GET protocol community AMA

A few weeks ago I had the idea of organizing a small AMA (ask me anything) with the GET protocol team. I shared the idea with Olivier and as amazing as the GET team is, they agreed without hesitation.

I want to thank everyone who sent in (very interesting) questions but above all I wish to thank the GET team for taking their time to answer them thoroughly. The community appreciates it!

Without further ado…

After the onboarding of the first ticketing company, our Korean partner, we indeed welcomed two other ticketeers. There are a lot more in the pipeline, but we decided to onboard these two first in order to finetune the onboarding process. While these ticketing companies haven’t initiated any ticket sales yet, we are very pleased with the progress they make. In fact, since our onboarding scheme is technically not as smooth as we ideally want it, it requires quite some perseverance and motivation to integrate. We are very happy that even given these circumstances these parties are delivering and we expect actual ticket sales spinning out of them soon. Encouraged by the motivation shown by these parties, we are currently ironing out a few more wrinkles while having in mind that it should be as easy as possible for content creators to have their ticketing system up and running with the least technical knowledge needed as possible. We believe this will increase our chances of spreading the underlying tech of GET Protocol like wildfire.

The reservation system for beaches in Italy, was being facilitated through GUTS from the Netherlands. This was indeed an experiment we started as local regulations initially demanded such a system to be in place during summer, while at the same time there were no such, well-developed, systems available at the time. That’s why we jumped in together with a local partner we already have a good relationship with for years. Couple of months forward, in practice beaches are currently not operated with the help of reservation systems, meaning the demand is low and our experiment led to no sales. Our partner obviously closely follows the market, but for now we don’t expect large volume here anytime soon.

All current onboarded or onboarding ticketing companies have ticket sales in the pipeline and whenever we can publish about this, we will. Road to market for ticketing companies differs from company to company, but we are happy that all new ticketing companies have ticket sales on the horizon. I think it’s pretty impressive they are able to get a foothold in the market in the current market conditions.

Wicket has no previous experience in the ticketing industry, neither did GUTS. Experience can be an advantage as well as a disadvantage in this industry. Needless to say it’s a huge advantage for integrators to be able to get to learn all the do’s and don’t from us right away.

We don’t have such a proof actually, but it’s true that our added value is biggest when GET Protocol is combined with a ticketing front-end that is designed primarily for issuing fully digital tickets. Therefore it’s plausible that the first ticketing companies running on GET Protocol will be mainly brand new ticketing companies starting from scratch, because they have more flexibility in terms of system design and can shorten their go to market period dramatically by integrating with GET Protocol. On the other hand, it’s no secret that basically all ticketing companies you know, know us. It’s also no secret that the larger ticketing companies usually use (very) old technology. We believe it’s a matter of time that they will have to decide to either build a totally new system or integrate with modern technology provider such as GET Protocol.

Olivier:

The plan is still to grow internationally and keep adding more ticketing companies!

The seeds have been planted in several new markets, and we are very positive about the potential further growth, as well as the possibilities with new players in current markets. More tickets issued will be the result of broadening our horizons, as well as going deeper into the markets that we’re already active in. There is plenty of potential to tap into, and we have more than one iron in the fire at this point.

Kasper:

I believe that blockchain ticketing will become the standard when ‘blockchain ticketing’ is able to add pure economic added to the issuers (so the organizers, promoters, ticketeers). Blockchain tickets should yield a measurable larger profit in the short term. When this is the case the transition will be swift. Let me elaborate.

Currently it is the case that on net it is our clients who are effectively paying for the extra costs of offering smart-ticketing to their clients. In a way are offsetting short term profits for long term upside(although most will add the extra costs to the ticket price — point still stands). These clients don’t go this ‘harder’ route purely out of the goodness of their hearts. By using smart ticketing our clients are gaining real time insights, control & safety, more goodwill and of course collecting clean data. In the long run they pose this will increase revenue as they will be able to sell more tickets or do so more efficiently.

From experience we know that most organizers don’t really care about bells and whistles in regards to ticketing, they might find scalping annoying — publicly even. But at the end of the day it not that annoying that they want to pay more to prevent it. Ticket scalping is a luxury problem as it implies the primary market is sold out. One might be annoyed by this viewpoint but that isn’t of much help(trust us, we tried).

