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Ticketmaster exec says smart contracts will digitally define the industry

Sandy Khaund, Ticketmaster’s vice-president of blockchain products, said he sees a future in which tickets function as blockchain “smart contracts,” making them non-transferable.

Khaund discussed the value of smart contracts at Elev8CON in Las Vegas on Monday, highlighting the idea that ticket providers should be treating tickets like smart contracts in order to create scalability, seamless integration with other service providers and the potential for new revenue opportunities, the Coin Telegraph reports.

Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between the buyer and seller written into lines of code. The code and agreements contained on smart contracts exist on a blockchain network, making transactions trackable and irreversible.

Khaund said: “We want fans to get more value out of their tickets, while ensuring that tickets end up in the right hands. Blockchain is the only technology that can do this by using smart contracts to digitally define the ticketing industry.

“Ticketmaster has technology that is almost 40 years old. Using smart contracts on a blockchain network creates a unique system for Ticketmaster by writing code for each ticket we sell. We run this over a private blockchain network to ensure privacy and optimisation around tickets.”

Khaund wants to see the Live Nation-owned ticketing giant use the distributed ledger to support the entirety of the estimated 475 million tickets it sells each year.

During his talk, he used the example of Pearl Jam’s “hometown shows” in which tickets cost $150 (£114/€135) each, making them popular for resale due to the perceived market value.

Khaund told the audience that in order to make those tickets non-transferrable, the company gave out two tickets. The first went to the issuer and couldn’t be transferred, while the second ticket could only be transferred once. He said: “We were able to do this in 15 minutes once we wrote a smart contract for the use case, which contained an overriding function around transfers, along with a transfer counter.”

The Ticketmaster executive did not detail a time frame or a scale to which this technology would be implemented, although it could be impacted by the House Energy and Commerce Committee inquiry into ticketing. One of the points of concern was Ticketmaster’s restrictions on the transferability of tickets as they limit consumer options.

He continued: “Our job is to make sure the integration process for tickets is seamless with other systems, like SafeTix.

“We also plan to support millions of tickets that won’t cause lag time for customers. Finally, we plan to make tickets smarter. This technology is programmable by nature and we need to continue coming up with creative use cases.”