Ticketmaster buys a blockchain company to guard against ticket fraud

It might not reassure skeptical concert-goers.

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GreenPimp via Getty Images
GreenPimp via Getty Images

Ticketmaster will soon have another way to fight bogus ticket sales: by hopping on one of the biggest tech bandwagons of 2018. It's acquiring Upgraded, a company that melds blockchain's distributed trust with encrypted barcodes to minimize the fraud you sometimes see with paper-based or PDF tickets. You'll have a clearer sense of when a concert pass is legitimate, while event holders will have more of a grip on where their tickets are going.

Ticketmaster told Engadget it didn't have a definitive time frame for integrating Upgraded's solution.

The buyout doesn't come at a great time for Ticketmaster. It's still grappling with accusations of recruiting pro scalpers for ticket sales -- the company has explicitly denied any such strategy, but it's bound to leave customers wondering if fraud prevention should take a backseat to reestablishing trust. And while the blockchain technology should be useful on some level, it's not yet certain just how public-facing it is. If it's only implemented behind the scenes, it won't amount to much more than a database upgrade.

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