2024 Paris Olympic Games: Calling Blockchain To The Rescue

As blockchain technology continues to revolutionize the way users interact with different forms of entertainment, ownership is starting to play an increasingly important role.

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Since NFTs entered our lives, their use cases have evolved and gone beyond mere art.  NFTs represent ownership of one specific asset stored on the blockchain, and this determines the most important difference between regular crypto assets and NFTs. Each NFT is stored on a public and transparent blockchain; as a result, they are widely regarded as an essential element of digital ownership.

A ticket, which is a non-fungible token in its own right, is a perfect use case for NFTs today.

After the low-cost Argentinian airline, Flybondi, announced its collaboration with the blockchain technology company, TravelX, in September 2022, the organizers of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games are considering using a blockchain ticketing system for the upcoming event.

TravelX's blockchain-based distribution and retailing infrastructure for the travel industry allows the airline to issue tickets as NFTs.

-link to the announcement-

The French Olympic Committee proposed a blockchain-based ticketing system under the leadership of inter-ministerial representative Michel Cadot. A 30-page report containing several recommendations, including the use of blockchain technology for ticketing, was submitted to the French Prime Minister's office by the Olympic Committee.

The report was produced in response to the chaotic scenes at the Stade de France during the UEFA Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

What Happened at the Stade de France?

The Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool was held on 28 May 2022 at the Stade de France in Paris. However, the match was marred by chaotic organization, resulting in a near catastrophe for Liverpool fans.

Spectators were tear gassed by the police and violently attacked by local hooligans. According to the French government and Uefa, the chaos was caused by thousands of people trying to enter the game using fake tickets.

What Does the Report Suggest?

According to the report, transportation, signage, and security were already inadequate and the additional fans - either without tickets or with fake ones - contributed to overcrowding, resulting in a delay in entry to the venue.

Cadot’s recommendations were that secure and personalized ticketing should be utilized for Paris 2024 and other important international sporting events in France.

Through the use of blockchain technology, tickets would be sent to individuals a few days prior to the event via text message, with a rotating QR code. These tickets would only be active in a certain proximity to the venue and would be checked upon entry, before being deactivated once the ticket holder entered the venue.

Cadot states that individuals would be able to receive messages via digital channels, giving them information  about how to reach the venue from every district in Paris, as well as safety procedures during the Games.

Additionally, he has suggested that blockchain ticketing could be successfully applied to other major sports events in France:

“These provisions are already planned for the 2023 Rugby World Cup and the Olympics and Paralympics 2024, and practiced by major events such as the French International Tennis.”

Cryptocurrency and the Previous Olympic Games

If France succeeds in its ambitions, it won't be the first time that the Olympic Games and cryptocurrency have been intertwined.

An Indian exchange, Bitbns, awarded cryptocurrency to local medal winners at the Tokyo Olympics last summer. Athletes with gold medals received $2,700 in digital assets, while those with silver won $1,350 and bronze medalists returned home with $675.

Moreover, the Chinese government aimed to popularize and spread the adoption of its digital Yuan during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, by enabling its athletes and foreign visitors to use the financial product, despite concerns raised by some US officials.

During the sports event, over $315,00’s worth of e-CNY was transacted daily, according to the Chinese central bank (PBOC).

Sources: markets.businessinsider.com, cryptooasis.ae, www.reuters.com

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Jakub Odvářka

Jakub Odvářka

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