AccuWeather Taps Chainlink to Explore Crop Insurance and More

Crop insurance in underserved countries is a big use case, said AccuWeather’s Matt Vitebsky.

Dec 14, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 14, 2021 at 3:34 p.m. UTC

Blockchain oracle services firm Chainlink has added U.S. meteorology forecasting provider AccuWeather to further bolster its suite of real-world data feeds.

Back in August of this year, Chainlink, which allows data providers to port data into the digital agreements that run on top of blockchains, announced it was incorporating weather data courtesy of Google Cloud.

Chainlink approached AccuWeather’s Matt Vitebsky, the firm’s director of flagship products, earlier this year. Vitebsky said he’s had a personal interest in blockchain technology since 2017.

“One of the important use cases is parametric insurance, and crop insurance is definitely a big one,” Vitebsky said in an interview. “Being able to cut out that middleman in some countries that are perhaps underserved in terms of insurance. The other place we’re looking is futures markets.”

The type of financial products that can benefit from blockchain smart contracts combined with weather data are offerings such as parametric insurance, where a payout could be triggered by events such as a flood or drought conditions.

AccuWeather has a set fee for access to its weather data APIs, which will be paid in LINK, Chainlink’s native token, and which developers can connect with via the Ethereum blockchain network or the Polygon layer 2 network, Vitebsky explained. A layer 2 is a second network built on top of the layer 1 Ethereum blockchain.

“We didn’t want to miss the boat on this opportunity, we want to be at the forefront of innovation in the weather space,” said Vitebsky.

Also this year, Chainlink partnered with the Associated Press to provide U.S. elections data as well as sports and macro economic information.

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Ian Allison is a senior reporter at CoinDesk.