transparency and stamp out scalping.

The technology firm, founded in 2016, leverages blockchain combined with dynamic, encrypted barcodes to prevent fraud often associated with paper or PDF-based tickets. It has been designed to be implemented without requiring a venue to replace existing access control hardware.

“Ticketmaster is the unquestioned leader in live event ticketing and is the perfect platform for us to bring the unique promise of blockchain to millions of fans,” said Sandy Khaund, founder and chief executive of Upgraded.

“Upgraded leverages Blockchain to maximise trust for ticket holders, give control and flexibility to content owners, and data to teams and performers. We’re proud of what we’ve built and are looking forward to working with the incredible team at Ticketmaster to help us scale.”

Justin Burleigh, chief product officer at Ticketmaster, North America, said: “Ticketmaster is constantly exploring emerging technologies, and there aren’t many that have the unique possibilities of blockchain.

“We’re excited to have Upgraded join the team as we continue to focus on providing the world’s leading identity-based ticketing platform to fans, artists, and our clients. We think blockchain and Upgraded will continue our progress to improve ticketing and create a safer and more seamless experience.”

Earlier today, Variety published an article with the acquisition news, but it was quickly removed. TheTicketingBusiness understands that this happened due to the transaction being approved, but somebody outed the press release to Variety before the ‘ink was dry’ on the contract. Sources say Ticketmaster “took exception” to this.

Image: Ticketmaster