By Justin Burleigh, Chief Product Officer at Ticketmaster

When I’m talking to clients and venues around the world, one question seems to always come up: what’s next? But what they really mean is, “what is the next breakthrough technology?”

Between digital tickets, Verified Fan, and facial recognition technology, Ticketmaster has invested millions in identity-based ticketing in order to change the ticketing and live event experience as a whole – from discovering the best events to the last roar of the crowd. That’s because Ticketmaster’s priorities are to provide the best live event experience possible for our fans and to help our artists, teams and venue clients improve their operations.

And the best way to do that is by constantly innovating through innovative technologies – the newest and most exciting of which being blockchain.

That’s why Ticketmaster is proud to announce that we have acquired UPGRADED, a blockchain technology company that specializes in live event ticketing. UPGRADED converts traditional tickets into secure interactive digital assets protected by blockchain, providing event creators with more control and visibility over ticket distribution, and protecting fans against fraudulent tickets.

UPGRADED creates a safer and more personalized experience for fans and provides valuable data and insights to event owners around where their tickets are distributed and who event attendees are. UPGRADED’s technology uses dynamic, encrypted barcodes to prevent fraud, meaning cheaters selling fake tickets will be completely taken out of the equation. UPGRADED also allows artists and teams to engage directly with fans through their mobile devices.

And what’s even more impressive is that UPGRADED can be implemented using a venue’s existing ticketing hardware, making adoption as easy and seamless as possible.

Using blockchain technology for ticketing just makes sense. Or as UPGRADED Founder and CEO Sandy Khaund put it, this is, “the perfect environment for us to bring the unique promise of blockchain to millions of fans.”

We couldn’t agree more. Together, Ticketmaster and UPGRADED will continue to think of new and creative ways to improve event going.

Because after all, we’re fans too, and we know live events can create memories for a lifetime.