The price you pay for tickets to gigs and museums are often inflated by resellers, but a new app is aiming to thwart the touters.
Cultural Places, a platform specializing in connecting cultural institutions and visitors is vowing to clamp down on ticket touts through Blockchain technology.
The Austrian Company wants to tackle the inflationary effect touts have on the secondary ticket market by introducing its own cryptocurrency – the Cultural Coin. The coin, based on the Ethereum framework will allow consumers to buy tickets directly from museums, music venues and tourist sites, while providing a transparent venue for resale if they are unable to attend.
The detrimental impact of touting has prompted governments around the world to restrict the practice, as those purchasing second-hand tickets are not always guaranteed access to events.
Cultural Places is planning to stand out from other Blockchain ticketing websites by focusing on high-quality cultural content and collaborating closely with institutions worldwide. It believes that this strategy will establish credibility in the eyes of consumers who, until now, have had to visit multiple websites to plan and purchase a trip. In its white paper, the company says bringing all of the information visitors need on to one platform would eliminate the confusion low-quality, untrustworthy providers can cause – and this will “democratize access to cultural knowledge”.
A new cryptocurrency: the Cultural Coin
The company plans to introduce crypto ticketing in 2019, with all customers being offered a wallet for Cultural Coins. Fees associated with buying entry to exhibitions, galleries, gigs and landmarks would be set at 6 percent – a stark contrast to the 30 percent commission demanded by some current ticketing providers.
This 6 percent fee is going to be divided in four ways. Cultural Places would take a 3 percent share of the revenue, 1 percent would be returned to customers through a loyalty scheme, another 1 percent would go to all users in the ecosystem who hold Cultural Coins, and the remaining 1 percent earmarked as royalties for the institutions offering engaging content to the public.
Audio guides and shop memorabilia would also be on sale through the app, allowing visitors to skip queues and make the most of their time.
Building the community
Cultural Places says the number of institutions it has a business relationship with is “growing by the minute”, with 30 venues in six countries on the books at the last count. Among its partners is Indonesia’s Borobudur Temple – the world’s largest Buddhist temple, and Stephansdom, an iconic cathedral in Vienna.
The company wants to achieve a European market share of 12 percent by 2023 – and the concept could be coming to a landmark near you. Cultural Places has a wish list of attractions it would like to join its platform – including the Louvre in Paris, London’s Tate galleries, the Colosseum in Rome and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Each institution joining the platform would be given help to “transform their content to be ready for the demands of a new generation”. This allows users to see sights virtually before they pay a visit in person, and neatly ties into current cultural policy across Europe, where digital preservation of precious artefacts has become a priority.
The Cultural Places community will be bolstered further through a social network where institutions, cultural experts and the public can come together to debate and share knowledge. Crowdfunding will also be introduced in the third quarter of 2019, and the company hopes this will greatly improve the breadth of exhibitions and artistic endeavors in society.
One of Austria’s first ICOs
Under the leadership of CEO Patrick Tomelitsch, the focus now for Cultural Places is its initial coin offering – one of Austria’s first.
A total of 900 mln Cultural Coins are being made available to the public. The company’s pre-ICO of 90 mln coins ends on March 4, with the rest being offered across four phases from March 5 to April 5.
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Coinbase has resolved the issue of intermittent availability for BTC buys and sells.
Digital currency exchange and wallet service Coinbase has resolved the issue of intermittent availability for BTC buys and sells, the platform reported today, Feb. 28 at 08:24 PST.
It took the Coinbase maintenance crew almost seven hours to investigate and fix the issue where one of their processes was “causing Bitcoin buys and sells to become temporarily unavailable”.
The platform announced the system outage on its official Twitter account today at 1:53 a.m. PST:
[status] Investigating: A recurring issue with one of our processes is causing Bitcoin buys and sells to become tem… https://t.co/Zc5he85Q8h
— Coinbase Support (@CoinbaseSupport) February 28, 2018
Despite the fact the problem has been resolved, Coinbase has not tweeted an update on the fix or posted any official comments on the circumstances that resulted in the “intermittent outages of BTC buys and sells” yet. Bitcoin’s status is still marked as “degraded performance” on the platform.
Remarkably, BTC sends, or outgoing transactions, were temporarily offline in January this year, as the trading platform informed users on its status page. Coinbase also suffered “a few outages and downgraded performance” in May, 2017, due to the “unprecedented traffic and trading volume”, according to the company’s statement.
Goldman Sachs’ CIO Mossavar-Rahmani stated in an interview that the cryptocurrency “bubble” bursting will impact 1% of global GDP.
The chief investment officer (CIO) of the Investment Strategy Group at Goldman Sachs, Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, said in an interview with Business Insider on Feb. 27 that cryptocurrencies are in a bubble, which, when it bursts, will impact only 1 percent of global GDP.
Mossavar-Rahmani, who guides investment strategy for clients with over $10 mln in assets, said that cryptocurrencies are “the hot topic” among her clients and colleagues. She said that Goldman Sachs acknowledges the opportunities that can be brought by Blockchain technology to many fintech companies, but cryptocurrencies “in their current format” are “in a bubble.”
