Editor’s note: WRAL TechWire’s newest contributor is Dr. Sarah Glova, a globally recognized speaker, successful entrepreneur, university instructor, and business consultant. A seasoned educator and entrepreneur, Sarah is CEO of the award-winning digital media firm, Reify Media, With a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology and a Master of Science in Technical Communication, she is dedicated to cultivating forward-thinking work environments.


RALEIGH – Ticketmaster came under fire from Eurovision fans yesterday as hopeful buyers grappled with technical difficulties while attempting to purchase tickets for the popular singing competition. The tickets sold out in record time, but numerous fans reported experiencing technical difficulties such as being kicked off the site or receiving error messages. 

As someone who recently endured a nine-hour virtual queue on Ticketmaster to secure Taylor Swift concert tickets, I can sympathize with their frustration.

What if—instead of Ticketmaster brokering concert tickets (and keeping at least 15 percent of my $300 ticket for themselves)—I could have bought an NFT directly from Taylor?

NFT is short for “non-fungible token.” Each NFT has its own distinct code or metadata that distinguishes it from other tokens. These digital assets often rely on blockchain technology to verify their uniqueness and ownership.

Dr. Campbell Harvey, a Professor of Finance at Duke University, posed this question of NFTs as concert tickets at a Hyperledger meetup in Raleigh last month. (To be clear, he didn’t mention Taylor Swift specifically—but I think that situation definitely applies.)

Dr. Campbell Harvey | Photo from Kaleido

By the way, here’s how Wikipedia defines Hyperledger: “Hyperledger (or the Hyperledger Project) is an umbrella project of open source blockchains and related tools, started in December 2015 by the Linux Foundation,[1] and has received contributions from IBM, Intel and SAP Ariba, to support the collaborative development of blockchain-based distributed ledgers. It was renamed Hyperledger Foundation in October 2021.”

“It’s an obvious application of nonfungible tokens or NFTs,” said Harvey during his lightning talk. “NFT’s unique token is the event, the venue, the date, the seat, and the user experience is pretty similar to actually having a digital ticket on your smartphone.”

Harvey argued that this technology could not only reduce the broker’s cut—for example, Ticketmaster’s share of my Eras Tour ticket—it would also enable other features.

“​​If the ticket is resold, then you can build, into the NFT, a royalty,” said Harvey. “So on the resale of the ticket, the artist and venue, let’s say, gets 10 percent.”

Artificial intelligence industry is out of control, requires regulation, Duke researcher warns

That built-in resale revenue of the NFT-style ticket could be incredible, considering Taylor Swift tickets like mine have resold for thousands. 

Harvey also pointed out that the NFT could enable a community—one that doesn’t have the barrier of a third party like Ticketmaster. 

“Once we get this NFT community, the artists can interact directly with the fans, and you create this community that wasn’t possible before,” said Harvey. 

He suggested that artists could drop secrets about future concerts or airdrop new songs. 

“And this is just a straight use of blockchain technology,” said Harvey.

There’s more to come on this subject: Web3 Innovation in the Triangle. Watch for Glova’s next column.