A reflection on the activity and progress made at GET Protocol in 2021
As another year comes to a close, we’re given a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the progress made across the protocol and the wider blockchain space in 2021. Unlike past monthly blogs, we’ll be touching upon the wider objectives at play over the past year and delve into each month’s biggest updates.
By the end of this blog, new and existing community members should be completely up to speed with where we began the year, what we discovered along the way and where the protocol stands as we head into 2022.
So without further ado, get cozy, toast some marshmallows and sit by the fire with a nice whisky as we crack into 2021’s year in review!
Saturday 28 November 2015 11:15 AM was my lightbulb moment; tickets registered on chain to prove authenticity. Quite certain I wasn’t the first to come up with the idea, but I was in a position to act on it and after sharing the idea with my (now) co-founders that is exactly what we did.
These six years have been an incredible experience in many ways. Reiterating and expanding the original idea and business cases, forming the DNA of our organization and coming up with a feasible way to make our vision a reality;
All that remains is building, expanding and maintaining bulletproof, battle tested applications that handle more transactions per second than Amazon and can service anybody on the planet simultaneously in a cost effective and user friendly way. We're on our way…
Even during a worldwide pandemic, we’ve sold more tickets than the year before and we’ll continue to do so. Our organisation is growing up and we’ve had some incredible new additions to our talented team from all over the world. Our applications continue to improve each sprint and we’ve welcomed a lot of new customers.
For the coming year you should not expect us to participate in the battle for attention from short term traders, disinterested influencers or centralized exchanges. Needless to say, we welcome all attention and make sure all relevant information is available for everybody interested. Opening up the road to short term attention without true adoption is like the Flappy Bird game; you need to keep pushing the button to keep flying. Every time with a bigger hyperbole than before. It doesn’t last. We are here to stay and we are here to make sure the fundamentals of our project create more utility value and demand for the GET token. When (not if) we succeed, the price will follow.
With the tide pulling back, it will become clear whom are swimming naked (projects that purely have momentum due to the high/token inflated APYs). If the tide comes out for us it will become clear we are not swimming naked and that our product still works and thrives.
After every success and failure I couldn’t escape the feeling of ”We’re just getting started” and now more than ever I have this feeling. We still need to dot a lot of i’s and cross a lot of t’s, but fact of the matter is that we’ve succeeded in verifying product market fit on all levels; GUTS, GET White-label and the Digital Twin. Rest assured, we’ll keep on managing our cash position prudently, expanding our digital events strategy, keep building and prepare for the rocket fuel phase that is upon us once this pandemic is over.
With this thought in mind, let’s transport ourselves back to the beginning of this year and go chronologically through the months of 2021.
When entering 2021 we already had the benefit of 4+ years of ticketing experience under our belts, both as an infrastructure provider through GET Protocol and a ticket issuer through GUTS Tickets. Our white-label had picked up steam throughout 2020 and we were confident that we had nailed down a product market fit that was desirable and beneficial for all legitimate parties in the ticketing chain.
Thanks to this, our goal for 2021 became evident:
To elevate GET Protocol from a robust curated ticketing system into a global infrastructure that could handle ticketing at volume and serve a large number of varied ticketing integrators with a decentralised protocol at its core.
The aim of the game was scaling.
We’ve always prided ourselves on registering the ownership of tickets on-chain, after all that is the core engine that drives our infrastructure and ambitions. Since our inception, the methods of on-chain registration have evolved - from a typical solidity smart contract to a finite state machine, our real world ticketing usage has allowed us to get an innate understanding of the requirements and tooling necessary for all of this to come alive.
Whilst these registration methods were an innovation to the norm (particularly from 2016 onwards) we knew that it was time to take our ticketing up a notch and NFTs represented the perfect vehicle to turn tickets into blockchain native assets that could be issued across the globe whilst redefining the capabilities of what a ticket could offer.
The first two months of the year began with a lot of discovery as we continued to work on the execution of our NFT infrastructure. Our blockchain lead, Kasper had laid the tracks for this well beforehand in 2020 and as the first quarter of 2021 was underway, we knew that there would only be a few months left until we could finally bring NFT ticketing to fruition.
Aside from development, one of our primary items on the agenda for the new year was to deprecate an older part of the $GET tokenomic system called the Stability Fund. You can read more about the Stability Fund's role here.
The SF was deemed redundant due to the fortuitous situation of deep liquidity for $GET on decentralised exchanges, providing a more than ample environment for future top ups by ticketing integrators.
