If you’ve ever had to search for a gig ticket at the last minute, or had to sell your own one on, you know the drill: go to the gig’s Facebook event page and try to find a buyer or seller, or turn to the ticket issuer’s own resale platform.

It’s a painful process; the ticketing industry is rife with gatekeeping companies and exorbitant commission fees, with fans treated as mere customers, devoid of any sense of community. As a result, people see tickets to a gig or a sports event as a transactional tool—and not as a medium that unlocks new experiences.

Founded in 2017, YellowHeart, a blockchain-based ticketing platform, promises to fix the broken $72 billion ticketing industry — an industry that hasn’t innovated beyond static QR barcodes — by leveraging Web 3 tools and ethos to put community at the heart of the whole process. It’s an end-to-end solution that works out better than traditional alternatives for everyone involved: fans, venues, and artists.

Now the next step in the evolution of ticketing is here, with the launch of NFT platform YellowHeart Protocol and its token HRTS (pronounced "hearts"). It's the first project to launch on Bittrex Global’s IEO platform, Bittrex Global Starting Block, with the HRTS token sale kicking off on May 10 at 13:00 UTC (for non-US residents only). "We’re excited for the future of the YellowHeart Protocol, and think the addition of the HRTS token to the Bittrex Global ecosystem will add significant value for all of our users," Chris Sinkey, Listing Director and Chief Business Officer at Bittrex Global, told Decrypt.

“I’ve always loved music. And when I got super into crypto, I thought, ‘What if I could start a company where we release tickets on the blockchain and solve all the problems I’m having as a music fan?’,” Josh Katz, CEO and co-founder of YellowHeart, told Decrypt. “I would try to get tickets to so many shows as a live music fan, but then they would sell out immediately. People would upcharge them for an insane price. So everybody's getting ripped off, there's counterfeit tickets, and it's just a big mess.” But if you do it on the blockchain, Katz thought, then the artists, venues and fans can all have a say.

It’s all possible because YellowHeart’s technology offering is built on a rotating barcode — to ensure that the ticket holder is the only one redeeming — verifiable via Ethereum sidechain Polygon. In this way, the platform replaces the ticketing industry’s middlemen with a novel, trustless community-oriented model.

YellowHeart issues tickets as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which fans can buy through the YellowHeart app just as they would traditional tickets. But blockchain technology enables YellowHeart to offer a number of innovative features that are impractical for traditional ticketing companies.

One of the coolest—and currently underutilized—features of NFT technology is token-gating: by holding a specific NFT, you can have access to exclusive files or content made available only to those who hold that token. YellowHeart leverages this NFT capability to allow artists to communicate directly with their fans, share airdrops and photos with them—ahead of the gig or even after the gig.

"It’s all about artists, teams and fans having a symbiotic relationship."

Josh Katz

But it’s not just community engagement that makes it a compelling proposition. NFTs allow for a seamless revenue-sharing model so that artists get a cut of each secondary sale, because royalties are coded into the project’s smart contract. YellowHeart enables a similar model for venues and artists. For venues and artists who get no compensation for their efforts after the first sale under the existing ticketing industry, it’s a massive deal — especially considering the secondary ticket sale market is projected to reach $9.7 billion by 2027, according to research from Brand Essence.

Although YellowHeart is a blockchain-based platform, users don’t have to be a blockchain whizz to be able to use it. It’s as simple as downloading an app on your cell phone and paying for tickets with a credit card. For those who prefer to buy tickets with crypto, the platform also has integrations with MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet.

It’s not just the music industry that’s set to be disrupted by NFT tickets; YellowHeart’s solution works in any context where ticketing makes sense, from soccer matches to business conferences.

As a founding member of YellowHeart Protocol, YellowHeart has launched a battle-tested platform that's already been used by top-notch artists like Kings of Leon, Maroon 5, and XXXTentacion, and organizations including The Big East Conference, Burnley Football Club, MGM Resorts in Las Vegas, the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 

"In the future, YellowHeart Protocol will drive a peer-to-peer powered community."

Josh Katz

Katz told Decrypt that the release of YellowHeart Protocol's token HRTS is a watershed moment for the larger ticketing ecosystem. “In the future, YellowHeart Protocol will drive a peer-to-peer powered community. We couldn't be more excited to work with the community of founding members on future use cases of the token. And as a founding member, YellowHeart is one player that will help usher in this new era of a decentralized universe,” he said.

Although users can buy NFT tickets on YellowHeart Protocol with the US dollar, the platform will offer preferential pricing to those who use HRTS, which can also be staked to compound holdings. Users will also be rewarded with HRTS for milestones such as registration, first purchase, first ticket redemption, and first NFT resale on the secondary market. There are also affiliate bounties for successful friend referrals that the platform pays out in HRST.

Users will soon be able to purchase HRTS through YellowHeart Protocol partner Bittrex Global Starting Block. The token sale will launch at 1pm UTC on May 10.

A buzzing community is already forming on the Discord server, and you can also follow regular updates from YellowHeart through its Twitter page as the token sale fast approaches.

"The peer-to-peer NFT evolution of live events, music and so much more is underway," Katz told Decrypt. "It’s all about artists, teams and fans having a symbiotic relationship."

Sponsored post by YellowHeart

Learn More about partnering with Decrypt.

Daily Debrief Newsletter

Start every day with the top news stories right now, plus original features, a podcast, videos and more.