ashton addison

Ashton Addison of EventChain Video

Ashton Addison, CEO of EventChain, discusses smarttickets and blockchain powered ticketing in this video interview with Rob McNealy.

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Ashton Addison – EventChain on Blockchain

Ashton Addison, CEO of EventChain, discusses with Rob McNealy their blockchain powered ticketing and event management system.

Ashton Addison EventChain Transcript

Ashton Addison, CEO of EventChain.io

Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos may be present.

Rob McNealy
Hey, today we are talking to Ashton Addison of EventChain. How are you today?

Ashton Addison
I’m doing well Rob yourself.

Rob McNealy
Good. So where are we talking to you from today?

Ashton Addison
We are in beautiful Vancouver, Canada.

Rob McNealy
Beautiful, beautiful area up there. I live in the mountains too. So it’s like I totally I don’t think I can ever go back to flat ground after living out west. And and people in the Midwest. Guys, you got to come out. It’s just so amazing out here. And even in Western Canada, it’s just very different than you know, the mid sections in the mid you know, the eastern parts of the country. So as to tell me a little bit about Tell me about yourself. What are you up to? How’d you get here?

Ashton Addison
Yeah, well, in terms of event chain and also the crypto coin show which is the show that I’m running, both revolving deeply around cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. first got interested in the space through my father. Ironically enough, Most people’s fathers are not tech savvy, but might happen to be a tech founder as well. So we helped co found my media channel crypto coin show in 2014. When, you know before the Ethereum token craze and we wanted to help grow the industry, by making a magazine at first that switched more into a YouTube channel, and just highlighting news highlighting projects that are showcasing good use cases of blockchain technology and business. Ran that for a few years. My mainly focusing on interviews, you know, that sort of seems to be the sweet spot right now. So have about 500 videos on my channel. And then in 2017, we realized, hey, we should really make our own use case, because there’s a big problem in the ticketing industry, which is one of the industries that I’ve been working in, I’d run an event production company back in 2012. And I’ve been to show us and I’ve been ripped off by tickets. Not only just on this Secondary Market paying for tickets, but also buying tickets that were completely fake and getting ripped off and not being able to even go to the show. And we realized, hey, these tickets, if they’re on the blockchain could be, you know proven that their authenticity is real and that they’re scarce and that, you know, you’re not going to be ripped off when you go to a show. So we started event chain and in 2017 to create a self service event ticketing platform that puts the tickets on the blockchain cruiser authenticity. And that’s what we’ve been working on ever since. And it’s live in the market right now. People are able to create events that have enchained audio and our ticketing around the world. And it’s not only just paying with cryptocurrencies, we’re also paying with credit cards and PayPal, it’s we understand, be tough to find a room of even of crypto people that that all want to pay with cryptocurrency, nevermind a music festival. So we’ve designed it in a very user friendly way to try and bring awareness to crypto currencies and show people that you can use blockchain in a non financial industry to solve real problems.

Rob McNealy
Well, I think the important thing here is that you guys aren’t just accepting cryptocurrency you actually have a blockchain ticketing component built into your project.

Ashton Addison
You got it So, and we realized that with music festivals and sports arenas, you know, a music festival person, they’re an event person, they don’t necessarily need to know how the blockchain works and how transactions are verified and consensus mechanisms and technical stuff. They just want to know their tickets are real, their tickets are valid. They’re scarce, no one’s going to create counterfeit tickets, and there’s negative externalities of the event organizer are removed, and the blockchain is all on the back end, right. You don’t need to be a mechanic to be a good driver.

Rob McNealy
So is this like an ERC 20 project? Is this based on the theory and platform or did you develop your own platform or your own blockchain to support this?

Ashton Addison
Yeah, so We originally built on the Ethereum platform, just because it was very easy to do. And but as we continue to grow the platform, and we started ticketing larger music festivals, we realized that buying tickets to a festival or concert is sort of like an Ico. Everybody wants to buy tickets in the first second, and then it sells out. And then nobody buys tickets, they have this huge influx of transactions all in in a five minute span. And for a festival that has like 10,000 people, that is too many transactions to what is currently capable on the Ethereum network. So we didn’t build the full platform on top of the theorem protocol directly, although we did utilize that to store the tickets and transfer them to attendees. And because of that, once we realized that we were surpassing the scalability of aetherium, we actually pivoted through the gold chain blockchain, which actually is it’s a competitor to aetherium, but it’s actually so compatible that you can still Run a theory of node and just verify the transactions on the goshi network instead. And they could do you know, 13,000 transactions per second, with very, very similar infrastructure. So that’s what we’re currently doing.