During our ICO in 2017, we made the promise that the $GET within the stability fund would not touch the circulating supply and was purely a liquidity reserve placed when we set out on our mission.
In order to uphold our commitment we conducted a burn of 10,000,000 $GET from the stability fund which at the time of burn was worth $62,667,423.
You can see this for yourself here:
Team Note - Colby
When the founding team started out in 2016, the word ‘blockchain’ was a rather foreign notion. The industry was a tiny slither of what it is today and anyone trying to interface blockchain with real world operations was looked upon like they’d gone to a board meeting with clown face paint and a squeaky red nose.
You can therefore imagine why the Stability Fund was envisioned in the first place. In 2016 to 2017, the idea of a DEX consisted of IDEX and Radar Relay and by no means is this a rebuke at what they built, on the contrary they helped pave the way for decentralised exchanging. But whether we liked it or not, the concept of an AMM at that time, was exactly that - a concept.
It was anyone’s guess as to what would happen first, high throughput ticketing volume on the protocol or deep liquidity using completely novel DEX systems. Fortunately as we all know now, the execution of DEXs with AMM functionality did come to fruition. Thankfully GET Protocol has benefited from this as high demand for $GET now has reliable liquidity to draw from.
It was therefore with great pleasure that we could deprecate the SF, it felt like a momentous moment not just for the protocol, but a reflection opportunity for us as a team to back and see how far the space has come. Also a fun fact, when we executed the burn transaction for the stability fund, we realised it was within the top 5 highest burns in USD for a single transaction (according to Etherscan).
In April we celebrated 5 years since the inception of our ticketing company GUTS Tickets, this marked what we referred to as the ‘the end of the beginning’.
To celebrate we checked in with our four founding fathers (if you’ll pardon the pun) to get their insights into the journey.
You can read their comments in the April blog here: https://medium.com/get-protocol/get-update-april-21-the-end-of-the-beginning-852abc12dd4f
In April we also welcomed a new addition to GET Protocol’s white-label line-up.
Flockey is a Dutch company formed in collaboration by Unlimited Solutions, Forkbeard and EY. The team behind Flockey have experience with proximity monitoring and contact tracing, which they utilised later in May to take charge of the COVID monitoring at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest.
If we were to meet our scaling ambitions, we would need a place to call home for the foreseeable future. This home needed to be:
Able to handle transactional volume with:
Peak throughput - transactional volume at stress points, like large ticket sales.
Overall volume - baseline transactional volume through growing protocol usage.
Cost effective for individual ticket mints.
Tested thoroughly and preferably handling multiple DeFi applications already.
EVM compatible - as our ERC-20 token and current operations laid on Ethereum.
Thankfully we found this home and in May announced our launch on Polygon.
For those unfamiliar, Polygon is a multi-chain scaling solution that combines the best of Ethereum compatibility with fast and scalable infrastructure. Polygon was and still is utilised by reputable projects across the wider DeFi ecosystem. Their team has close knit links to the Ethereum foundation and unwavering commitment to providing extensibility to the Ethereum network itself.
Due to these reasons, the move to Polygon felt like not only the right timing but the right platform to set us up for long term stability.
Team Note - Jack
Coming back to this in December it’s easy to forget the state of the ecosystem back in May. Things were maturing but blockchain platforms were a lot bigger in their promises than they were on the capabilities of their production networks. If you minus a few months to imagine when the discovery of this decision was taking place the landscape will have been thin. Considering that the network we chose would be the one we’d be iterating the first batch of products on it was a difficult call to make, but in hindsight the correct one. Even to this day we are able to push tens of thousands of NFT transactions a day in a cost effective manner with good ecosystem connections (Sushi & OpenSea for starters).
As demand increased in the weeks that followed we overhauled our transaction handling to support the demands of our integrators, deep-dives on geth internals with Polygon & Infura, and ending up with a stable API to write NFT tickets on-chain. Because of this effort I believe we have one of the highest capacity and most reliable systems out there for confirming massive amounts of blockchain transactions.
By scaling infrastructure to serve more clients, you’re also increasing the level of trust put on the infrastructure to perform the way it’s intended to. Thankfully, one of the greatest benefits of blockchain is the level of transparency it can provide and as such we knew that it was important to build a platform that emphasised this inherent benefit in a widely understandable and accessible manner.
That’s why less than a month after our launch on Polygon, we released our NFT Ticket Explorer, a tool highly anticipated by our community and a product with over a year's worth of planning and execution.
