By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. technology company The Bitfury Group said on Friday it had formed a strategic partnership with advisory firm Risk Cooperative to use the blockchain digital ledger in the $60 billion insurance broking market.
Blockchain, a public record of all bitcoin digital currency transactions, can also be used to track assets across industries. Over the last two years, Bitfury has been helping national governments put data on a blockchain.
"Blockchain technology can bring transparency and security to the insurance industry, and can be a catalyst for new insurance business models," Bitfury Chief Executive Valery Vavilov said in a statement.
While the insurance industry writes more than $5.5 trillion in annual premiums worldwide, most natural, man-made and emerging risks remain unfunded or underinsured by established insurers using old systems and technologies.
The partnership will initially explore putting cyber-insurance and political risk activities on a blockchain-based system, Risk Cooperatives founder and CEO Dante Disparte said in an email. "This system will speed up the underwriting process on a secure platform."
In April, Bitfury announced a partnership with Ukraine to put a wide range of government data on a blockchain platform. A year earlier, Bitfury signed an agreement with Georgia to pilot the first blockchain land-titling registry.
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Richard Chang)