Rob McNealy
So right now, with your system with Todd is a an event organizer, how do they verify when someone comes up to the front desk? Is it just is there a paper ticket involved at all with a hologram on it? Or is it just you show your iPhone or what have you with, you know, a QR code?

Ashton Addison
So, the ideology that we have for the system is that event organizers and artists know it’s their event so they can put as many restrictions or options as they want. Now, we don’t want to limit their capacity and what they want to do. So if they want to have paper tickets, and you know, there’s an older crowd or non technical crowd that just wants to print out their paper and come they have that ability. However, You can’t prove that that ticket hasn’t been printed out twice and resold. So in that case, you can use the system as a fully functional event ticketing system. But you’re not proving the authenticity of the tickets with paper tickets. If you do want to have those security measures, you can do digital only tickets on your phone. And we’re even coming up with extra security functions like smart qR dynamic QR codes that change and limits of when tickets become available. You know, for example, 24 hours before 48 hours before to limit scalpers. And then with those digital only tickets, because they’re scarce, because when you transfer them, it’s almost like digital money, right? It’s like like Bitcoin once you transfer it, you no longer have access to that ticket yourself. Whereas currently with PDF tickets, once you send it to somebody email, you still have a copy. How can you prove when you’re buying a ticket from somebody off of Craigslist or a secondary market that that person doesn’t still have the ticket after you buy it from them? Right. So

Rob McNealy
So that was I was talking about the chain of custody. So the question is, and I don’t know the economics of events and in especially sporting events and scalpers, but my understanding is some places that scalping is actually part of that business model ecosystem. So does this completely lock the scalper types out of the market? Or is that an optional kind of thing that the event organizer can allow? Like, for instance, Can people resell tickets once they have them early?

Ashton Addison
So again, goes back to the same ideology that the organizers if they want to have that they can allow that right. And currently, we’re just running a primary ticketing market. And if people have PDFs, they can do whatever they wish with them. But as we build out our unified secondary market, you have the ability for example, if you know Ed Sheeran wants to have no markup on his tickets, and they want to have face value only through the digital only tickets, you can put those pricing variables into the smart ticket. So as it goes to the secondary market, you cannot Mark it up. But if they want to have unlimited markup and scalpers or if the artist wants to have a kickback from that, and like say people can resell them for whatever they want, but at least the artists and the organizers are getting a portion of that, you can also program that into the tickets. So if they want to have scalping they can. And if they want to cut they can if they don’t want to have scalping the can, right. It’s all about providing the tools to allow them to do what they want with their own tickets.

Rob McNealy
So the secondary markets really interesting. So the question is, and just from a legal standpoint, does that start becoming a lot like a Securities Exchange at that point? I don’t know the legalities. There’s like Canada, but I’m wondering you know how that would work. I mean, the the SEC doesn’t look at BB Beanie Babies on eBay as a security. So the The question is, if these things aren’t sold as security, is there any kind of concern about that secondary market or auction or trading between ticket holders like that, legally speaking?

Ashton Addison
I don’t know for sure what I would say def, you know, I don’t believe so because how it works with StubHub right now is, you know, there’s they actually just they’re just selling to via gogo right now for $4 billion. And they trade millions of tickets every year. And they have, you can put whatever limits they want. And on Viagogo, you can do face value only if you want. And those are, you know, it’s just a paper ticket. It’s not a security, it doesn’t have any ownership of the event or that, you know, anything to do with that. It’s just an entitlement to go to that event. So I would say definitely, you know, we’d look into it, but I’m guessing not.

Rob McNealy
So how did you guys fund this?

Ashton Addison
Yeah, so we actually did a private equity round in Canada, we raised about $2 million Canadian and through through local investors that were very involved in the blockchain industry. And that allowed us to bootstrap the development of the application. And from there we started chargeable system sort of getting revenues and then just raising money. additional funds for growth, marketing and driving the sales team and trying to create a traditional business. You know, a lot of these blockchain companies, they are very blockchain focused. And we realized that with event organizers especially you need to be very business focused and cater towards their industry. And through for that, you know, have sales people that, you know, they don’t necessarily need to know about blockchain. It’s a selling feature. But there’s so many other functions needed to create a successful event that it’s a competitive advantage, but it’s definitely not the only thing that’s needed to create a successful event.

Rob McNealy
So are you looking to do an exit say in three to five years and for your investors? Hmm.