Take a peak for yourself: https://explorer.get-protocol.io/
So what is the NFT Ticket Explorer?
Much like how a block explorer gives a detailed look at the internal activity of a blockchain, the NFT Ticket Explorer provides a real-time, transparent look at global ticketing activity through GET Protocol. Whether you’re looking for a complete overview of the protocol’s activity or want the granular detail for a specific ticket to track its lifecycle status, the explorer makes it all possible.
The potency of the explorer is that it abstracts away all complexity. Anyone should be able to visit the site and get a real understanding for what is occurring. We’ve purposely kept the details top level, providing enough critical information whilst giving the option of exploring the technicalities in greater detail through a direct link to the underlying blockchain explorer for each ticket.
Frans our product owner envisioned the explorer as almost a living tool, it should feel alive when you’re on the site, with ticket activity updating in real-time, giving you a sense for the real life nature of our infrastructure at work across the globe.
As the explorer has an API, it makes for extracting statistics incredibly easy, anyone can track ticketing volume across a number of lifecycle steps and multiple timeframes. It’s also why from this point onwards in the blog we’ll be highlighting the NFT ticket volume for each month!
In July we welcomed an additional two new white-labellers to the GET Protocol community, Djebber and DeFy Tickets, serving event attendees in the Netherlands and the United States respectively.
Djebber - https://www.djebber.nl/
Djebber hails from the Netherlands and was built by De Keet, a Dutch comedy and cabaret talent agency that have deep rooted connections within the comedy scene in the Netherlands with the likes of Jochem Myjer, Ronald Goedemont, Henry Van Loon and Jasper Van Der Veen as part of their roster.
For Djebber, it is the connection between fans and the artist that they wish to foster and our white-label brings them closer to every single event attendee providing a direct connection through SMS and NFT tickets.
Since integration, Djebber have sold tickets for a number of shows across the Netherlands, particularly for Henry Van Loon and Jasper Van Der Veen. You can see an example here:
DeFy Tickets - https://defytickets.com/
DeFy are based out of Texas, USA and draw from many years of expertise in the technology, finance and events industry. Their co-founders run the ‘Fortress Presents’ events, issuing in the past over 30,000 tickets and working with hundreds of touring artists.
It’s safe to say that 2020 and the beginning of 2021 was a very busy time for all of us on the team. This was particularly evident when viewing our outwards facing content such as our website, which was in dire need of love and attention in order to be brought in line with our latest updates and product releases.
Along with a well overdue polish came a retargeted narrative to align the website with our target clients in mind. In total, this update encompassed:
An entirely new website
A content hub for all blog articles, client stories and industry observations
A technical documentation hub detailing the tokenomic & technical depths of GET Protocol
Which also released at the same time as:
The Digital Twin product release
Digital Twin integrator announcement: Yourticketprovider
I'm almost out of breath from typing that..
Luckily we had great help from our friends at Pathmaven (looking at you Cip and Lucian), a bespoke design and branding consultancy firm that whipped up the full vision for the website, design ethos and branding. In doing so they helped us reach our ambitious internal August deadline.
Team Note - Colby:
The hustle and bustle that comes during the creation of content and marketing campaigns is a wonderful feeling. For me it’s due to the structure of these releases, there’s lot of discovery and planning at the forefront that evolves into a grand execution with generally a ‘big payoff’ finish.
It’s rewarding to spend time and effort crafting a new bit of content that you feel passionate about and August’s release was no different. In fact it was the defining campaign for us on the marketing team of 2021. Many late nights were had, from curating blog content and case studies, to polishing the site and content hub’s exterior whilst getting the Digital Twin ready to reveal. It also cannot be understated how momentous of an effort was put in by Jack to code the entire site. Being around team members that have such a dedication to what we’re achieving really makes each and every day at GET Protocol a pleasure. (It also may or may not help that we all share a common bond of having ‘degen’ tendencies).
The many late nights and discovery meetings culminated together until on the last day of August we huddled around our laptops in the office meeting room with nervous excitement, we pushed the trigger and shipped the update for all to see! We hope you liked it.
Until this point in early September, GET Protocol was an infrastructure built around a singular product, our white-label. The white-label is a product with many years of dedicated refinement under its belt, it serves an important purpose for providing a complete ticketing solution for any ticketing company in their local market.