As for our costs. The reality is, blockchain/smart ticketing is simply more expensive — if the deliverable is a commodity like ‘ticketing service’. The smart ticketing we deliver is simply more complex and thus will always be more expensive. Being a cost leader for a commodity is a race to the bottom.

The golden bullet is being able to allow clients to generate more revenue in the short term — if you are able to do that you will never have to worry about any competition doing it. It is notable to mention that the biggest ticketing companies in the market are also the most expensive when looking at the service costs charged per ticket. Why is this? It surely isn’t because their QR codes work better.

It is because these companies have built up leverage by adding hard-to-replicate features to their service. Driving this point home will require an example because why not!?

Let’s suppose you are an extremely famous artist that is planning a big tour in 100 big venues worldwide. For the last decade there hasn’t been a show you as an artist didn’t sell out — so you have good reason and proof you can pull this off. To remain in control over your brand and the marketing your management will be doing the ticketing yourself (controlling the revenue and thus control — very important to ensure you won’t be taken for a ride by venues). This does mean your management will need to book all the venues. There needs to be a considerable amount of capital available to front these costs. But surely with your track-record and reputation as a big artist should be enough to secure this?

Unfortunately you’d be very wrong. There is no bank or fund that will loan you money at reasonable rates, regardless of how famous you are or how often you sold every ticket there is. The reasons for this are hugely complex and beyond scope. The only parties willing to provide financing will be Eventbribe and Ticketmaster. There are a few terms to taking their money however, and none of these terms will be good for the fans..

Eventbribe and Ticketmaster effectively use their balance sheets to lock in large clients that have no other place to go — as their financing needs are so large. Their sheer size and market domination allow them to de-risk the exposure by diversification — a moat that is very hard to penetrate the traditional way.

Even though DeFi is still in a speculative and turbulent phase as of now, those looking closer one will recognize Defis primitives flip traditional finance upside down. Tokenization, collateralization and liquidity pooling allow for large amounts of yield seeking capital to be deployed on a whim in a fully decentral and global level.

The odds of coming up on top when going heads up against Live Nations balance sheet will be a lot easier if we can tap into the balance sheet of the whole of DeFi. #LYVQ

Our sales team is or has been in touch with most of the big local promoters & agencies. The impact of COVID-19 is definitely huge within the dance & festival scene.

The Netherlands is known for having a crazy amount of yearly festivals, both big and small. These events take huge efforts in setting up and scheduling, and are therefore very susceptible to drastic changes in timelines. That said, our digital ticketing approach provides event organizers with exactly the features and opportunities that can help them with the longevity of their projects and businesses. In other words, we are still having plenty of conversations.

7) Is there an updated roadmap on the development and goals for the coming year(s)?

As laid out in the ‘2020 vision’-blog, the goal for this year has been to attain further international adoption of the protocol. Granted, this objective was stated before COVID hit, but the goal has remained the same, as can be seen by the additions of ticketing companies in Germany, Italy and South Korea. The further roll-out of the protocol in new markets and countries is still the priority. With every new integration, this process is becoming more efficient and requires less and less involvement from our business developers and dev team.

Of course, we are still just at the beginning of our Korean adventure. There are still plenty of serious plans to further establish our presence and activity there. With getTicket getting ready to sell more tickets, our partnership with Klaytn and the recent Coinone listing, there are plenty of ingredients that we can use to cook up something nice.

As far as the protocol in general, the freshly published July update blog also brings up two exciting points on the near horizon: Staking & DeFi. All in all, plenty to look forward to!

Olivier:

Just my opinion, but I think that the biggest challenge outside of world-crushing pandemics is our own efficiency. We are constantly expanding in terms of markets and activities, and the sooner we get comfortable with each new plateau, the sooner we reach the moon.

9) Where else does the team see possibilities besides the current tickets for events, beaches and entree management for buildings?