Ashton Addison
Definitely. In the works, you know, the ticketing industry right now is full of acquisitions. Event bright has made seven acquisitions in the last five years, including the Vancouver ticketing company. They haven’t done anything with blockchain yet. But Ticketmaster acquired a blockchain startup last year called upgraded and I feel like the other ticketing company They’re all they’re all sort of looking to acquire and grow their businesses through acquisitions. So that’s one route. And, of course, you know, the, when people invest in the company, we want to give them a return and give them an exit. So, definitely want to give back to our investors who, who believed in the project since the beginning.

Rob McNealy
So are there a specific niche you’re looking at? Are you going after sporting, you’re looking at music, you’re looking at conferences, where do you see yourselves fitting into the market?

Ashton Addison
Yeah, so right now we’ve been targeting the high growth industries. There’s, there’s multiple facets to that. First of all the industries which are prone to counterfeit ticketing, you know, music festivals, high price tickets, concerts in sports are often resold and and often people are counterfeit from that. So those industries we’ve been targeting as well as the sports industry and the tech industries where people want to use blockchain technology, they’re advocating for the use of it. If they can use it and showcase that it is an actual thing in a in a non financial industry, they’re willing to do that. So, yeah, we’ve been ticketing, music festivals eSports. But the system being a self serve system and allowing anybody to create events without even talking to us. We have every kind of event on there from, you know, art shows, fashion shows, business meetups, anything that can be posted on meetup. com can be posted on event chain. If you’re doing a free event, it’s completely free. Whereas on meetup, you actually have to pay as an organizer for for free events. And you don’t even get your attendees data. And on event chain, you can so we’ve opened it up to all those different types of events. And similar to event brights business model, there’s all of these different types of industries. But we’re focused our business development on the high growth industries, high price tickets, high capacity, prone to counterfeiting, and technical people. Wow.

Rob McNealy
So you kind of are competing with both meetup and event right then technically

Ashton Addison
Definitely, yeah, but meetups functionality sort of limited in terms of what you can gather, you know, and data is everything nowadays. And with event chain, we’ve built the system out. So you can ask custom questions and not just your traditional Now, what’s your company and title if you’re going to a conference, but you know, your dietary restrictions, your investing habits, whatever kind of questions you want to ask, you can ask that and then have we have the integrations to deliver those email addresses directly to your MailChimp, for example, or into your CRM, so you can target those attendees and help them come to your future events, or use them as a lead generation tool for whatever other business you’re running.

Rob McNealy
Wow. So do you have the ability to have multiple like one organization can do multiple recurring events in different locations under like one master account?

Ashton Addison
Totally. Yeah, you can create as many events as you want. You can also assign other people to be your checking people and they can have access to the attendee list and checking in but not have access to the sales reports and things like that. And we’re working on even more functionality to create, you know, promoter list and resellers that can help facilitate sales but have limited access to, to the back end of the master account for the events.

Rob McNealy
So when did you guys first launch into the market?

Ashton Addison
So we first launched the product, more of an MVP in about 12 months ago, so around Christmas time, and since then just piloting about 800 different events in about 28 countries. A lot of that was just, you know, organic growth of people that wanted to have been waiting for the system to launch and tech, you know, early tech adopters. You know, we’ve done everything from music festivals in Bermuda to events in Italy, in London to Hong Kong blockchain week and in Hong Kong, to events in Canada, you know, small, small networking events, so sort of a little bit of everything, and getting user feedback. And no, I was I was just reading A book they’re saying, with software as a service, you know, if you are if your system is like fully ready, and you and you’re completely competent with it when you launch, you’ve almost launched too late, right? You need to launch right away, get the feedback from your first customers. We’ve already had lots of repeat customers, you know, for example, anarcho Vegas conference, if you know Aaron, in Vegas, now they’re early advocates of the system. They thoroughly enjoyed using event chain for their 2019 conference that they put up the 2020 conference two days, two days after. So we’ve had great feedback so far. And we’re continuing to grow and target larger events.

Rob McNealy
So for instance, right now, you not only are based on blockchain for the security, anti fraud elements of this, but you also accept crypto currencies or some crypto currencies as payments. Say I wanted to set up an event through your system and accept crypto. Do you guys pay the people that are organizing and crypto Or do you just pay them a piece of the ticket? How does that the payment system work?

