From Gatekeepers to Community Builders

Nov 1, 2023

Businesses and entrepreneurs must adapt and innovate to thrive in the constantly evolving digital era. Today, Bankless Consulting is proud to present an intriguing conversation with Patrick Workman, the Vice President of Growth and Partnerships at Unlock, a company reshaping the future of memberships and subscriptions through Web3 technologies.

If you want to listen to the whole conversation, you can do it on: Spotify or Apple Podcast.

From Instagram’s Ad Pioneering to Unlock’s Open Source Vanguard

Patrick's professional journey is as diverse as it is inspiring. He began his career at a car dealership and pioneered scaling Instagram's advertising platform. He also ventured into live music with, demonstrating a keen sense of growth and strategy. However, the data monopoly held by industry titans like Ticketmaster made Patrick realize that the business model is broken and doesn’t serve the artist well. This fueled his passion for data democratization, a principle at the core of Web3.

Web3 and its decentralized ethos promise to challenge the status quo, much like the internet did decades ago. Unlock, spearheaded by visionaries like Patrick, isn’t merely a business—it’s an advocate for a transformative concept where open-source technology redefines business models through smart contracts on the blockchain.

Rethinking Memberships and Access in the Digital Age

Unlock Protocol is pioneering a transformative approach to ownership and access by utilizing NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) with embedded intelligent contracts. By enabling time-based access within these tokens, Unlock is at the forefront of crafting versatile and modern business models that can be tailored to various industries.

The utility of ’s utility extends beyond the transactional nature of traditional ticketing systems. It's an engine for community engagement and value creation, providing event attendees with a more integrated experience. This is achieved by leveraging the convergence of digital and physical spaces to offer a sense of belonging and continuous engagement within an exclusive community.

For those unfamiliar with cryptocurrency, Unlock Protocol’s implementation of semi-custodial wallets represents a strategic move to lower the barriers to entry for Web3 technologies. This inclusive model is pivotal for broad adoption and was successfully demonstrated at the largest blockchain conference in Europe, ETHCC Paris, where the protocol handled ticketing, proving that blockchain solutions can effectively manage complex logistical requirements.

The business implications of Unlock's model are substantial. It disrupts traditional event management and ticketing gatekeeping, decentralizing control and redistributing it to event creators and participants. This allows for more direct relationships between event organizers and attendees, potentially reducing costs and increasing engagement.

Unlock Protocol's system represents a scalable, adaptable framework that can serve not only as a ticketing platform but also as a means for subscription services, gated content access, and membership benefits. By democratizing access to blockchain technology and simplifying user experience, Unlock Protocol is positioning itself as a critical player in the evolution of how businesses manage access and build communities around their offerings.

Tackling Industry Goliaths and Embracing Community

While companies like Ticketmaster dominate the ticketing industry, Unlock remains committed to its mission. In Europe, where exclusive contracts are less prevalent, Unlock has the opportunity to grow and thrive. Moreover, trends such as Nike's Swoosh program exemplify the shift towards a tokenized ecosystem of loyalty and brand engagement. Such initiatives are harbingers of a future where consumer-brand interactions are deeply interwoven with digital assets, altering the dynamics of customer loyalty and brand allegiance.

For the music industry, Unlock Protocol could begin a transformative period. It can democratize fan engagement by enabling artists to monetize their work and connect with fans through exclusive content, pre-sales, and unique experiences. This aligns with the "1000 True Fans" theory, which suggests that artists can achieve sustainable success through a dedicated fanbase rather than mass marketing.

By facilitating direct interactions between artists and fans, Unlock could significantly reduce dependency on intermediaries, allowing for more economic benefits to flow to the creators themselves. It can empower artists, especially emerging and indie acts, to cultivate their fan communities and build a sustainable career through a loyal audience base that is rewarded through tokenized incentives.

Unlock Protocol's application could lead to a more personalized and enriching experience for fans, giving them a ticket to an event and a stake in the artist's ecosystem. This could fundamentally redefine the artist-fan relationship, making it a two-way street where value and support are exchanged more intimately and impactfully.

Despite the promise and potential of Unlock Protocol, it's essential to recognize that there is still a considerable journey ahead before a full-scale revolution in the ticketing and fan engagement industry can be realized. A collaborative effort is required across the industry to initiate a paradigm shift. Unlock Protocol is a pivotal tool in this transformation, providing the technological infrastructure necessary for change. However, industry stakeholders' collective action and commitment will drive this evolution forward.

Bankless Consulting is a crucial facilitator in this landscape, poised to bridge the gap between innovative technology and practical, widespread implementation. Their expertise in navigating the complexities of blockchain adoption positions them as an ideal partner for entities looking to integrate these new models into their operations.

Moreover, artists play a pivotal role as the vanguard of this new era. Their willingness to embrace this shift and leverage platforms like Unlock to foster direct relationships with their fans will ultimately catalyze the industry's transformation. As more artists and creators adopt this model, it sets a precedent, encouraging others to follow suit and propelling the industry toward a more inclusive, equitable, and engaged future.

The Road Ahead: Patrick Workman's Vision

As delineated by Patrick Workman, the pathway forward is characterized by the strategic harnessing of blockchain technology to enhance the artist-to-audience connection fundamentally. He projects a landscape where the friction of content distribution is diminished, thereby granting creators unprecedented dominion over their creative outputs. The success stories, such as Avenged Sevenfold's pioneering ticket sales approach, offer a tangible testament to how these technologies can reshape engagement models and redefine the distribution channels in the music industry.

Expanding this vision, Patrick anticipates a future where our digital footprints are seamlessly integrated into the blockchain, culminating in a cohesive and fortified digital identity. This evolution towards a singular, secure online identity is not just about convenience; it's a critical step in safeguarding personal information against the vulnerabilities of fragmented digital personas.

Furthermore, Patrick posits that the data democratization movement will become a central issue within social and political spheres. He contends that this could have profound implications, especially within the healthcare sector, where blockchain could usher in an era of transparent, equitable, and secure access to medical data. By doing so, it has the potential to dismantle existing data silos, mitigate disparities in healthcare information access, and significantly improve patient outcomes through a more open and accessible data ecosystem.

As the industry embarks on this journey, it will require a concerted effort from all stakeholders. Workman's foresight suggests that an integrated approach, with blockchain at its core, could be the key to unlocking a more democratic, efficient, and secure future for content creators and consumers alike. This technological pivot, emphasizing direct creator-fan connections and data democratization, offers significant advancements across various sectors, indicating a transformative era ahead.

Author Bio

Puncar is passionate about supporting the web3 ecosystem through designing the right incentives, tokenomics, and governance structures.

EARLY Podcast host

Dside, the CEO of Bankless Consulting, is a successful entrepreneur with a strong desire to help others launch and grow their businesses in the Web3 era.