GET Protocol - On Agnosticism: why our multi-chain approach makes sense
By Kasper Keunen blockchain developer at the GET Protocol Foundation.
This blog is an excerpt from the January update blog.
Subjects to cover:
- On being blockchain agnostic
- Overview of blockchain partners
- Launch of Flusher & getNFT
“GET is blockchain agnostic” (???)
Over the years we have often described the GET Protocol as being ‘blockchain agnostic’. This isn’t a fancy way of saying we haven’t made up our mind yet. It is a fundamental design principle.
When interacting with a ticket issued by a ticketing company using the GET Protocol, a user doesn’t casually encounter any hashes, crypto addresses or 12 word seed backups. Our product isn’t meant to onboard or introduce consumers to crypto. Our aim is to offer a service that can safely handle digital rights (with ticketing as the go-to market sector). Blockchain and NFT assets are used to ensure that these digital rights can be shared, merged and (re)sold safely and within the pre-defined rules. So in short; sell smart and interoperable ticket. A lot of them.
Blockchain is used in the background to make the sharing & trading rules interoperable and transparent.
The need for having rules of the ‘trading game’ defined in an immutable or at least fair manner has been underlined by the developments in the US markets just this week.
Robinhood and eTrade prevented their users from trading their own assets because (and this is speculation) they got a tap on the shoulder from ‘high-finance’ entities whom suddenly didn’t like the established and agreed upon trading rules(just because it turned against them).
Clearly this isn’t how markets should work. There is nothing wrong with regulation or rules to protect investors, but changing the rules after the game has started is a poor way to play a board-game. It is an even worse way to run financial markets.
Similar to the practices of Robinhood and Citadel bending and changing the rules after the fact is exactly what ticketing conglomerates have been getting away with for decades.
The best from all the chains
Because of the fact that our end users and clients do not directly interact with the blockchain, we are in the position to leverage the benefits of several blockchains without compromising on performance.
The absolute wild-growth of blockchains has made one thing clear, there likely isn’t one platform able to serve all use cases. Bitcoin clearly excels in digital scarcity and an easy to grasp narrative. Ethereum is far more ambitious and broad in its goals, causing uncertainty and compromises in usability (high costs as ETH isn’t optimized for one thing).
Besides technical differences it is clear that some projects are adopted in regions/cultures/tribes because they fit a culture or narrative. These groups are powerful and self-reinforcing, not tapping into their momentum and network could be considered a waste.
In the following paragraphs a brief overview is provided of the blockchain we currenty work with and the reason for doing so.
In 2018 we announced our cooperation with the Korean ‘based’ blockchain Klaytn(part of Kakao Group). This cooperation has only intensified over the past year. The network and expertise of Klaytn within the Korean market is extensive and has been very fruitful thus-far. Klaytns wallet product Klip and the accompanying Kakao ecosystem seems to be a perfect fit for our digital ticket & asset experience.
Due to the pandemic the developments of getTicket and several large scheduled event have been put on hold. As the world slowly but surely navigates to a vaccinated and covid free world, this will surely change.
The Klaytn blockchain integration is a perfect fit for ticketing in Korea (and a selection of mainly countries in Asia with a high percentage of Kakao users. However, for our clients and users in the Northern hemisphere Klaytn is less suited (as most apps, explorers and information is targeted for the Korean/Kakao user).
Binance Smart Chain
It is no secret that the Ethereum blockchain is extremely expensive to use. Even though L2 solutions might offer relief (when they are ready) simple transactions (so not contract logic) are expected to remain costly. This set us on a journey to find a blockchain that had the same feats as Ethereum but could do it for 95% less costs. The Binance Smart Chain has proven to be a reliable and easy to use alternative.
As the Binance Smart Chain is a carbon copy of the Ethereum blockchain it compatible with Metamask and has a block explorer that is built by the etherscan team. For the upcoming launch of getNFT the Binance Smart Chain testnet will be used (we have been using it for almost 1 year already while building the getNFT ecosystem).
As the blockchain belongs to the largest and most influential crypto exchange, association to its users and liquidity has potential upsides that should not be understated.
In the upcoming weeks our activity on the Binance Smart Chain will quickly ramp up. When the production version of getNFT goes live a total of 60 000 NTS will be minted (as that is roughly the total amount of people holding a ticket for a future event). Prediction; there will be more.
The grand daddy of them all is and likely will remain Ethereum. As such GETs main blockchain will be ETH. Ethereum is and will, for now, be where all the liquidity, protocols and users reside. As such this blockchain would lend itself most for the first event financing pilots taking place in Q2.
