GUTS expects to evolve with blockchain technology to an open and digital standard of access. Decentralized financing follows the first practical application of NFTs. “A long-term project,” says founder Maarten Bloemers.
Even before the blockchain frenzy reached its peak, Bloemers did exactly what everyone discouraged: the former financial sector lawyer was looking for a problem with his solution. His conclusion after three years of R&D: there is something so binary and programmable in one smart contract if the right of access, a ticket.
Financially supported by an initial coin offering, GUTS laid the foundation for an open source standard for digital ticket sales. The underlying GET protocol, developed on the Ethereum blockchain, registers each ticket as unique non-fungible token (NFT). Buyer receives a digital ticket with all kinds of rights. At the time of writing, almost one million access cards have been traded via the protocol.
He still calls it the formula for fighting the black market and exorbitant concert ticket prices. With a digital ticket in an open ledger, the artist or organizer can incorporate rules for both the primary and secondary market. “Authenticity is guaranteed and you have control over any resale. For the sake of clarity, we now limit ourselves to events, even if it also includes a flight or access to a metaverse. “
The protocol is by far the most important, yet Bloemers runs its own ticket company GUTS Tickets in parallel. “We provide an example of implementation, an interpretation of how you use the technology.” The company supplies the infrastructure to various Dutch creatives. A new step was recently taken with the ticket sales for online concerts by Di-rect and Within Temptation. “Bands hardly talk about blockchain. They find the data that becomes available much more interesting. “
Due to mistrust of the chain, artists usually have no idea who their fans are, Bloemers says. Blockchain technology does audit trail insight into what simplifies “basic” communication before, during and after the event. “For example, recurring income streams can be programmed. When a concert ticket or work of art grows into a marketable collectible, some of the profits can go back to the artist. “
Bloemers has extremely underestimated the attention required for a ticket company. “Nevertheless, these feet in the mud continue to provide new applications.” The white label use of the software in the huge industry around Korean K-pop, among other things, provides important revenue. However, the collaboration with existing players promises the future for Bloemers. GUTS has recently connected its first integrator in the Netherlands with Yourticketprovider. The company, part of CM.com, provides the NFTs with practical value. “You can include everything in such a smart contract: If you visit concert A and B, you will receive a backstage pass to C.”
Although revenue almost disappeared last year, the customer base has quadrupled and black numbers are expected. “After all the cancellations, the usefulness of blockchain is finally dawning. In many places, it is completely unclear who is entitled to new tickets or to get money back. ”
Of course, we have to wait for Live Nation and Ticketmaster, which together account for eighty percent of the market. “If we want to be the standard, then we have to do something together,” Bloemers admits. “Yet the power lies with the creators who strive for independence.” In response to this, the company is testing a prototype where decentralized financing (DeFi) is used to pre-finance major events. “Ticket sales are then security for the organization of a concert series. Liquidity is needed after covid and our own silver ball†
With two or three companies under one roof, Bloemers is attracting an additional CEO. Laughs: “I am a miserable leader and relentlessly impatient. Let me put that dot. This is at least a ten-year plan. ”
* This article originally appeared in the November issue of Emerce magazine (# 186).