Using verifiable randomness to make ticketing honest
Blockchain-based event ticketing solution GET Protocol and Chainlink have found a way to join forces and further improve the transparency of the user flow for the hundreds of thousands of fans that make use of GET Protocol to buy blockchain-backed smart tickets.
By integrating Chainlink VRF (Verifiable Randomness Function) in GET Protocol’s digital waiting line, ticket buyers for popular events are provided with an honest and transparent chance of buying a ticket.
For popular events where ticket demand exceeds the available supply, the order of the waiting line will be shuffled randomly, as to provide a fair opportunity for all fans to get their hands on a ticket. As the name suggests, this randomness will be verifiable, taking away any possibility for centralized misconduct on the side of the ticketing company, promotor or event organizer. (Something which unfortunately still happens regularly and on a large scale.)
In short, this is an innovation that makes digital ticketing provably more honest! Allow us to show how this will work…
GET Protocol is one of the (unfortunately still rare) crypto & blockchain projects that deals with significant real-world usage and adoption. Over the course of several years, more than a thousand events have been ticketed using the protocol, making hundreds of thousands of music, theater, and sports fans unknowing users of blockchain technology.
Components such as price and resale terms are programmed into a batch of tickets, according to the wishes of the event organizer. All ticket transactions are registered on the Ethereum blockchain, and the GET utility token makes sure the protocol runs smoothly.
We are very proud of the fact that not a single ticket issued by the protocol has been scalped.
This is an especially noteworthy feat, if we do say so ourselves, considering the vast amount of dishonesty and shady business that takes place in the ticketing industry.
Even with our new level of transparency and accountability, there is always room to improve. For example: Currently ticket buyers of popular, sold-out events such as the ones pictured above, still have to believe us when we say that they have been given an honest chance for a ticket.
This trust doesn’t always come easy and we can’t blame them for this, considering how shady and opportunist the players in the ticketing industry have proven themselves to be, time and time again.
Currently all we can give the users of our ticket shop as assurance about its fairness is, well, our word. For all that talk about blockchain, we have to admit that this is not really aligned with the spirit of decentralized trust that we’ve come to admire and strive for… Luckily, an e-mail appeared in our inbox.
Chainlink has long been known as one of the cutting edge blockchain projects out there, with its decentralized oracle network that enables smart contracts to securely access off-chain data feeds, web APIs, and traditional bank payments.
More recently, they have introduced their Verifiable Randomness Function (or VRF for close friends).
Verifiable Randomness for Blockchain Smart Contracts
We're thrilled to announce Chainlink VRF, which utilizes verifiable random functions to generate randomness that is…
In Chainlink’s own words:
‘A security-sensitive mindset is required to create and successfully defend a smart contract against adversaries seeking to steal the funds held by that contract. Smart contract developers using randomness as a key input should also see the manipulation of that randomness as a critical risk. Well made systems relying on randomness would ideally want it to be both provably fair/equally uncertain to all contract participants, while also successfully reducing the risk that an adversary could exploit their contract by predicting its outcomes.
Chainlink VRF seeks to meet both of these requirements by delivering its randomness along with cryptographic proofs that can be verified on-chain, showing that the randomness is indeed unpredictable. Due to the on-chain verifiable nature of Chainlink VRF’s randomness, participating nodes can only withhold a request, for which they would be financially penalized using Chainlink’s upcoming staking capabilities, and possibly removed from future queries that would have paid fees for their randomness.’
So, what will this integration look like?
While Chainlink VRF is currently still on testnet, we can already make a pretty calculated guess as to what the implementation will look like.
First, let’s take a look at what the average ticket buyer might see. For the end user, it will simply mean that they will see the waiting line in the ticketshop like they are used to — but with an addition: the green text block in the image.
Depending on pending development & design, ticket buyers will be able to easily verify the randomization that has given them their place in line. With a simple click of the button, while they wait!
On the back-end, there is a bit more going on.
A. Fans enter the digital queue, register themselves and undergo some form of uniqueness identification (SMS for example).
B. After completion of their registration, fans are placed in the (unsorted) digital queue for the event. Their position in the queue is yet undefined. Fans are provided a hash identifier, which is a digest of the provided registration data. This ID allows them to track their position in the digital queue and the future shuffling process.
C. All IDs in the queue are stored to a publicly accessible IPFS file using a publicly known smart contract powered by the GET Protocol.
D. When the amount of fans in the digital queue exceeds the amount of available ticket inventory (as it often does) the queue needs to be shuffled. This to ensure that all fans that have registered have a verifiable fair chance to acquire the scarce event tickets. A fans’ position in the shuffled queue determines when a fan is allowed to order relative to others in the queue.
E. When the sale-start is imminent the GET Protocol hashes all the IDs in the queue to create a seed. This seed is sent to Chainlinks VRF, together with a LINK fee and keyHash. The response of the Chainlink VRF includes entropy needed to shuffle the IDs and a proof of randomness.
F. Using verified randomness provided by the Chainlink VRF oracle, the IDs in the queue are shuffled. As the inputs and output are public any fan or public entity can verify if their position was truly fairly determined.
G. All fans in the queue are notified of their position. The ticket gates open. If needed this process is repeated until the event is sold out.
The ticketing industry is very broken and inefficient. This initial integration of Chainlink VRF within the GET Protocol is just scratching the surface of what is possible. We see various very promising possibilities for integrating Chainlink into our fair and honest ticketing ecosystem, especially in regards to GET Protocols merged primary & secondary market (ticket NFT p2p price feeds).
On top of all that: this integration will bring mainstream exposure to Chainlink as a verifiable source of randomness.
Maarten Bloemers, CEO and co-founder of GET Protocol:
‘We are completely convinced that the application of blockchain is the future of the multi-billion dollar ticketing industry. Not only does it solve huge issues like scalping and fraud, it provides much-needed transparency and restores value to the rightful owner.
With Chainlink VRF as our randomness provider, a valuable layer of transparency is added to our system.
We are working hard to achieve our goal of becoming the worldwide standard for tickets-on-blockchain. With this integration I believe we are one step closer to our goal.’
We will update you on the integration as it develops!
If you are a smart contract developer and want to take advantage of the Chainlink VRF feature, visit their developer documentation and join the technical discussion on Discord. If you want to schedule a call to discuss the integration more in-depth, reach out to them here.
Chainlink is an open source blockchain abstraction layer for building and running decentralized oracle networks that give your smart contract access to secure and reliable data inputs and outputs. It provides oracles to leading DeFi applications like Synthetix, Aave, and Kyber Network, numerous blockchains such as Ethereum, Polkadot, and Tezos, and large enterprises including Google, Oracle, and SWIFT.
About GET Protocol
GET Protocol is a blockchain-based smart ticketing solution, that currently allows several ticketing companies across Europe and Asia to issue innovative & transparent tickets. Roughly half a million tickets have already been sold using the protocol since it was founded in 2017, and new ticketing companies have been added recently in Germany, Italy and South Korea.
Where to buy GET
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