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Jason Hinterweger
Jason Hinterweger

Microsoft To Be A Key Player In Blockchain Insurance

Consulting firms EY and Towers Watson partnered with Microsoft and maritime industry players to pioneer a marine insurance blockchain solution. Insurwave establishes a digital insurance value chain that links participants in a secure network and will help maritime organizations manage risk.

Microsoft To Be A Key Player In Blockchain Insurance

The Insurwave technology is capable of application across all types of insurance and will shortly be expanded to cover the cargo, logistics, aviation and energy sectors. In the first year the blockchain-based solution will focus exclusively on marine insurance and support more than 500,000 automated ledger transactions. Within 12 months up to 1,000 commercial vessels will have used Insurwave to manage their insurance risk.

But successfully integrating blockchain technology to its full potential across the industry is hugely complex. Multiple jurisdictions and regulators are an inherent part of marine insurance and make it challenging to implement widespread change across the entire ecosystem.

"Initially, we focused on marine insurance as it is well-suited to a blockchain solution as it has a complex international ecosystem, with multiple parties, multiple jurisdictions, high transaction volumes and significant levels of reconciliation," Guardtime CEO Mike Gault told CNBC in an emailed note prior to the announcement.

Most blockchain applications in the insurance industry today are focused on improving operational efficiency. Rather than developing new products, insurance companies are looking at ways blockchain can drive down costs, increase speed to market, and provide better customer experiences.

One company, AgriDigital, is already using blockchain technology to digitize the buying, selling, and storing of grain, and it plans to add other commodities. It makes managing relationships between players, from farmers to stock traders, centralized and secure.

These opportunities have already popped up. The Huntercoin project, launched in 2014 and delisted in 2019, was a gaming ecosystem in which players earned in-house cryptocurrency rewards (in this case, HUC coin). For eSports and sports betting, there was UnikoinGold until it was retired in 2020 due to regulatory constraints. Enjin Coin, an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency, backs over 1B digital assets in games stored on a blockchain that can be traded and sold between users. With a decentralized blockchain base, gaming platforms can facilitate more secure and transparent money exchanges.


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