A recent report in Ajax Life revealed that the Royal Dutch Football Association was experimenting with the use of blockchain technology for ticketing at soccer matches. According to the report, the association is hoping to use the technology to eliminate fraud as well as black-market trading of tickets. The first use of the technology was during a Euro cup qualifier match between Estonia and the Netherlands. At the match, some of the fans were able to enter the stadium without a physical ticket thanks to the blockchain and GPS technology.

Part of a Larger Initiative

This is part of a broader initiative in the Netherlands known as the “Change the Game Challenge”. Various companies in the Netherlands have been challenged to create various innovative solutions, which will help to improve the experience for soccer fans in the nation.

During the Euro cup qualifier match, some fans were issued tickets secured by blockchain technology. The tickets were sent to the attendees via a mobile app instead of fans receiving a PDF file that they would have had to print out. Another unique feature of these tickets is that the bar code only became active once the soccer fans got near the stadium.

The time within which the bar code was active was also limited, which made selling the tickets on the black market almost impossible. However, users of the blockchain system could still transfer the tickets in compliance with the rules of the nation’s soccer association. This includes the ability to gift tickets to family members.

The result was that fans did not need to print the tickets before the match. With such a system, it could become easier to verify the identities of fans before they enter the stadium. This could help to eliminate ticketing fraud.

According to the nation’s football association, the projects under the “Change the Game Challenge” that show promise will receive funding from the European Regional Development Fund. This will make it possible to bring the potential that those projects have to offer to the real world.

According to a spokesperson for the JC Arena, where the match was held, the test was conducted as a collaboration between the KNVB and the JC Arena. However, she added that Ajax was also actively looking into opportunities that would allow it to improve the fan experience. She added that if they learned anything from this experiment, they would share it with Ajax.

The Soccer World is Embracing the Blockchain

The potential to eliminate ticketing fraud is pushing many in the soccer world to adopt blockchain technology. Even FIFA, the top body for soccer in the world has started using the blockchain. The organization released a video ( see below ) in May 2018, showing people how they could use its blockchain-powered ticketing app.

Besides ticketing, collectibles are gaining popularity in the soccer world. Some of the top soccer clubs in the world such as Arsenal and Real Madrid have already signed deals with firms in the blockchain world to develop crypto collectibles.

Image Source: Flickr / Jarrett Campbell 

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