Ashton Addison
Yeah. So it goes back to our ideology that the organizers should be able to do what they wish in terms of accepting payments. So if they want to turn off credit cards, they do that if they use PayPal to do that. And if they want to accept just Bitcoin, they can do that if they want accept, you know, the top 50 coins, and they hope that it’s a cryptocurrency event, and people are going to have smaller coins or stable coins, they can accept that. Our system right now is set up on the flip side to just accept the top five currencies, Canadian American, Euro pound and Australian dollar. As we grow, we’re getting a lot of traction in Southeast Asia. So we’re looking at building in more payment processing and our own payment processing system so that people aren’t paying the merchants, you know, an extra 3% outside of the system, we can cut those costs for them, and possibly accepting more international currencies there. And then, generally, if you’re one of those five fiat currencies, We will Well, actually how it works right now is that because you are connecting to your PayPal or stripe directly, when somebody buys a ticket, you get the money right away. Right? So whereas with some systems, we have a payment gateway, if you do an event, you don’t get the money for the tickets until after the event or you know, each month and sometimes you need to pay artists or pay the venue and things like that before the event starts. So you know, where do you get that money from? So currently with invention, you get the money right away. And then we actually just bill for the ticketing fees afterwards in whichever those top five fiat currencies that they were using.

Rob McNealy
So someone bought a ticket with crypto though the event organizer right now would receive the crypto itself or would they.

Ashton Addison
They would receive the crypto directly into their wallet and the system because we’re not a money transmitter. We don’t have a system to like track. You know, settle that into cash for them. So if they pay with Bitcoin, they’re collecting Bitcoin, hopefully they hold on to it and the price goes up or maybe they want to manage their funds right away and and sell it. And in that case, you know, the fees are are just in American and it’s a very small percentage. So it’s just easier for us because we have to pay our expenses right away to keep it in fit.

Rob McNealy
So what, where do you see the biggest growth like geographically Canada, North America, Asia?

Ashton Addison
Yeah, um, well, with our system so far, you know, besides our marketing efforts have been targeting North America and Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia seems very progressive on the cryptocurrency, you know, legislation, adoption of it. There’s huge numbers of people there. So yeah, we’ve had events in Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Tokyo, Taiwan, Hong Kong. It seems to be growing very rapidly. And so that’s been pretty But also just throughout America and Canada as well, since we’re based in Canada, you can’t forget about the homeland here. And we want to make sure that everyone there is doing great events on event chain as well. So those have been the top two spots so far.

Rob McNealy
What are your goals are how many events do you want to do in 2020?

Ashton Addison
I would say we need to nail down a bunch more large size festivals that have you know, 10,000 plus attendees. If we can get a handful of those, and then some eSports arenas, we’re already ticketing some sports arenas that do smaller events. But the scale of the sports is growing so quickly right now that some of these events have 10s of thousands of people. And as well, we’re working on a streaming integration platform, so that if you have people that are watching the esports event from from their home, they can know the organizers have the ability to pay well that and sell a ticket to exclusive content, which can open it up to hundreds of thousands of people. There’s no capacity proceeding. So that’s another thing that we’re working on for 2020.

Rob McNealy
Wow, that’s really kind of cool. I’m, I’m really interested in what you’re doing. Do you guys have your own token?

Ashton Addison
We do have an EventChain token as well that we’ve created. Right now it can be used to pay for tickets. And we’re working on building an incentivization and rewards platform for that, where if you create events, you’re incentivized with the token. And if you share content, go to events, engage with the event organizers, after or during the event. You’ll be incentivized. So that’s something that’s supposed to be coming in in 2020 as well.

Rob McNealy
Is your token currently traded anywhere?

Ashton Addison
Yes, traded on a couple third party exchanges, some smaller exchanges like murca talks to live coin and decentralized exchanges as well.

Rob McNealy
So what’s the symbol

Ashton Addison
EVC. It’s on coin market cap and you can check it out there.

Rob McNealy
Very cool. Passion. Where can people find out more?

Ashton Addison
The easiest way is to go to event chain.io or go to go dot event chain.io, which is where all of our corporate information is. And we do have information on each category of events, everything from festivals, to nonprofits to, to eSports, or join our telegram t.me slash event chain. And our whole team is there to help support and answer any questions that you guys have. And, you know, feel free to create an event. Even if you’re just a local Bitcoin meetup organizer in your country, you can create events on event change.io for free for free events and you don’t even have to talk to us. But of course, come into the chat and we will be there for support. And you can accept cryptocurrencies, if you want to accept Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ripple any kind of crypto, we’re one of the only systems that accept crypto and fiat all together in one package, and we would love to support people’s events moving forward.

Rob McNealy
Ashton, thank you so much. I’ve enjoyed this conversation a lot.

Ashton Addison
Thank you so much Rob.

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