Kvě 06

Blockchain Technology to Combat Dodgy Ticket Resales

· May 6, 2018 · 6:00 pm

Secondary ticketing in the UK is a billion-dollar problem, one that Aventus hopes to solve with blockchain technology.


Whether it’s your favorite football match or your music idol’s concert, front-row tickets are probably what you’re after. However, if they happen to be sold out by the time you can afford them, you might be tempted to purchase these tickets from unscrupulous secondary parties.

Prepare to be met with counterfeit tickets and sky-high prices. According to The Guardian, secondary tickets for shows for big artists, such as Adele, can fetch up to $12,000. Preventing these so-called ticket touts seems to be a decades-old issue, but something that blockchain technology could solve.

Blockchain to the Rescue

Annika Monari and Alan Vey, who are the founders of Aventus, will have the opportunity to test this theory at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia. Their blockchain-based program will be used for more than 10,000 tickets to fan events in the US and Europe.

By using blockchain technology, the records for each ticket will be immutable and therefore protected against counterfeiting. Essentially, each ticket will be linked to its owner, which will combat fraud.

By doing this, Monari and Vey, who both have degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Particle Physics, have said that Aventus will “virtually eliminate ticketing fraud and the scourge of unregulated touting”.

A New Solution for an Old Problem

A New Solution for an Old Problem

The Aventus founders discussed their excitement at working towards a solution for this problem:

“It has been an amazing journey. We used to sit in this common room having coffees and worrying about our coursework. But now, hopefully, we will be the people who can solve the problems in the ticketing industry. That would feel incredible and be such a huge achievement for us.”

The platform’s ICO in September last year sold out in just seven minutes, raising a total of just over $35 million.

Positive Impact

Professor Mike Waterson from Warwick University acted as a technical advisor to Monari and Vey. He had this to say:

“It has a lot of potential. Thinking through the market from a fresh perspective is very useful. If they get genuine buy-in from a wide enough range of people then it is going to have a big impact on the market.”

Expanding Blockchain-based Solutions

Waterson also conducted a government report into the secondary ticket industry, including ticket sales for Premier League games. This is also an issue that Aventus hopes to help with. The platform will be working with another blockchain-based platform, Blocside, for the FIFA World Cup initiative, but hope to expand their offerings to Premier League football clubs soon.

Ticket fraud is quite a lucrative industry in the UK, with an annual value of about $1.3 billion. Bernie Dillon, an entertainment industry expert, discussed how Aventus could make a difference:

“Anyone who has ever attended, hosted, or produced a live entertainment event has been affected by counterfeit tickets or extortionate resale prices. Aventus brings a refreshing solution that could end fraudulent activity and ticket touting once and for all.”

Do you think that blockchain technology is the answer to the ticketing industry’s biggest problem? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Shutterstock

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Dub 04

India Becoming the ICO-Marketing Hub for Crypto Platforms

· April 4, 2018 · 3:00 pm

India may be most well known for its Taj Mahal and Golden Temple. However, it is gaining a reputation in the crypto community as a place to find an extremely affordable provider of marketing services.


Marketing can be expensive, whether in-house services or outsourcing. In the fast-moving crypto world, it will also help in determining how successful your ICO will be. This in itself is a multi-billion-dollar industry, with, according to The Times of India, almost $3 billion being raised last year.

Having similar features as the good old crowdfunding business model, ICOs first rely on making their target market aware of their platform’s services before getting them to part with their hard-earned cash or crypto. This is where the marketing part comes in, and it also seems that this is where Indian marketing agencies are coming in too.

A Different Way of Marketing

More and more crypto platforms are outsourcing their ICO-marketing needs to predominantly Indian agencies. Not only do they offer a cheaper choice, these firms are also using apps like Telegram and crypto-industry-specific platforms to market these ICOs. This is quite significant as it means that these start-ups won’t have to deal with the recent bans by Google and social media giants, Facebook and Twitter.

However, even without the bans, Salim Ali does not believe that these big corporations are the way to go anyway. Ali is the CEO of Loyakk, a “blockchain-powered enterprise relationship management platform”, with an upcoming ICO. He said:

Facebook and Google AdWords hardly generate demand (for ICOs). Only a person new to the space would be googling about it.

Growing Business

Growing Business

Karnika Yashwant is the CEO of Key Difference Media, a Chennai-based marketing agency. He had this to say:

Two or three months ago, there were only a few platforms that helped in advertising. Now, a company going for an ICO will have a few hundred proposals from new marketing companies that are sprouting in India.

Yashwant has provided marketing services for 14 ICOs, most of which were led by European clients.

Saving Money

In addition to crypto community groups on Telegram,  ICO clients usually also choose to advertise through a range of crypto websites. In the case of the latter, Yashwant added:

For a banner in a cryptomedia website, you’d have to dish out $10,000 a week.

This is a hefty sum, but usually payable in fiat or virtual currency. However, even though an ICO could net millions, platform founders could be looking to save money in the initial stages, which could be why the more affordable option of Indian agencies could be so alluring.