Olivier:

The possibilities with ticketing are endless — sports, travel, public transport. It’s fun to think about these potential branching-out possibilities, but it’s important to remember that the just the ‘event’ business, is absolutely enormous. It’s an industry that we can grow in for many years to come, so there is plenty of opportunity ahead of us, without any need for forced diversification. That said, if the opportunity arises, we’ll go for it!

From Frans:

For me that was definitely the first show we did for Jochem Myjer back in 2017. Everything went smooth, we were sold out in a few minutes, and Jochem was super excited that day and the weeks that followed, because none of his tickets were offered on any secondary market website.

From Maarten:

When we won the Buma meets Tech award at Eurosonic Noorderslag in 2017. We had already had our first — minor — events which went well and after that we got recognition from the industry with winning the award. Awesome feeling.

Olivier:

Happy you asked! DeFi is certainly booming, and it is certainly an applicable innovation for our road ahead. This is something that we have been looking into for quite some time already, which has given us a decent sense of the opportunities that lie ahead. Ticketing is a perfect fit, or, as one community member put it on Twitter: ‘Finally, something with DeFi that I understand.’

Thankfully you don’t have to take my word for all this, as blockchain developer Kasper has just last week published a blog that compiles our findings and the opportunities they pose. It is highly recommended reading, and will surely get a follow up as things progress.

Check out Kasper’s blog here.

Olivier:

Staking is coming in Q4 of this year, so get ready! Full details such as timing and rewards will come when everything is set in stone.

Olivier:

Our CEO Maarten noted on this in the end of year blog from December, saying:

‘With the currently signed deals for GUTS only, we’re growing by 182,9% next year.’

This was of course not expecting a pandemic to take place, but most of these events have either simply been moved or have taken place in another shape or form. In the meantime we have planted the seeds for sideways moves into livestreams, museums and other ‘controlled access’ situations. In the meantime, the protocol has also integrated three new ticketing companies, opening the door to future business in a lot of new markets.

So, while it is impossible to put an expectation on upcoming volume, we are making sure that everything is in place for the numbers to keep rising as we go.

Maarten:

During the sales of one of our biggest tours, things went wrong technically. Clients were in the office and champagne was cooled. You know, the works. Once we’ve noticed that there was a problem, we all stayed calm, kept communicating and solved the problem within 20 minutes. The way our team handled that situation was my proudest moment.

What I would have done differently is that during a certain period we were trying to please our clients too much with custom functionalities. This put a strain on the development team and delayed the development of the product we actually wanted to build. Bad move.

Kasper:

I think that there isn’t one reason for why GET hasn’t taken off. It is a combination of a lot of factors and some bad-luck. Even though I wonder about it myself as well, focusing on this ‘why’ not is not constructive and will not really be satisfactory. We’ll never know. What I do know is that at some point added value and demand will take hold of the price action. As for the when or soon I would not dare to make a guess.

Change happens slowly, and then all at once.

Olivier:

While I am very much into ‘Inception’ or Russian Doll-like situations, speculating on speculation is a tricky thing to do.

Without putting any numbers or specifics on it, I personally think that we are right on the brink of some serious movement, in terms of ticket sales and state changes. We have kept our heads down during the pandemic and found new ways of selling tickets, but in the meantime new ticketing companies have joined the protocol, and ongoing talks for GUTS have taken place.

Although it might not seem spectacular, there are a lot of puzzle pieces falling into place. The way the protocol and its tokenomics are designed, it will only take a couple of big events or new active players on the protocol for things to really kick into gear. I believe that’s exactly where we are headed.

Sander:

If I were a gambler, I would 100% bet that whatever I say here will bite me in the ass at some point. Five year horizon is a long period. That being said, in five years I believe it’s very feasible at least a few dozen ticketeers will be running on GET Protocol. I’ll leave it up to you what the actual volume will be. Since I am not a good gambler, I’d rather work hard to increase our chances so we simply don’t have to bet. That’s what we do here, working day in day out to add as much value as possible to our products in order to generate as much volume as possible for GET Protocol.

Maarten:

Yes those numbers are possible, but as of yet I’m not sure how likely it is. If we onboard the right partners (we’re talking to exactly the right guys), and COVID is handled it could fly. All I can say is we’re doing our very best to make that happen.