Verifiable Credentials to streamline the events and ticketing industry

SSI for events-1

The ticketing industry has been in the press this week for failing to provide loyal and “Verified Fans” the early access to tickets they deserve. New types of data files, known as Verifiable Credentials, are here to help, enabling punters to easily present verified identity information to secure the process of buying tickets and entering events. Here’s how.

We’ve grown too accustomed to the way events handle ticketing. Long queues, ticket touts, and ticket handling fees are all part of the scenery if we were attending a gig, sports event or festival.

Every time we register for an event or purchase a ticket, we are constantly providing the same information over and over again. Meanwhile, each time we attend an event, the organisers need to spend time and money verifying our name, ticket validity and sometimes our age.

This process is repetitive, insecure, costly and, most importantly, easily avoidable. The use of Verifiable Credentials (VC) – a tamper-evident data file with a set of claims about a person, organisation, or thing that can be cryptographically verified – is poised to streamline the entire events industry. Using VCs, however, it would be far more difficult for bots and scalpers to get the requisite level of trust necessary to bulk-buy and resell tickets, while event-goers will be able to prove trusted attributes about themselves and a level of reputation that they are who they claim to be.

Problem one: Scalpers

Taylor Swift has been in the news this week for the wrong reasons. The release of tickets for her latest tour has been met with a clear demonstration of one of the events industry’s biggest issues: ticket scalpers and bots.

Just minutes after the pre-sale release, her face-value tickets, which cost between $49 and $449 each, had sold out, Ticketmaster had crashed; and simultaneously, on the secondary market, the same tickets were being resold and flipped for as much as US$22,700 (£19,100) each.

This is not a one-off. It is a problem that has consistently plagued the ticketing industry. This can be shown by the research conducted at Distil Research Labs, which concluded that bot activity was estimated to be behind 42.2% of activity in online ticket sales.

There have been attempts to resolve the issue. For example, in 2017, Ticketmaster introduced a new scheme for “Verified Fans”, where the most clued-in fans could pre-register their personal information for the event prior to the tickets coming on sale. Through this process, lucky fans would receive an email with a presale code to access an early-bird ticket sale.

This process was in effect for the Taylor Swift gig, however, bots had been able to register themselves with fake names and fake email addresses in advance, skirting around the extra measures put in place.

The issue here is that becoming a “Verified Fan” does not actually “Verify” your identity in any way, it relies on self-attestations.

Problem two: Security

There is a lack of security around ensuring the identity of the attendees of an event because the existing process is too clunky. It usually involves one physical ticket or digital QR code PLUS a physical identity document check. More recently, it may even involve a Covid vaccination certificate.

Since traditional tickets aren’t tied to an identity, bouncers and door staff are tasked with the role of ascertaining people’s identities. This is expensive for the organisers, inefficient as it causes long queues, and ultimately, insecure.

Various UK YouTubers such as Niko Omilana, Max Fosh and The Zac & Jay Show have shown how farcical the existing ticketing system is by creating videos of themselves sneaking their way through bouncers into various events. The most telling was Max Fosh getting into the International Security Expo in London, armed with only a fake lanyard and a strut of confidence.

This is potentially a huge risk vector for event organisers, which they need a new answer for.

Additionally, due to the lack of options to prove your identity, around 10,000 passports are lost each year while on a night out in a bar or club in the UK, according to the Identity and Passport Service (IPS). It makes little sense that there is no digital way to represent the same identity data or level of trust for entering a venue.

Verifiable Credentials to the rescue

Verifiable Credentials are a new digital standard from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to create a more trustworthy way of holding and presenting data. From a more technical lens, VCs are tamper-evident data files with a set of claims about a person, organisation, or thing that can be cryptographically verified. Using Verifiable Credentials, it would be possible to reduce the risk of identity fraud, ticket scalpers and unauthorised access to events.

This is because a Verifiable Credential that has been issued to you from a trustworthy party is:

  1. Verifiable: affording a much higher degree of trust than something like Ticketmasters’ “Verified Fan” service, which is self-attested.
  2. Tamper-evident: meaning it’s much more difficult to fake or copy without being caught out.
  3. Reputable: You can combine credentials from multiple sources to present a digital reputation, not just an attestation.

For example, if a music artist issues you a VC for being a loyal fan, this becomes something that cannot be replicated as easily by a bot and becomes far more meaningful. Event organisers could then create a gated presale, requesting trusted attestations from multiple sources – requesting, for example:

  1. A loyal fan credential issued by a band; and
  2. A credential for authenticating with a social media platform

Having both of these would make it much more difficult for bots and scalpers to be included in the presale. For more high-profile events or with higher risk involved, you could request additional higher Level of Assurance (LoA) credentials, such as:

  1. A credential issued by a bank or government (trusted third party); or
  2. A credential issued by an employer attesting to your name and identity.

Therefore, with digital credentials, it becomes a lot harder to fake your way into an event, or scalp tickets, since you need to prove a level of reputation to get them in the first place. Currently, it is easy to spin up a new identifier like an email, but Verifiable Credentials make it much harder to fake a digital reputation.

