We spoke with Elena Obukhova and Olga Filatova, co-founders of FlashBack, a digital ticket non-fungible token (NFT) platform that focuses on leveraging nostalgia and the blockchain.
As our world becomes digital, parts of our paper-based past are disappearing. From concert tickets to festival bands, the days of collecting paper tickets have passed us by. However, Obukhova and Filatova see NFTs as an opportunity to combine this nostalgia with this popular technology on the rise.
From finance to cryptocurrency
Obukhova discovered the cryptocurrency space in 2014 after living in China for three years studying finance.
“At that time I wasn’t active on a professional level, but more on a personal level. I’ve been following all the news and updates in this field.”
Her interest in cryptocurrencies and the broader FinTech space led her to establish FinTech Advisory Services (FAS). This company’s vision is to help startups and small businesses grow and engage with new technologies.
Black hoodies, crypto cats and NFT
Filatova’s journey into cryptocurrency and blockchain has been slightly different.
“Five years ago, a friend of mine invited me to a weird event. It turned out to be a cryptocurrency conference and I was the only girl there. People in black hoodies were talking about some nonsense and I didn’t understand anything. A girl in a white dress looked to me like they were speaking Japanese. That was the day I decided to learn more about cryptocurrencies,” she said.
She later set up a marketing company to support ICO projects in terms of marketing and community management.
Later, I started a marketing company with a friend to support ICO projects in marketing and community management.
“And in the following year, late 2017 actually, NFTs came into my life. I was the Director of Marketing for a CryptoKitties-like cryptocurrency game where we sold and ‘bred’ bots. We had great success with this project. Within a few months, we were always behind CryptoKitties.”
In 2020, she finds herself in China as this pandemic is sweeping the world.
“It was quite a frustrating experience because everything, including flights, was shut down and I found my inspiration in art. I started to get familiar with art and the art industry,” she explains.
“I came back to Russia and wanted to do something in the art world. It was a challenge because of the pandemic and the closed borders. But then this NFT hype started and it really helped me realize my dream. I opened an online cryptocurrency art museum. We organized two major online exhibitions and a crypto art residency with well-known great artists. And that actually brought me to New York.”
Working with an NFT in New York
In the meantime, Obukhova began to think about creating a project with a “memetic character”.
“This later led to ticketing. I think NFT goes beyond digital art and adds value to people outside of NFT and the art space. I’m not as close to the arts compared to Olga, for example, but I find it an exciting opportunity to engage people like me, event lovers, artists and event organizers. That’s why we are the perfect fit for this project.”
She met Filatova in New York and the two exchanged ideas around “memory and ticketing” in a digital world.
“We talked about the idea of creating a place where users could store and collect tickets.Olga was excited and said “let’s do it!” . The next day we had a conversation with the developers. That was a really exciting start to the project.
“A tailored experience platform that makes everyone feel like they belong.”
Filatova found the idea of a digital ticket particularly important after experiencing the positive response to these ideas at the Fair Tulum Cryptocurrency Show.
“When talking to organizers and friends, I quickly noticed that our idea of digital tickets in the form of NFT was well received. With our offer, we solved a problem that the big players in the market also faced,” she explained.
“When we went public with our idea, we received very positive feedback. We wanted people to feel part of the FlashBack community and the unique culture of our event organizers.FlashBack is not just a ticketing platform, but a tailored experience that makes everyone feel like they belong.”
NFT technology solves the problem of showing a pass after standing in line to buy a ticket.
“NFT technology solves most of the problems and takes the headache out of the hands of event organizers. flashBack ensures a secure environment with simple but unusual ticketing.”
Filatova explains that it is also a platform where digital artists can be showcased and promoted, which opens up a new source of revenue for them.
“We can now work with promoters to help them create not just a designed ticket, but a real work of art.”