But our ambitions have always been to service the entire ticketing industry, which therefore must include existing ticketing companies that already have complex legacy infrastructure in place. Often for these companies, the mere thought of swapping an entire infrastructure stack along with existing business operations is simply unfeasible. Surely there was a way that we could bring blockchain and NFT benefits to these parties?
As luck would have it, there was! In September we released our Digital Twin product with this specific target audience in mind. The Digital Twin provides a non-invasive method for existing ticketing enterprises to tap into blockchain and NFTs with zero risk to existing business operations.
The Digital Twin grants access to the blockchain and NFT ticketing layer of GET Protocol, providing exploration of NFT tickets for enterprise clients.
Every issued ticket by a digital twin integrator is ‘twinned’ creating an NFT copy that is processed through GET Protocol. This allows these companies to therefore explore the benefits on offer and have flexibility over the level of incorporation this tool has for their ticketing operations.
Along with the release of our Digital Twin product came our launch partner Yourticketprovider, a perfect suitor considering their rich history of looking beyond the QR code and working closely with event organisers to bring ambitious events to life.
The digital twin allows Yourticketprovider to have crystal clear ownership history via twinned NFT tickets processed through GET Protocol whilst exploring the upside that blockchain and NFTs have to offer.
Team Note - Maarten:
Usually the first one is the hardest, but not in this case. Bart and I drank some cups of coffee in the past and I was able to explain our vision to very capable and understanding ears. Once we’ve concluded the first steps for the launch of the Digital Twin Product there was no doubt in my mind that Yourticketprovider was the first call I had to make. The integration went extremely smooth thanks to the efforts of both teams and we continue to be in close contact to exchange ideas on coming functionalities. The only problem I have with our partnership with Yourticketprovider is the knowledge that not all integrators will be this nice to work with.
Until October all buybacks were being conducted manually by us as a team, something less than ideal when aiming to become the defacto decentralised global ticketing protocol.
Which is why in October we released our on-chain tokenomics which was a major overhaul to the protocol’s economic activities.
This sweeping update put all the protocol's transactional activity fully accountable on-chain. $GET usage can clearly be viewed by anyone through GET Protocol's Subgraph.
What does this mean?
Every ticket that is processed through GET Protocol requires $GET, it can be thought of as the fuel for the protocol but also comes in handy as an accounting tool with a clear and simple pricing model.
Until our on-chain tokenomics, the amount of $GET usage was calculated manually by us to account for ticketing operations that had occurred in the past, typically over the last quarter of activity. With the move to on-chain, this system went from ‘credit’ to ‘debit’, requiring ticketing integrators to top up their $GET before being able to utilise the protocol. Ideal for accountability and giving every single person the opportunity to peak behind the curtain and take a first hand look at the economic flows in motion.
Once $GET is debited through the protocol, it ends up in the DAO treasury which will in time be governed by the DAO via $GET token holders. We highly encourage you to read onwards via our tokenomic documentation to get a better sense for how this all fits together: https://docs.get-protocol.io
The beauty of GET Protocol’s Subgraph is that it provides a number of set queries and data points for anyone to play around with. Through the click of a button you can get immediate access to the $GET usage across a 7 day timeframe, all-time usage and even poll ticket data such as the largest events ticketed through the protocol.
If you would like to learn more about the Subgraph and how it operates, check out our ‘mainnet’ blog from the release!
Team Note - Jack
The On-Chain Tokenomics release was one of my favourites this year although I find it to be deceptive. It's sneaky. You look at the mintCount tick up on bit by bit and it's cool - a new ticket was sold and an NFT was minted but it's the technology that's brought together to make it all happen that makes it so special. What you're seeing is a user purchasing a GET Protocol powered ticket in real-time with transparent pricing and location data attached, with GET flowing through the system and that value being captured.
And the tokenomics of GET Protocol set up a sustainable and exciting future for GET Protocol. Our ability to build complex pricing models for each integrator depending on the level of service they need helps us offer services to integrators of all sizes and opens the door to building a complete portfolio of features, all of them with additional value accrued on-chain.
The challenges are complex, but the design remains elegant and the data is simple and clear. When you see all the cogs and gears running in the background it gives me nothing less than a huge vote of confidence in our ability to deliver.
By midway through 2021, it felt like it was no longer fair to reference the whole industry as simply the ‘blockchain industry’.
Whilst it is still correct that public decentralised blockchains are the backbone and engine for all of this innovation, we’re now starting to see tangible utility spread far and wide across multiple industries, ebbing into mainstream culture and unlocking new opportunities for everyday people.
