A joint venture between shipping giant Maersk, Microsoft, accounting firm EY and blockchain firm Guardtime aims to apply distributed ledger technology in the field of marine insurance.
Built using Azure – Microsoft's cloud-based platform – the new effort will see the creation of a shared database that logs information about shipments, as well as potential risks, in order to help ships comply with insurance regulations. The database would also ensure that this information is transparent across what is a complex network of variables.
Notably, the project has already been trialled, and Maersk plans to use it in real-world applications, along with insurers MS Amlin and XL Catlin, according to Reuters.
EY told CNBC that securing marine insurance data with blockchain was necessary due to the "complete inefficiency" of the industry.
Mark Russinovish, chief technology officer at Microsoft Azure, explained further:
"Marine insurance is a prime example of a complex business process that can be optimized with blockchain."
Reuters reported that the platform is already built and is planned for deployment in January.
This isn't Maersk's first exploration of blockchain tech. The shipping firm conducted its first blockchain-based cargo-tracking trial in partnership with IBM back in May. IBM has also signed up with a major port operator in Singapore to work with a regional shipping firm to test a new blockchain-based supply chain network.
Container ship image via Shutterstock