Online ticketing for concerts has become a huge hassle and a money-sucking monster. And since ticket stubs have become almost obsolete, we no longer even get to keep them as a memento.
DeFy Tickets of Fort Worth may have a novel solution for both problems with a new mobile app. It creates individual tickets for each concertgoer on a blockchain, the cryptocurrency ledger that tracks all purchases, to prevent fraud and scalping, and it gives buyers a keepsake of their favorite singer or band’s performance.
The new company also hopes to reach enough customers that it forces the ticketing industry to make some changes by providing a better alternative to the unchallenged practices by the behemoths of the industry and third-party sites that simply buy tickets and resell them for a higher price.
“Every event built on DeFy Tickets has its own smart contract,” says Mike Rogers, DeFy’s vice president of business development. “So the event promoter and us are able to see who holds each ticket and verify that, along with an email and a phone, those tickets cannot be resold or duplicated and control the rules of reselling them.”
Customers purchase tickets on the app and are given a single total that includes all extra fees at the time of purchase, unlike other ticket outlets that have hellish hidden fees that slap you in the face — all thanks to an unchecked and unregulated consumer market.
“We realize it’s in our best interest to sell more tickets and not have fans turned away by high fees,” says DeFy Tickets co-founder Alec Jhangiani. “The way we display fees is all up front. There’s not a screen later where tickets are 40% higher, which we think that’s where the states and federal government are going with these junk fees. The price you see it the price you’re going to pay.”
Each ticket purchased is made as a unique Non-Fungible Token (NFT) on the blockchain for each show. This allows the venue to track each ticket and control the number of tickets that can be resold, and also prevents counterfeit tickets from being printed.
“When you enter the event where you access the ticket, [it] is kind of attached to a rotating QR code and it’s always hosted online,” Jhangiani says. “In order for ownership to be transferred, it has to go through a specific process and all those re-registrations on the ticket are recorded on a transparent ledger.”
“Our technology is obviously superior and that always wins out.” –Mike Rogers
The venue can choose not to allow ticketholders to resell a show ticket, or it can put a percentage cap on the amount at which they can resell a ticket to someone else, Rogers says.
“The primary seller or event organizer can control the price, if any, for which the ticket can be resold,” Rogers says. “You have the power as the organizer to eliminate scalping. Someone can’t just turn around and resell it for a profit they want.”
The NFTs themselves can also provide a sentimental value for the ticket holder as a keepsake from the show. Each unique ticket has no monetary value outside the price of admission to the show.
“A lot of the NFT craze in the past year or two has been around digital art,” Jhangiani says. “A lot of that has gone away and for good reason, but the technology is really being used by some of these big brands like Starbucks and hotel chains for loyalty points and tickets, [which] is one of the best-case uses as well. So despite the crazy, there is some useful sides to this as well.”
DeFy Tickets launched in the spring of 2022 when it offered tickets for six shows at Wild Acre Live in Fort Worth, with live performances by hip-hop stars Lupe Fiasco and Gucci Mane. The company has sold tickets with venues for events outside of music — such as live esports competitions — and Jhangiani and Rogers believe more growth means more chances to compete with ticket companies that have had a financial stranglehold on live events.
“Our technology is obviously superior and that always wins out,” Rogers says. “We’re hoping to get upstream and compete for some of that business sooner.”