BLOCK OF DOCUMENTS: The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a True Tickets customer. (Space provided)
Cryptocurrency affects the perception of technology
The sudden collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange is likely to undermine some people’s trust in the underlying technology known as blockchain, but the platform is solid and offers advantages over legacy systems when it comes to selling tickets live, according to co-founder Matt Zarracina. and CEO of True Tickets.
The company has been using blockchain technology since its founding in 2017.
Blockchain, by definition, is an advanced database engine that provides transparent information to a business network that stores data in blocks linked to each other in a chain. It can be used to create a ledger to track orders, payments, invoices, and other transactions backed by security tools to prevent unauthorized transactions.
The difference between a cryptocurrency, a digital form of currency that uses blockchain technology, and a broader platform that has applications.
Apart from cryptocurrency trading, there is a distinction that some people may miss, Zarracina said.
On Wednesday, a CNBC interviewer asked Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM, whether blockchain technology in general has received a black eye as a result of the FTX debacle, but he said IBM will continue to invest in the technology given its growth potential. in fintech and other industries.
“FTX is essentially Lehman Brothers in crypto,” Zarrachina said. “It’s not the best analogy, but you had mortgage-backed securities, which were high-risk assets packaged as low-risk assets, which led to a mortgage crisis, but that didn’t stop people from using mortgages to buy houses. People have lost their homes just like people have lost assets in the FTX debacle and that has led to regulation and that is what you will see in the crypto space.”
According to him, the impact on the perception of blockchain technology in general remains to be seen.
“But it would be hard for me to think that there will not be some negative attitude towards blockchain just because the technologies are so closely related. However, those who create blockchain-enabled solutions, what you see now, is much more focused on the result, solving the problem at the industry level, at the user level, and this goes back to almost basic product management. Zarrachina said.
Technology is increasingly taking a back seat and that’s the future, he said, noting that the word “blockchain” alone caused such hype a few years ago that the value of a hard iced tea company more than tripled after the shift. names from Long Island Iced Tea Corp. at Long Blockchain Corp. The company was later delisted from the NASDAQ and the SEC filed insider trading charges against several investors.
As for True Tickets, which continues to grow in the performing arts and theater space with clients like the Shubert Organization, its partnerships with 750 members Tessitura Network and Logitix, and a growing list of clients like the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. in Costa Mesa, California; Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando; and the Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri. The future looks as bright as ever, Zarracina said.
“We have released an important new feature – rule-based ticket sharing – the first of its kind in the industry, and it has had a significant impact on our customers,” he said. “We are still fighting unwanted activity in the secondary market, but our establishments receive and share visitor data when they exchange tickets. We average that for about every three shared tickets there is one new registration or new name in our customer databases and by the end of this month we should reach 100,000 tickets shared by our 11-12 customers and it has been valid for about 3 ½ month. We are very excited about the future and how it works.”
Zarrachina said theaters and performing arts centers are a “wedge market” for True Tickets, and the platform and APIs are scaling to larger venues and events and can provide security, customer data and stability not found in legacy systems.
“This is the first market that we can really enter, prove our value proposition, demonstrate impact that can be scaled to other sectors in the living experience space,” he said. “I always see it as an important market. We were one of the few vendors that managed to crack the code and work effectively with the art in terms of ticketing.”
New opportunities include expanding partnerships with the Shubert Organization and Logitix, as well as some of the company’s partners, he said.
Allowing customers to exchange tickets under binding rules is a precursor to the rule-based resale marketplace, “and this is where what we have created becomes really powerful,” Zarracina said.
Asked if True Tickets, which was listed in September 2017 and raised $250,000 in an initial funding round in January 2018, is going to go to an initial public offering, Zarracina said most startups end up being acquired.
Since then, True Tickets has received funding from a number of sources, including a 2020 investment from Randi Zuckerberg, the sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who joined the company as a strategic advisor following an investment from Broadway Beta Ventures, a subsidiary of Zuckerberg Media.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional quotes and details.