Verifiable Credentials in action

From theory to action, to illustrate how easy this solution is, cheqd demoed how VCs could address this exact issue at Internet Identity Week (IIW). In this demo, Verifiable Credentials were used to combine: a verified identity; and an event ticket into one QR code proof.

Check out the demo recording here, or feel free to have a go yourself at

Learn from the demo how you could:

  1. Sign in to a web-based application using a wallet (in this case, the Cosmos-based Keplr wallet)
  2. Prove your identity with a social media account (authentication)
  3. Get a credential with your name and social media details
  4. Add your event ticket to your wallet, providing a QR code
  5. Present your event ticket alongside your name and social media details.
pasted image 0

The combined proof could be shown on the door of the event to securely “scan in”. This would hugely reduce the amount of time needed to physically check identity documentation and would make it much more secure for event organisers, who could rely on a combined proof of “identity” plus an “event ticket”, all issued by trusted third parties. 

You can play with the cheqd wallet and get yourself a credential here

You can learn more about Verifiable Credentials here and their interaction with Decentralised Identifiers (DIDs)


Using Verifiable Credentials would greatly streamline the events and ticketing industry, solving some of the core problems that have been causing huge financial losses and frustrating punters over the past decade.

Firstly, requesting Verifiable Credentials in a ticket sale would make it far more difficult for bots and scalpers to get the requisite level of trust necessary to bulk-buy tickets and resell them.

Secondly, using Verifiable Credentials to enter an event venue would streamline the process, reducing queue times and giving organisers a greater level of confidence in who is attending the event.

Overall, the technology is developing quickly, and we at cheqd are ready to provide the backbone and network for the growing adoption of Verifiable Credentials for events, with Decentralised Identifiers anchored on the cheqd network. If this blog resonates with you and you are in the events industry, please get in touch with our partnerships team here, or you can try out our SDK for issuing and verifying credentials here!

NFT and SSI: unlocking a new gaming experience

NFT and SSI in gaming

Non-fungible tokens (NFT) and self-sovereign identity (SSI) combined unlock a whole new gaming experience. In summary, NFTs are fantastic to capture uniqueness and scarcity, whereas SSI is perfect for storing and updating characteristics, especially when those characteristics are specific to the player. Here’s how.

Imagine porting progress/experience and items between games. No longer are downloadable content (DLCs) locked into one platform, and your progress in one game can let you skip the initial tortuous grind of another (but only if you want to, some just love the grind!). 

But first, Pokemon. Yep, pokemon, that’s where we’re starting.

So far, there have been ~122 (122!) games across eight generations spanning 26 years. When compared to the universe of games, pokemon is quite unique in that a character (let’s include pokemon in the definition of game characters) can be transferred from the very first game to the most recent with its stats and moves maintained. 

Now, it’s by no means easy as the image below shows, but how many other games could make this claim?!


This means that progress (or at least part of it) you have made in one game can be ported across to another without having to start from scratch. 

Imagine a world where the Charizard you have raised across games takes on Link from the Legend of Zelda, at the height of his powers, in Super Smash Bros. Suddenly, the possibilities are so much greater, and the potential for an emotional bond is so much stronger.

Super Smash Bros. cheqd blog

[Super Smash Bros. but with the Charizard, you trained since you were a teen!]

Source: YouTube Dr. Mel

On a side note, since the bulk of the gameplay revolves around collecting and curating, a key mechanic is scarcity. Starting with starter and legendary pokemon then more recently to shiny pokemon with the peak being event-specific pokemon, i.e. a player has to attend an event either physically or virtually to secure said pokemon. 

[Armoured Mewtwo, yep, that exists.]

Source: Event_Pokémon

Now, replace the word pokemon above with Bored Apes, Flufs or <insert your favourite> and see any parallels?

NFTs are fantastic to capture uniqueness and scarcity whereas self-sovereign identity (SSI) is perfect for storing and updating characteristics, especially when those characteristics are specific to the player such as in experience in first-person shooters like Counter-Strike (CS) or Call of Duty (CoD). Primary and secondary markets already exist for in-game skins across the likes of CoD, CS and Rust. 

Imagine gaming where your progress/skins/items can be ported across to another whether for use or simply to give you a headstart. Where you can port your favourite weapon from CoD Modern Warfare into CS Global Offensive or Ronaldinho from Fifa Street to play for Mansfield Town in the latest Pro Evo or Football Manager or Peter Crouch shooting hoops NBA 2K22.

NFTs can replace DLC items so that they can be ported between games or ecosystems whilst maintaining their scarcity. SSI can then bridge achievements and experience, so progress is no longer lost once you stop playing a game and move on to the next in the genre. Axie Infinity achieves this but only inside their own ecosystem, it’s a start but there is much further to go. 

This portability will have a colossal impact on the creator economy. The value of creations will drastically increase if they can be ported and used across multiple ecosystems. The Roblox economy paid out $250m to creators in 2020, imagine that number if those creations could be used across any other game/ecosystem.

