Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.
The following is an interview we recently had with Egor Egerev, CEO of Crypto.tickets.
1. What’s the history of Crypto.tickets? How and where did you begin?
EE: Crypto.tickets team has broad background in event and entertainment industry. For example, I have been experimenting in the field of ticketing for mass events for more than 10 years. In 2014 we launched Ticketscloud – cloud distribution platform for organizers. The product modernized the ticket sales process by giving artists and producers ability to sell tickets via one service on multiple websites, in offline box-offices and at events. Now this company stands behind Crypto.tickets with more than one million of tickets sold and dozens of clients.
Event organizers still need more security features and methods of fraud prevention. This led us to the idea of incorporating the use of blockchain technologies for ticket validation and in 2017 we launched the prototype of our new platform – Crypto.tickets powered by Etherium. It empowers organizers to control the entire tickets lifecycle from sale to event entry, maintaining a one-to-one interaction with customers and eliminating fraud. In October we started Crypto.tickets ICO. In the end of 2017 one of our clients sold first smart tickets to its customers. The event will take place in a couple of days in Moscow.
2. Who are the founders and key team members?
EE: I’m CEO of Crypto.tickets. My main responsibility is a strategic vision of the product. I started my career in this field many years ago as I was involved in the organization of festivals and shows. Later I launched a marketplace of electronic tickets and Ticketscloud in 2014.
I can give you two names besides of mine. Katerina Kirillova is responsible for the development of Crypto.tickets and Tickets Cloud. Kirill Klenov is our IT team lead.
By the way, we are looking for tech and blockchain experts as well as experienced event industry specialists. Ready to accept any recommendations and applications.
3. What problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for?
EE: Just a short story from my personal experience. Once I thought nobody knows how to buy a ticket for a concert better than me, I am an expert in selling and buying tickets. But I was wrong. Last year I came to visit a concert in London with a paper ticket, but failed. The thing is I bought a fake and security guys told me that just at the entrance to the concert hall.
Anyway, this is quite a typical story. Fraud is one of the main issues event industry is facing nowadays. I mean, you and I can buy a fake or a simple copy of a real ticket. Meanwhile, artists and organizers have few instruments to protect you.
The global market for tickets distribution according to International Ticketing Yearbook.
Let’s take a look at numbers. Besides that, sellers and organizers cannot protect you from risks of a secondary market, which appears when agents and brokers buy most of the tickets and sell it once again and even again at higher prices. According to statistics, every ticket is sold as an average 2-3 times, 60% of the amount of tickets is controlled by brokers.
That means you and me can buy a fake or at least pay more than you expected. For artists and producers that brings serious risks too, including cancellation of an event.
4. What is your solution to this problem?
EE: First of all, we must find an answer for organizers, who are looking for ways to prevent ticketing fraud. We can transform ticket into digital asset validated by blockchain. In this case, organizers and official distributors can control every ticket throughout its lifecycle. Authorized users can check the process of pricing, fees, commissions, re-sales etc.
This is how blockchain protects an attendee. After the purchase, the smart contract sends a smart ticket to a unique personal wallet. When attending the event, the ticket is marked as used one in blockchain.Besides that, we are going to propose general rules or a combined backend-ecosystem for the sales on primary and secondary markets, which allows the whole history of their existence to be tracked.
5. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?
EE: The issues I’m describing are not specific in the markets we know well, they are international. Wherever I go, any conference I visit, producers and organizers speak about the same issues and blockchain as the only way to solve it.
In addition, ticketing and mass event organizing sphere are closer to blockchain than other markets. To prove that I can name 7 or 8 projects in different countries, all of them are trying to connect blockchain and ticket services.
6. What’s the future of your industry?
My list of predictions is as follows.
Prediction #1: The entertainment industry will use smart tickets instead of electronic and paper tickets.
Prediction #2: Smart ticket will be used in event sphere as a new industry standard. This ecosystem will consist of Open Source products and APIs, applications, exchanges, e-wallets etc.
Prediction #3: Event promoters will get new benefits as new ticketing technologies let them find new business models. Smart contracts will work as public offers. Crowdfunding will mix with pre-sales of tickets… What’s next?
These are attributes of the new architecture of event industry instead of what we have now: isolated markets and communication channels, local monopolists and small distributors, wide range of risks and so on. Today we can choose a new architecture for this market and change it for the better.