In the interview, Mossavar-Rahmani referenced data from a public report by Goldman Sachs’ Investment Strategy Group, comparing price trends of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) with equity bubbles of the past like the TOPIX in 1990, and Nasdaq in 2000.
Mossavar-Rahmani argues that TOPIX and Nasdaq look “like a flat line” compared to crypto, and even compared to the infamous Tulip bubble in the early 1600s, Bitcoin’s price is too high. Mossavar-Rahmani added that the Ethereum price is “is even more astronomical,” as the bubble on the graph far outstrips even that of Bitcoin.
When considering the impact of a cryptocurrency “bubble burst”, Mossavar-Rahmani suggested that it wouldn’t lead to a global financial crisis, as cryptocurrencies make up a smaller part of the global economy than previous bubbles.
“Cryptocurrencies are a much smaller part of the global economy, whether you compare it to US GDP or global GDP, it's less than 1% of global GDP,” Mossavar-Rahman stated.
She admits as there has been significant investment in building exchanges, infrastructure, and hedge funds in the crypto space, when the bubble bursts some people “will get hurt… But it's a very, very small part of global GDP.”
On Jan. 31, Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, denied that Goldman Sachs would be opening a cryptocurrency trading desk, even though the New York bank has owned a stake in a crypto trading desk Circle since 2015.
Fundstrat strategist Tom Lee has repeated past bullish BTC price predictions, adding that corporations joining the crypto world is a positive sign.
Co-founder and Fundstrat strategist Tom Lee has repeated his prediction that Bitcoin (BTC) will reach $20,000 by mid-year and $25,000 by the end of the year. He also expects at least three publicly traded corporations to issue their own cryptocurrencies in 2018, writes CNBC, citing Lee’s Feb. 28 Fundstrat report.
Lee’s price prediction reiterates comments he made in early January 2018, predicting Bitcoin could “easily double” this year.
Despite BTC now trading at almost 53 percent of its December, 2017 high of over $20,000 — around $10,700 at press time according to CoinMarketCap — Lee maintains his $25,000 prediction for 2018.
In his report, Lee also commented on the phenomenon of traditional corporations creating internal cryptocurrencies, stating:
“Already three major companies have announced efforts within cryptocurrencies, which demonstrate that corporations may be moving towards cryptocurrencies before Wall Street has embraced them.”
Lee sees corporations entering the crypto sphere as support for his prediction of BTC’s future upswing, citing Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten’s Feb. 27 announcement that they will be launching their own cryptocurrency as just one case of the crypto world constructively developing this year, regardless of BTC’s price drop.
In the same vein, Lee mentions Japanese message app Line’s January announcement that it will open a crypto exchange and in-app trading space.
Lee’s report also predicts that several large companies like Starbucks, Facebook, and Amazon — none of which have yet entered the crypto world in a significant way — are likely to make implement Blockchain technology this year.
Lee referenced the Starbucks’ executive chairman hinting at a possible use of Blockchain for a consumer payments app in comments Feb. 27, and also hypothesized that both Facebook and Amazon are likely to “announce a crypto-strategy this year.” He speculated that if Facebook went public, it could reward users with an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), rather than only investors with stock options.
In the past, Lee has had relatively constant, bullish predictions for the price of Bitcoin. In August 2017, he predicted that BTC would hit $6,000 before the end of the year, a mark that was surpassed by 230 percent by December when BTC hit $20,000.
According to CNBC, Tom Lee is the “only major Wall Street strategist to issue formal price targets on bitcoin.”
The Pacific nation the Marshall Islands is all but set to launch its own state-issued cryptocurrency via an ICO, which will circulate alongside the US dollar.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands will release its own cryptocurrency complete with an ICO and free trading, according to two government officials that spoke with Bloomberg Wednesday, Feb. 28.
The two officials, one of which is house speaker and senator Kenneth Kedi, said that the Pacific nation’s parliament this week endorsed the creation of the currency, which will be called the Sovereign (SOV).
The Marshall Islands currently uses the US dollar as its official currency, and once issued the Sovereign will circulate alongside the dollar. The Sovereign will be distributed via an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) subject to final approval by council, with a rejection “unlikely,” Kedi told Bloomberg.
David Paul minister-in-assistance to the president told Bloomberg that the new state-issued coin should appear before the end of 2018, adding it would be “specifically targeted for the long-term needs of the country.”
The move comes at the same time as Venezuela launches its oil-pegged cryptocurrency Petro, while across the globe in Iran and Turkey lawmakers also made known they are considering a national coin.
Sovereign will meanwhile address “needs” on a comparatively smaller scale — those of the islands’ 53,000 citizens. According to the report, some cash raised from the ICO will go towards healthcare for citizens who fell victim to consequences of nuclear testing by the US in the past.
“This is a historic moment for our people, finally issuing and using our own currency, alongside the USD. It is another step of manifesting our national liberty,” President Hilda Heine meanwhile said in separate comments on the plan.