Event tickets as verifiable credentials
This article explains how verifiable credentials can be used to benefit event organizers and visitors alike based on a practical usage of the Lissi team.
Currently, the majority of event tickets are issued in paper form or as .pdf files, which contain the relevant information about the event as well as the visitor. However, since these files can be easily transferred to another person, a personalisation of the ticket in combination with a verification of an identity document at the entrance is required to ensure that the buyer and visitor are the same person. This creates unnecessary overhead and complications for both the visitor and organizer. Therefore, we propose using verifiable credentials to avoid ticket scalping and provide direct access to online resources with the ticket.
Benefits of using verifiable credentials for tickets
- Ownership binding and verifiability — tickets are bound to a specific owner and are not transferable
- Prevention of ticket fraud — tickets are digitally signed by an issuer
- Usage of the ticket for authentication (e.g. to access a digital stream, online presentations etc.) — Your ticket is your username and password!
- Avoiding ticket scalping and ticket bots and therefore retain control over the secondary market — tickets are bound to a specific person and are not transferable
- Directly communicate with a user in a messenger like way — a peer-to-peer connection between the event organizer or ticketing provider is being established and can be used for the exchange of further information
- Cheap and convenient user identification and the possibility to verify multiple credentials at the same time (e.g. ticket, covid test, studentID, etc.)
How it works:
The user registers for an event via a website. For our pilot integration we used an established ticketing provider for the registration process. However, this process can also be fully executed based on decentralized identifiers and verifiable credentials. We sent an e-mail containing the required steps to derive the ticket into a wallet, which supports verifiable credentials. The following screens illustrate the process of receiving the ticket and presenting it to a verifier such as an access control authority at a physical event.
The verification process
As illustrated in the flow the access authority presents an QR-code, which is scanned by the visitor. Once scanned with the wallet, the visitor is requested to share his or her ticket (as well as additional information if required). Given the visitor agrees to share the information the verification status (valid / invalid) is presented as well as the attributes of the ticket. The access authority can use any device, which supports a web application (such as an laptop, mobile phone etc.) to verify the tickets of the visitor.
Our experience with verifiable tickets
We used verifiable tickets as part of our monthly Between the Towers event series. It was visited by around 70 people. While the download of the Lissi Wallet and derivation of the verifiable ticket was optional, more than 90 percent of visitors got the verifiable ticket in advance. While there were minor user experience issues (mainly due to work profiles on the phone) the vast majority of visitors were very satisfied with the user experience.
During the verification process most of the users started to show the verifiable credential within the wallet instead of directly scanning the QR-code presented, because the concept of scanning a QR-code to present a credential isn’t intuitive to users yet. However, once users present a credential with the wallet they understand how the process works.
Possible expansion for future events:
- Identification of the visitor in advance of the ticket purchase.
- Issuance of a picture of the visitor as part of the ticket.
- Usage of the ticket for the authentication (login) to an online platform.
- Communication with the visitor
- Provision of further information to the visitor via direct communication channel
- Usage of the ticket for discounted access (e.g. 10 % discount for the ticket next year)
If you are interested in diving deeper into the topic, the research paper “Exploring the use of self‑sovereign identity for event ticketing systems” by Simon Feulner, Johannes Sedlmeir, Vincent Schlatt and Nils Urbach will provide a great overview.
We would be delighted to hear your ideas about the usage of verifiable tickets in your next events. Write us about your event idea via firstname.lastname@example.org
Lissi provides convenient applications for companies and organizations to receive, organize and share trusted data from end users while respecting privacy and data sovereignty. This includes the Lissi Wallet as well as our applications for organisations. You can find more information on our Website.