Whilst elements of this vision have been built, we are now seeing it rapidly come together, thanks to NFTs and SSI as the base technologies but also firms like the following:

As we fast track towards the metaverse, NFT and SSI applications within the gaming and beyond will be rapidly growing. Speaking of the metaverse, find out why SSI and metaverse is a new super-power

Would you like to join the cheqd partnership ecosystem and benefit from a self-sovereign identity for your gaming / NFT / metaverse platform? Join Crucible and many others taking this leap into what will define the next hype train in web3.0. Contact: [email protected] for more information.

Metaverse and self-sovereign identity (SSI): new superpower?

Metaverse and self-sovereign identity (SSI) new superpower

Co-authored by Elina Yumasheva and Alex Tweeddale.

The metaverse is a new buzzword that has been doing the rounds, but what does it actually mean and how is it going to change everyday life? Besides an exciting front side of virtual reality (VR) element that everybody could at least vaguely relate to, there are a lot of other interesting developments, particularly around the digital economy and trusted interactions enabled through digital and self-sovereign identity (SSI). In this blog, we explore the symbiosis of the two hottest technologies – metaverse and self-sovereign identity – and how they fit within Web 3.0.

Let’s define what metaverse is first

Originated from Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi novel Snow Crash in 1992, metaverse “refers to a convergence of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online space”.

We recently came across the below graphic, which explains what a metaverse is in quite simple terms.

Is my project a metaverse?

is my project a metaverse

The metaverse is a concept that goes beyond the current paradigm for gametech or social media. It is more about replicating the physical world in the digital context and enabling similar interactions to what we experience in our day-to-day lives.

However, anyone who thinks of the metaverse as a new concept, or something that warrants serious professional coverage, doesn’t truly understand what it represents. The metaverse is at its heart, the vision of cyberpunks to remove themselves from the corporate, materialistic world; and replace it with a safer space, for any type of person to thrive, and live a second, digital life. The metaverse represents the antithesis of a revenue opportunity, the opposite of media coverage.

Metaverse and Web 3.0

Lawrence Lessig, in his book Code 2.0 (2006), began laying the foundation of what the metaverse consists of. In this instance, he called it ‘cyberspace’. He begins by comparing it (Web 3.0) to the internet or (Web 2.0). 

What does Lessig refer to as the internet (Web 2.0)?

“The Internet is a medium of communication. People do things “on” the Internet. Most of those things are trivial, even if important. People pay bills on the Internet, they make reservations at restaurants. They get their news from the Internet. They send news to family members using e-mail or IM chat. These uses are important in the sense that they affect the economy and make life easier and harder for those using the Internet. But they’re not important in the sense that they change how people live.”

What does Lessig refer to as cyberspace (Metaverse and Web 3.0)?

“Cyberspace, by contrast, is not just about making life easier. It is about making life different, or perhaps better. It is about making a different (or second) life. It evokes, or calls to life, ways of interacting that were not possible before. I don’t mean that the interaction is new—we’ve always had communities; these communities have always produced something close to what I will describe cyberspace to have produced. But these cyberspace communities create a difference in degree that has matured into a difference in kind. There is something unique about the interactions in these spaces, and something especially unique about how they are regulated. Life in cyberspace is regulated primarily through the code of cyberspace.”

This distinction hits the core of what a metaverse intends to be. It is a new way of interacting and forming communities in digital spaces. And this concept overlaps heavily with a more familiar concept of gametech, which can be used to facilitate social activities as well as economies in the metaverse.

Digital identity in the metaverse

When people conceptualise the metaverse, they tend to think of a digital video game, with assets and avatars from different titles blended into one community space. And largely, gaming will be a large part of the metaverse, but the real innovation comes in how these gaming elements, avatars, people, items and environments come together.

Whether within the gaming industry or beyond, verified and interoperable data will be paramountly important in the metaverse. This can apply on many levels – from original identity verification, when somebody just creates a user profile (not very different to the existing processes), to endless transactions within the metaverse, such as the ability to move your avatar or digital objects/assets from one dimension of a metaverse to another.

Authentic data ‘Credentials’ could tie in verified records of the players’ accomplishments in a game, giving that player a permanent, verifiable copy of their in-game accomplishments and rank which they can carry with them on their metaverse journey. We believe the addition of Verifiable Credentials to establish trust in avatars, profiles and in-game items will become an essential piece of the metaverse toolbox.

The metaverse is like concept art, it’s easy to visualise, but it isn’t going to materialise overnight; rather it will take a transition process with many participants developing exclusive or integrating its elements in their offerings over time. This makes it by its very essence a very decentralised concept. Therefore, and in line with the Web 3.0 vision, its requirement for identity verification and trusted data elements should also be fully decentralised.

Self-sovereign identity is an emerging concept that centres the control of information around the user, which in the context of the metaverse, makes it something more desirable than the way data is currently stored. SSI has the potential to solve data security and privacy issues, as it removes the need to store personal information on a central database, and gives individuals control over what information they store and share. This level of verified, and decentralised trust, will be essential in combining data elements together for a unified and open metaverse.

The metaverse is something to seriously take note of, but one needs to understand its roots and what it stands for. It’s about privacy, control, openness and interoperability. The metaverse needs to be designed on open standards – with SSI and verifiable credentials hopefully playing a pivotal role here.