What do you think of crypto platforms using cheaper Indian marketing agencies for their ICOs? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, DepositPhotos

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Led 21

Oil Giant Shell Buys into Blockchain

· January 21, 2018 · 6:00 am

Blockchain technology is no longer limited to innovative startups with grand intentions of changing the world. Massive multinationals are also looking to use the technology to improve their operations and boost productivity. The latest in the lineup to get on board the blockchain train is petro corporation Shell.


According to industry portal OilPrice, the energy giant has bought up a minority share in Gartner-listed startup Applied Blockchain. Details of the deal have yet to be disclosed, but the move will enable the London startup to help Shell explore how the technology might be applied to its business.

oil rig

Blockchain into Business

Operating for around three years now, Applied Blockchain has clients from the banking, telecoms, carmaking, manufacturing, and aerospace industries. This its first foray into energy. The technology is slowly entering into the energy sector with, according to Reuters, a consortium involving Shell, BP, and Statoil already working on the development of a blockchain-based energy commodity trading platform.

Shell chief technology officer Johan Krebbers highlighted the huge potential blockchain tech has for business:

Blockchain applications have huge potential to shake up how we do things in the energy industry from streamlining process, to simplifying how we work with our suppliers and serve our customers. Investing in Applied Blockchain is part of our commitment to use digitalisation to create value in our core business and develop new business models.

blockchain tech

Energy and Blockchains

Shell is not the only energy company with eyes on blockchain technology.  Last year, it was reported that trading house Mercuria started working with banks ING and Societe Generale on the first large oil trade based on blockchain technology. According to analysts, the marriage of blockchain and the oil and gas industry presents a number of opportunities for streamlining and improvements in cross-border payments, record management, supply chain management, and smart contracts as potential applications.

Specialists at multinational professional services network Deloitte stated:

A secure system that mitigates risk, increases transparency, provides an audit trail, and speeds up transactions at a significantly reduced cost may be appealing to oil and gas companies.

As the crypto space expands and more companies develop blockchain solutions, the entire industry will benefit from a technology which is revolutionizing the way the world does business.

Will more blockchain adoption help cryptocurrency markets? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay and Bitcoinist archives.

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Lis 11

Ethereum Funds Frozen, Token Startup Cappasity Says Bug Was ‘Hack’

· November 11, 2017 · 5:30 pm

In a new development suggesting Parity’ recent flaw that locked up over 900,000 ether was more nefarious than previously thought, affected token startup Cappasity thinks they have proof the “bug” was actually a hack.


Cappasity Thinks Foul Play’s Been Discovered

The Ethereum community was rocked on Tuesday, November 7, after GitHub user devops199 deleted the library responsible for supporting approximately $300 million dollars’ worth of ether in Ethereum wallet provider Parity’s multi-signature wallets.

The space was flabbergasted by the curious nature of the incident, as devops199 immediately posted on the Parity GitHub after the library’s deletion to declare he’d mistakenly killed the library in question.

In comments immediately after the lock-up, devops199 suggested he had little experience with Ethereum and that his deletion was the result of incompetence.

But according to Cappasity – a token start-up that’s lost access to 3,264 ether in the ongoing Parity nightmare – devops199 is only feigning incompetence.

The 3D Virtual Reality upstart firm points to recent investigative developments in the case that suggest devops199 was considerably more competent than he was letting on.

For example, Cappasity notes devops199’s previously undisclosed attempts to commandeer ownership over the Polkadot and ARtokens (ART) smart contracts.

These kinds of maneuverings belie an advanced, or at least novice, understanding of smart contracts.

In a statement on Cappasity’s findings, company CEO Kosta Popov even went so far as to say that law enforcement officials may soon need to be involved:

When you are tracking [devops199’s] transactions, you realize that they were deliberate […] Therefore, we tend to think that it was not an accident. We suppose that this was a deliberate hacking. We believe that if the situation is not successfully resolved in the nearest future, contacting law enforcement agencies may be the right next step.

Fix and Timeline for the Parity Flaw Uncertain

For now, the unusual nature of the ongoing Parity “bug” has everyone in the community wondering what’s next. It remains to be seen what fix can be implemented to return the affected users’ 900,000 ether.

Some in the community have wondered if a hard fork of Ethereum will be necessary to make these users whole, but in an email exchange with the author of this article, Ethereum Foundation’s External Relations lead John Frazer made it clear the Foundation hasn’t “taken this position in any form.”

Indeed, echoing this sentiment, Ethereum Foundation Security lead Martin Swende expressed during recent comments to the press that the fix should be “spearheaded by the affected parties.”

This means its Parity’s time to shine – the way they handle this crisis in the coming days and weeks will likely determine if the users stick with the wallet service or potentially abandon it in droves.

What’s clear is that this black swan event means the Parity team surely has a long, difficult road ahead of them.

Where do you stand? Do you think Parity’s going to be able to return these 900,000 ether to their rightful owners? Let us know what you think in the comments below!


Image courtesy of Quartz

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