SeatGeek hired Greg Warden as VP of Engineering, suggesting a potential plan to capitalize on the future potential of blockchain ticketing. Warden joins the New York ticket resale marketplace and burgeoning prime operator from Chainalysis where he worked with the same title.
“We used Greg’s experience and expertise to revolutionize legacy enterprise software,” said Brian Murphy, CTO of SeatGeek, in a press release from the company announcing the discontinuation. “Greg will help us with our mission to bring the old ways of ticketing into the 21st century.
According to the announcement, Chainalysis is a “top analysis company for crypto and blockchain technology”. Warden will lead the enterprise engineering teams “as they continue to develop new technology to change what a ticket can be.”
Based on previous media comments, this could very well be a move towards using blockchain technology to effectively deprive consumers of their rights to do anything with tickets that SeatGeek’s customers do not want them to allow. In April, Eric Waller, SeatGeek’s chief product officer, made clear the company’s plans for such an ecosystem with its enterprise customers.
“I think what many teams are most happy about is that if we put our tickets on the blockchain, we can charge a license fee for every resale and we can always know who is sitting in each seat,” he told SportTechie in April. “I think that’s something we hope to achieve at some point.”
Implementing such a technology would hardly be the first attempt by rights holders to use technology to monopolize ticketing operations. Think of Ticketmaster’s rotating SafeTix barcodes, as well as other paperless systems used by AXS that emerged from FlashSeats.
Numerous states have taken steps to protect consumer ticket rights from such technological systems, including SeatGeek’s New York home state. Rightsholders are not allowed to sell paperless tickets without allowing consumers to purchase tickets in a freely transferable manner without the consent of the primary marketplace or rights holder. Connecticut, Virginia, and Colorado all have similar laws in place, with numerous states considering such protections each year, against fierce lobbying from rightsholders and primary ticket operators alike – SeatGeek is likely to join in as it moves further towards the Blockchain Monoploly business offering for its Monoploly business offering Corporate customers.
SeatGeek is currently the premier ticket seller for the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Pelicans, Cleveland Cavaliers, Manchester City FC, and a number of Major League Soccer clients and theaters.