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Ticket Fraud in the Sporting Industry

As we saw during the 2022 Champions League Final, ticket fraud, or at least the threat of it, is rife in the sporting industry.

Charlie Gardener
Charlie Gardener
June 29, 2022
min read
Football stadiumFootball stadium

An NFT event ticketing marketplace helping artists foster closer connections with fans, eliminating fraud and reducing the impact of scalping.

Except for the years marred by the Covid-19 pandemic (2020–2021), the live sports industry has seen growth year on year and is expected to reach $32 billion in revenue by 2026.

With the level of interest that live sporting events continue to attract, these events will inevitably continue to be the target of ticket touts, scalpers and fraudsters, as highlighted by the extremely disappointing scenes at this year’s UEFA Champions League Final.

With France also in line to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympics, the events of the Champions League Final have shined a spotlight not only on how large-scale sporting events are policed but also on the way these events are ticketed.

While UEFA and their ticketing partner say they have employed blockchain-based ticketing to reduce fraud for their Champions League events since the 2020 finals, France has blamed large-scale ticket fraud for the ugly events at the stadium.

With future events not just in France but around the globe increasingly the target of ticketing fraud, organisers are turning to blockchain-based ticketing as a possible solution, with NFT tickets leading the way.

So given what happened in Paris for the Champions League Final, is blockchain ticketing really fraud-proof?

Blockchain Networks

A lot has been made about the potential of blockchain technology to change several industries, from digital artwork to supply chain management and, of course, NFT ticketing.

The reason for this potential transformation of so many different industries is down to the way blockchain networks function. Blockchains are decentralised networks, meaning the data held on them is securely encrypted and distributed across the network, unlike traditional centralised networks.

As a result, a blockchain acts as an irrefutable ledger for the information it holds, including transactions and transfers of cryptocurrencies or other digital assets, so every asset and its history is traceable.

Traceable digital assets unlock opportunities not possible with Web2 solutions, and ownership and authenticity of digital assets are verifiable via blockchain. This is why the introduction of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) by the Ethereum network started a boom in digital artwork and other more tangible use-cases for Web3 technology.

Blockchain vs Fraud

Essentially, blockchain networks act as guarantees of authenticity. Unlike physical items, expert authentication is unnecessary as the blockchain transparently shows the history of a digital asset.

In this way, blockchains eliminate fraud, as an item that is an NFT is by definition not replaceable with another asset of its kind.

In the context of NFT ticketing, this means it is possible to verify whether tickets are legitimate or not based on the blockchain they are hosted on. Yet, if this is the case, and UEFA is using blockchain technology, how are fraudulent tickets blamed for the clashes between police and fans at the final in Paris?

The explanation seems to be that the blockchain technology used by UEFA was unavailable to Liverpool FC, who requested they be allowed to sell paper tickets to their fans.

While blockchain technology is fraud-resistant (as demonstrated by the success of countless other NFT projects), the use of paper tickets for the final created the potential for fraud.

If so, then, any NFT ticketing platform needs to be accessible not only to those selling the tickets but also to the fans buying them. If all tickets for an event were sold as NFT tickets, there would be no potential for fraud.

The Solution For NFT Ticketing

We’ve created SeatlabNFT as a solution to the event ticketing crisis. Built on the climate-neutral NEAR Protocol blockchain, we’re addressing the problems with Web2 ticketing platforms and providing additional utility for event organisers, performers, artists and fans in a way that hasn’t been possible until now.

Our platform eliminates ticket fraud through NFT ticketing and also provides features such as royalty splits and price ceilings to help combat ticket scalping. In addition, entry to venues can be authenticated via NFC (near-field communication) or through QR codes, according to the budget and size of the event.

SeatlabNFT is built to harness the power of blockchain through an intuitive, easy-to-operate UI (user interface) to allow as many people as possible access to the unique ability of Web3 to eliminate ticket fraud. Users can purchase tickets using traditional credit and debit cards, while event organisers can easily create multiple tickets for multiple events through the seller dashboard.

We’re also building in the functionality for sellers and event organisers to reward fans with ‘airdrops’ of NFT digital assets, providing fans with a more engaging, immersive experience.

The Future

Web3 and blockchain will certainly provide the building blocks for the future of technology, and we’re proud to be revolutionising the event ticketing industry with our platform.

Our team has decades of combined experience in live events, and we have already run a successful Web2 ticketing platform, so we’re well aware of the challenges facing live events and ticketing.

Get in touch via the links below to see more about our platform, get the latest updates, or find out how SeatlabNFT can eliminate ticket fraud for your next event.

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