Global ticket sales and distribution company Ticketmaster has acquired blockchain tech startup UPGRADED to prevent fraudulent tickets and enhance transparency in ticket distribution.
UPGRADED, launched in 2016, uses distributed ledger and smart ticket technology which will be integrated in Ticketmaster's existing tech infrastructure to secure the distribution of tickets for vendors and fans.
Ticketmaster currently operates in 29 countries and processes the sale of more than 500 million ticker per year. UPGRADED's technology converts the sale of tickets into digital assets, protected by blockchain technology via encrypted barcodes to prevent fraud associated with paper or PDF-based tickets.
"The solution can be implemented without requiring a venue to replace existing access control hardware," Ticketmaster commented.
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Ticketmaster's chief product officer Justin Burleigh said that the company is always exploring emerging technologies and stated that "there aren't many that have the unique possibilities of blockchain".
"We're excited to have UPGRADED join the team as we continue to focus on providing the world's leading identity-based ticketing platform to fans, artists, and our clients.
"We think blockchain and UPGRADED will continue our progress to improve ticketing and create a safer and more seamless experience," he added.