GUTS Launches ICO to Fund its “Honest Ticketing” Revolution - Is this the end of black market tickets for UK artists and concert-goers?

29 November 2017

Backed by key players in the music industry, Dutch blockchain startup, GUTS (the Guaranteed Unique Ticketing System), is on a mission to make exorbitant ticket tout prices and ticket fraud a thing of the past.

Using blockchain technology, GUTS is able to register ownership of SMART tickets, making it impossible to re-sell tickets illegally, or at a higher price. This means no more extortionate prices for secondary tickets with all revenue returned to artists and producers.

The UK music industry is rife with ticket touts and third-party resellers purchasing tickets in bulk, and reselling for double or triple the original price. In the past year alone, tickets for Ed Sheeran’s Teenage Cancer Trust gig were sold for up to £5,000, while an £85 ticket to see Adele at the O2 was reportedly sold for £24,840.

The scale of the problem has also been highlighted by a recent report by Fanfair Alliance, the UK campaign against industrial-scale online ticket touting. The research found that 80% of the British public think the UK secondary ticketing market – valued at £1 billion – is a “rip off” while 67% of ticket buyers who paid above the odds said they would attend fewer concerts in future.

To ensure a transparent and decentralised event ticketing market for all parties, including concert-goers, artists, promoters and event organisers, GUTS has launched a blockchain-based event ticketing protocol, the Guaranteed Entrance Token (GET). GET is built upon the Ethereum blockchain and will facilitate the sale of event tickets by issuing SMART tickets to wallet addresses on the blockchain.

Within the GUTS ticketing ecosystem, GET tokens are required for the creation and trading of SMART tickets - without GET, event organisers cannot create events or issue SMART tickets, nor can they change the state of a contract, therefore making ticket fraud and touting impossible. This protocol will ensure a transparent and decentralised event-ticketing market that promotes ‘honest ticketing’.

As well as using the new token on its own platform, GUTS has launched an ICO that will enable other event organisers and ticketing companies to make use of the GET-protocol through its open source infrastructure and scale GUTS’ innovative blockchain-based ecosystem. Through this ICO, GUTS tickets is looking to facilitate a true revolution in the ticketing industry by creating the first ‘smart event’ ecosystem in the world and with a target of $17.5m, the ICO will help extend the impact of the product to new audiences worldwide.

The ICO, which launched on 15 November, will run for 28 days, closing on 13 December. The aim of the ICO is to sell 37 million GET tokens, which will be exchanged for Ether (ETH) on the Blockchain.

“Over thirty percent of all tickets are resold with mark-ups between 30% and 700% and these inflated prices are an ongoing problem for artists and their fans”, says GUTS Tickets CEO and Co-Founder, Maarten Bloemers. “We believe in fair ticket prices for all, and the GET token is an important first step towards eliminating the fraudulent side of the secondary ticket-market.”

“The GET protocol registers the ownership and properties of event tickets in the blockchain. The decentralised network then makes it impossible to change the properties of a ticket, meaning that if tickets need to be sold on, ownership will be transferred transparently and without any price increases. Our ultimate goal is for all tickets to be sold to actual fans, not re-sellers, at the price they are supposed to be.”

GUTS, which has been selling tickets on the blockchain since 2016, has received plaudits from key players in the music industry, including Watse De Jong, manager of internationally renowned DJ, Martin Garrix, and Chris Payne of the International Talent Booking Agency, which represents big names, such as Adele and Maroon 5. With current deals in place, GUTS is projected to sell over a million tickets by 2019.

GUTS Tickets CCO and Co-founder, Tom Roetgering, added: “For event organisers, GUTS provides certainty that all tickets are authentic, and the mobile-first platform means organisers, promoters, music artists and venues can use the product without investing in expensive scanners or hardware.”

“The interface of the GET ticket application works in such a way that interaction with the GET-protocol is completely obscured from the ticket holder. At no point in the ticket-flow is the user required to have any knowledge of blockchain or tokens.”

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