The ticket sales industry has long been plagued by scalping and scams, with unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of high demand for popular events to sell counterfeit or overpriced tickets to unsuspecting buyers. With the emergence of Web 3.0 technologies such as blockchain and smart contracts new possibilities for addressing these issues and creating a more secure and transparent ticketing system are opening up.
Web 3.0, also known as the 'Semantic Web', is an extension of the World Wide Web that provides software programs with machine-readable metadata. It enables computers to make meaningful interpretations and understand the meaning of data on the web. A core concept of Web 3.0 is decentralization. In a decentralized system, power and authority are distributed among multiple parties, rather than being held by a single central authority. In the context of the internet, decentralization refers to the distribution of data and resources across a network of computers, rather than being stored and controlled by a single entity. This allows for greater security, as there is no single point of failure, and greater autonomy, as users have more control over their own data.
Web 3.0 technologies, such as blockchain and peer-to-peer networks, enable decentralization by allowing for the creation of decentralized applications (dApps) and decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms. These technologies allow for the creation of decentralized systems that are not controlled by any single entity, and are instead maintained and governed by a network of users.
One potential application of Web 3.0 in the area of ticket sales is the development of decentralized ticketing systems that are built on a blockchain.
In such a system, tickets could be issued as digital tokens that are stored on the blockchain, and the ownership and transfer of these tokens could be recorded and tracked using smart contracts. This would make it much more difficult for scalpers to sell counterfeit or illegitimate tickets, as the authenticity of each ticket could be easily verified using the blockchain.
In 2017 Coachella was hit by a ticket scam in which fake tickets were sold to unsuspecting buyers through a third-party website. Many of the fake tickets were discovered when attendees tried to enter the event, and were turned away despite having paid hundreds of dollars for their tickets. Similarly, in 2018 fans of the English football team Manchester United were the targets of a ticket scam in which fake tickets were sold for a Champions League match against Sevilla. Some fans paid as much as £700 (about $935) for fake tickets, and were unable to attend the match as a result. With the emergence of unauthorised third-party resale websites, a growing number of unsuspecting event-goers have fallen prey to similar scams worldwide.
In addition to helping to prevent ticket scams, Web 3.0 technologies could also be used to enforce restrictions on the resale of tickets, such as price caps or limits on the number of times a ticket can be resold. This could help to reduce the ability of scalpers to mark up the prices of tickets and make it more difficult for them to profit from the resale of tickets.
Beyond addressing issues of scalping and scamming, other potential applications of Web 3.0 in the ticket sales industry include the ability to offer more personalized recommendations and incentives to event attendees. For example, a Web 3.0 ticketing system might be able to analyse a user's past ticket purchases to understand their preferred events, genres, venues, and seating preferences, and use this information to make recommendations for similar events or to offer personalized discounts or other perks.
Overall, the use of Web 3.0 technologies in the ticketing industry has the potential to create a more secure and transparent system for buying and selling tickets, which could in turn help to reduce the prevalence of scalping and scams. As Web 3.0 technologies continue to advance and become more widely adopted, we look forward to seeing more innovative solutions for addressing these longstanding issues in the ticketing industry and enhancing the overall experience of attending events.