GET Economics & Bridges
That GET Protocol is using several blockchain simultaneously doesn’t change the token economical basic principles (the hard cap, the utility etc). When GET moves from the Ethereum blockchain to the Klaytn blockchain no new GET is created. Bridges use a trust less mechanism involving burning and locking to ensure the total amount of GET outstanding remains unchanged.
For more information about what blockchain bridges are, check out this article.
The added transparency of getNFT
The GET Protocol registers tickets on the blockchain. I presume that much was clear for the reader this far into the lengthy monthly blog. So then what makes getNFT so much better as our old/current means of registration?
Our ‘old’ blockchain registration approach (based on Statebox tech) enabled us to register the life cycle of a ticket extremely efficiently. This was great at first as the high costs of registration in 2018 on Ethereum was unsustainable on many levels.
However there was a downside to this efficiency and uniqueness. Over the years it became clear that while efficiently transparency was only provided mathematically. This type of transparency is grasped by only a small portion of the event visiting . People don’t want to see a hash, they want to see where their ticket is and able to track it back. A mathematical proof that its history was legit isn’t it.
Even though our community quickly incorporated the concepts of the ‘statechange’ and the ‘event wirings’ it became very clear that the side-chain approach wasn’t that easy to grasp and thus communicate. This proved to be a problem in marketing the upside of blockchain registered tickets. It was clear we needed to go back to the drawing board.
The 2020 NFT boom
The hype and enthousiasm observed in the crypto space in 2020 sealed the deal for us. Where the ERC20 standard revolutionized tokenization in 2017, the ERC721 was clearly becoming the golden standard for personalized/unique assets as tickets.
In other words, even though we registered 500 000 tickets on the blockchain over the past years, it wasn’t done in a manner that highlighted the benefits of doing so. After realizing this last year, we completely redesigned our approach from the bottom up. getNFT is composed out of 4 composable building blocks that allow us to scale quickly and integrate with any type of ticketeer backend.
So what does this mean for the end users and the GET Protocol community? Well far for starters real time insights about the activity of ticketeers, event creation and tickets exchanging hands. In the next section I will give an overview of what data is stored and how it can already be extracted from the contracts(rest assured fancy interfaces and explorers are coming!).
More details & transparency — Real time data about new events added by event organizers
If an event is created by an event organizer the details about this event will be stored/pushed to the blockchain as soon as the event is published.
This means that if a lot of events are registered on a single day, the community will be able to infer what events these are and what can be expected of the subsequent future sales! Such excitement. So wow!
Each event is assigned an unique address (managed by getCustody). Allowing explorers to easily track the actions of event organizers. This is key for building trust (mainly relevant for the event financing angle).
Metadata stored per ticket/getNFT:
Similar to the wallet/address pointing to the event event organizer, each user of the GET Protocol is assigned a wallet by getCustody.
This allows fans to easily look up their ticket on an L1 blockchain (as it is an NFT). Allowing them to experience truly owning an asset.
The fact that each ticket is an NFT opens many doors for new innovative features. For examples, after scanning tickets of events can become collectibles, lottery tickets or playing cards. What is more, this is a feature competitors aren’t event comprehending.
Metadata stored per event:
Having reliable on-chain registered data available on events will prove crucial for event financing.
Metadata stored per ticketeer
Previously it was impossible to infer whom was producing state changes. In the getNFT system, each getNFT is linked to a ticketeer. As with the events, the primary key is an address (and an wallet issued/managed by getCustody).
All GET Protocol activity is on-chain
It is also notable that with the transactions happening in real time and on an L1 blockchain, integrating the usage of GET economics is now far more straight forward and transparent.
This means that when fully developed there will be no need for periodic burn reports and other manual/centralized processes.
Having all activity on-chain is a very important step towards community governance. As one can only vote on things that occur on-chain (otherwise the governance is vaporware). Admittedly GET governance is still far out (requires more involvements of integrators) but setting steps to enable it is important regardless.
This brief overview is isn’t intended as documentation(will be published as soon as all testing and improving is complete). We are excited!
In the weeks ahead we will be intensively testing the getNFT implementation on Binance Smart Chain Testnet (check out the simulations here: https://testnet.bscscan.com/address/0x94Cbd20007287c4cC103ef47edA2Af07d7C0aB4c#events).
In the mean time we will work with the developers in the GET Protocol community to ensure that explorers will be available to witness the minting of 60 000 NFTs(the total amount of unscanned tickets).
There is much to look forward to! As this Shiba called Doge would say: ‘Change happens slowly and then all at once.’
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