In this article, we take a look at one of the ideal real world examples where blockchain technology can revolutionize an industry through security, transparency, and immutability. Ticketing. Nick Szabo said it himself, tickets and scarce objects are ideal identifiers to be placed on a blockchain for tracking and transacting.
Event ticket sales are a unique transaction that naturally come with security risks.
Typically verified by QR code or barcode identifier, event tickets don’t provide much security protection at the time of purchase. Tickets can be stored digitally, or paper printed but with either method, verifying the ticket relies on a scanning device at the entrance gate of the event. That means ticket credibility remains in question until the final moment of truth. For ticket owners, it’s an inconvenience and often stressful experience if your ticket was purchased through a third party.
Fraudulent ticket sales have even become a major concern for buyers. Between expired tickets, multiple copies of the same ticket, and invalid tickets, there are plenty of reasons to be cautious.
This, in part, has been a result of the huge industry that surrounds the buying and selling of tickets. Ticket scalping has been popularized by sporting events and concerts, but the act of reselling tickets is common for all events. In fact, at any given time, you can find ticket sellers on classified ad websites including Craigslist, Ebay, OfferUp, and now Facebook allows users to list items for sale through their marketplace.
Many consider this to be an unsafe and risky practice for ticket buyers and in many ways, they’re right. Ticket sales have a considerable security risk.
However, by storing tickets on a blockchain, much like any other blockchain asset is managed, we can effectively eliminate transaction fraud. Event ticket data can finally be kept safe. Tickets can be transferred between users securely with full confidence in their authenticity.
What is Blockchain Security?
Much like other tools, you don’t necessarily need to know how blockchain works to use the technology and benefit from its security. However, this knowledge can help you better understand its potential and recognize its value for not just event tickets, but all digital information.
Blockchain is a term you may have heard through the BitCoin cryptocurrency buzz. Whether you follow cryptocurrencies or not, blockchain is the behind the scenes technology that secures transactions. It’s often described as a distributed ledger. Let’s explore what that really means.
A blockchain is first and foremost a growing list of records or data. These records are called “blocks.”
Each block is linked to the previous block as it gets distributed across a network and stored on thousands of different computers. This distribution is what records transactions permanently in the blockchain and creates resistance to any modification of the data. Once a block has been recorded, the data cannot be altered unless all subsequent blocks are altered. Each block essentially links to all the blocks before and after it.
The spreadsheet analogy
Think of this as a database (spreadsheet) that gets duplicated across a large network of computers. When updates are made, the network ensures that each computer is updated with the new data for the spreadsheet. This is the simplest representation of a blockchain.
Blockchain enhances security and prevents breaches
Since the information on a blockchain is shared, there is no single point of access. It is resistant to corruption because it’s hosted across an entire network, rather than having a centralized access point. To change a record, a hacker would have to avoid detection by changing every block in the ledger and updating those changes across the entire network, something that would require network collusion to reach a 51% majority. Overriding the network and breaching it entirely would require an unfathomably large amount of computational power. The larger a blockchain is, the more tamper-resistant it becomes.
How is data secure if it’s shared/distributed?
Data in a block chain is secured through cryptography. The participants in the network are given a private key that pairs with their transactions, acting as a personal digital signature. This signature would void if the record was altered and the network would become aware of the intrusion. This immediate notification is critical to stopping the threat and preventing further damage to the network.
Blockchain provides durability, much like the internet
Just like the internet is a large network of connected computers, blockchain has built-in durability in the same fashion. The records in a blockchain are duplicated and identical across the network, which prevents:
· Control from a single entity.
· A single point of failure.
Blockchain is transparent
A blockchain’s data is shared across its network. For public blockchain’s freely accessible on the internet, it is a completely public ecosystem. For private blockchain’s, it’s public to only its network participants. Since the data is continuously updated with automated self-auditing, the blockchain is in a constant state of consensus and is fully transparent.
Understanding networking nodes and decentralization
In a blockchain, a node is a computer connected to the blockchain network that validates, stores, and relays transactions. When a new computer connects to the network, it automatically downloads (gets a copy) of the blockchain.
Blockchains create a decentralized network where every node is accessing the system voluntarily. While there may be incentive to participate, there is nothing mandating their participation and new nodes can join the network at any time.
Any changes to the blockchain happen on a network scale, with no reliance on any single node. You can think of this much like “in the cloud” technology, where software or data is hosted across several servers, often originating from different networks with multiple levels of redundancy.
Decentralization enables the power of network managed authority with no control from a single entity. It operates by its users on a peer-to-peer basis, enabling collaboration in real-time.
Conclusion: Blockchain Strengthens & Protects Event Ticket Sales
The decentralized and distributed ledger nature of a blockchain means ticket transfers can be updated immediately across an integrated and incorruptible network. Users can sell or buy verified event tickets with confidence. It’s an easier and far more secure method to purchase, save, or transfer tickets of all types. Whether it’s a sporting event or music concert, blockchain provides efficiency for event organizers and peace of mind for event participants.
Blockchain technology for event tickets enables security in real-time, not at the entrance gate:
· Anyone can verify the authenticity and validity of a ticket at any time.
· System integrations with third parties and partner infrastructures are made easier.
· Maximum system security is enforced.
· Provides full management of ticket issuing, recording of sales.
· Aligns with other parties involved such as resellers or affiliates.
· Various processes, tools, and methods for verifying ticket validity can be utilized.
· Immediate processing speed. No delay or queue formations between transactions.
· Consistent data that’s incorruptible and easily accessed.
Today, even the most modern ticketing systems fall victim to ticket fraudulence. Buyers have little protection against ticket counterfeiting and invalid ticket sales. Blockchain provides a sensible technology through a web platform that ensures a quality user experience on all ends of the transaction.