What we’re witnessing is an internet of ownership, dubbed ‘Web 3’.
Just in the past year, we’ve seen the rise of brands and communities built on the back of NFTs, the flourishing of DAOs that are leaving their mark on the world and smarter, more accessible access to decentralised finance.
The Web 3 space is blossoming.
So where do NFT Tickets fit into this wider Web 3 world?
NFT Tickets are the most accessible vehicle into Web 3 for the everyday person. A bold statement but one that we adamantly stand by. No longer does a used ticket go into the trash, instead it can provide access and ownership into an artist or event organiser’s community.
In a world at the tail end of a pandemic, there has never been a more important time for giving artists and event organisers the tools to rekindle their loyal community of fans and find new ways to distribute ownership of their brand and ideas. When combined with the growing distrust for social media platforms, often referred to as ‘rented land’, NFT tickets are primed to open Web 3 doors.
With a firm sense for where the events industry and global community building is heading, we knew that we needed to lay the groundwork for what is to come. In November we marked the moment with the release of our NFT Ticket claim functionality, allowing any event attendee to claim their NFT and have it distributed to their own wallet over Polygon.
November also came with a new white-label partner, XTIXS who serve a global audience of event clients. They have a number of standout festivals in their resume such as Exit 2.0, Cancun Music Week, Caprices, Secret Solstice and many more.
We’re delighted to have XTIXS as a white-label integrator, their team is passionate about the potential of NFT tickets and are willing to explore avenues openly with us at GET Protocol to push forward innovation through stellar use cases.
We’re excited to see how XTIXS progresses as we head into the new year and look forward to showcasing their events further.
You can see the reveal of XTIXS here:
December has been a time of discovery and building at GET Protocol. With lots in the pipeline for 2022, we wanted to use this time as a catalyst for starting the new year right. Therefore we wanted to further expand upon a burgeoning theme for GET Protocol as the ‘Web 3 bridge for the events industry’.
What do we mean by this?
As touched upon with the claim functionality release, we see NFT tickets as an ideal access point into Web 3. Right now, the biggest friction points for access into this growing space for the average person culminate to:
Where do I begin?
What tools do I use?
What blockchain and platforms can benefit me?
In the most recent episode of Bankless, guest Kevin Rose, the creator of Digg and massive advocate for Web 3 stated how he believes it’s more important than ever to have “hybrid platforms”. Platforms that merge Web 2 and Web 3, allowing anyone to participate in the renaissance we’re going through with a far lesser entrance complexity.
We could not resonate more with Kevin, as this aligns with our ethos right from the beginning of abstracting complexity away in favour of a frictionless end user experience.
With November bringing our claim functionality to fruition, any attendee that has their ticket scanned at an event now has access into Web 3. Once they claim their NFT ticket, it is completely theirs to own, distributed over Polygon to their wallet.
This is why we see GET Protocol as the bridge for the events industry. Our infrastructure provides the access tooling into this new world whilst directing user's down easy paths to specific Web 3 platforms, dictated by the artist or event organiser. This makes the onboarding process for an average person much more lenient and gives everyone a taste of what Web 3 has to offer.
As we move into 2022, we’ll be looking to showcase the Web 3 accessibility that GET Protocol offers.
What better way to end this recap than with a look at all the major overview stats since our inception:
1,200,000+ tickets processed on-chain through GET Protocol
560,000+ NFT tickets processed in 2021
8 White-Label Integrators
1 Digital Twin integrator
13,643+ $GET used through the protocol since our on-chain tokenomics release in October
121+ countries served
500+ artists and event organisers supported
We hope this recap of 2021 has been useful in giving you a taste of what we’ve been up to at GET Protocol over the last year.
We’d like to thank our community, partners, ticketing integrators and the wider community for being apart of our journey in 2021 and we can’t wait to show you what’s in store for 2022.
As mentioned in the beginning of this blog, we’ll be releasing a retrospective look back at our scaling efforts and what it truly means to ‘scale’. This will be followed up in the near future by a roadmap focused on what’s to come.
All that’s left now is to wish you all a happy new year and we’ll see you in 2022!
Since 2016 we have been building ticketing infrastructure powered by the latest technology to upgrade the experience for all in the ticketing chain.
Ticketing companies of all sizes use our infrastructure to get clearer insights, generate greater revenue and maximise the connection through their tickets.
Keep up to date with GET Protocol on social media via our Twitter.