SA blockchain platform Tari to tap ticketing app

Riccardo Spagni, founder of Tari.
Riccardo Spagni, founder of Tari.

Local blockchain protocol Tari has collaborated with US-based ticketing start-up Big Neon to manage ticket sales through the Tari platform.

Tari is a blockchain protocol aimed at managing the issuance and transferal of digital assets such as tickets, loyalty points, in-game items, and crypto-native assets like CryptoKitties.

The platform was launched earlier this year by local crypto-currency expert and lead developer of Monero, Riccardo Spagni, in partnership with US investors Naveen Jain and Dan Teree.

Big Neon is the brainchild of US-based technology and ticketing industry pioneer Teree, who was president of TicketWeb and an executive at Ticketmaster.

Through the partnership, Big Neon will use the Tari digital assets protocol to offer ticketing services to event promoters, helping them to manage the issuance, sale and re-sale of tickets.

"Over the last five years, ticketing companies have been more interested in getting bigger than getting better. Big Neon aims to modernise ticketing by delivering the most powerful mobile tools and digitising the entire ticketing process," explains Teree.

"I think live entertainment ticketing and blockchain technology like the Tari digital assets protocol are on an inevitable collision course. With blockchain-based management of digital assets, such as tickets, event promoters will finally be able to recapture revenues that are currently lost to the secondary market. From my vantage, it's the biggest innovation in the ticketing industry since the first ticket was sold online."

Open source

While both Big Neon and the Tari blockchain protocol are still under development, Big Neon's platform will be entirely open source. Ticketing companies globally will be able to leverage Big Neon's codebase to modernise their ticketing platforms, says the company.

Developers and entrepreneurs who are working on digital asset projects related to in-game items, digital collectibles and loyalty points will be able to use libraries, patterns and code from the Big Neon codebase.

Spagni says event organisers and concert-goers will be able to manage their events and accounts from their smartphones.

"Blockchain helps to prove ownership of a digital asset, like a ticket, and to set rules around how that asset is bought, sold and transferred. This will prevent unauthorised resale of tickets through secondary-ticketing platforms, helping promoters to maximise their revenues."

SA blockchain uptake

According to the PwC's State of Blockchain 2018 Survey, South African start-ups' interest in blockchain is increasing, with many firms creating new businesses around the technology.

According to the report, 84% of 600 surveyed executives from15 countries reported their organisations were experimenting with blockchain technology. Another 15% said their blockchain deployments were already live.

PwC says the research shows local organisations fear being left behind as blockchain developments accelerate globally.

"We are seeing rapidly growing interest in this space in South Africa, as start-ups look to create new businesses around blockchain, and incumbents across industries are learning what blockchain will mean in their context," says Paul Mitchell, fintech and blockchain lead for PwC SA.

"The speed at which blockchain technology is being adopted is unprecedented, indicating a growing recognition that this technology has profound implications in many areas, and we are watching it move from a start-up idea to an established technology in a fraction of the time it took for the Internet to be accepted as a standard tool."

Market analyst firm IDC says global spending on blockchain solutions is forecast to reach $2.1 billion this year, more than double the $945 million spent in 2017.

It adds that blockchain spending will be led by the financial sector ($754 million in 2018). The distribution and services sector ($510 million in 2018) will also see strong investments, while the manufacturing and resources sector ($448 million in 2018) will be driven by discrete and process manufacturing industries.

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