Thursday 10 March 2016 4:06 pm

Blockchain, the technology behind digital currency bitcoin, makes a splash in insurance to offer a solution to homeowners renting out part of their property

SafeShare is making digital waves by launching the first blockchain-based insurance solution for the sharing economy on the market.

The insurance startup, in partnership with Vrumi, is offering the product, which was created with Z/Yen Group and using open source timestamp service MetroGnomo, to homeowners.

Sharing economy firm Vrumi allows homeowners with extra rooms to rent them out to people who need a space to run their business, while Z/Yen is a London-based think tank which focuses on using finance and technology to build a better society.

Vrumi is particularly keen on the product as most traditional insurance packages do not allow homeowners to have paying guests, while SafeShare's solution can encompass counter-party obligations.

The insurance solution uses blockchain, which is the technology that underpins cryptocurrency bitcoin, is underwritten at Lloyd's of London and offers a 24-hour claims hotline.

Read more: JP Morgan trials blockchain technology on loan funds

"Insurance for the sharing economy needs to be flexible and responsive to customer needs," said Alex Steinart, global co-founder of SafeShare. "Our distributed ledger approach, developed by Z/Yen Group, offers the opportunity to coordinate the provision of products between counter-parties in near real-time and to radically cut the cost of this coordination."

Professor Michael Mainelli, executive chairman of Z/Yen, added: "Z/Yen's woven broadcast technology delivers SafeShare's insurance solution an undisputable record of the insured through a distributed network of proof."

Earlier this year, a survey by Crypto Coin News ranked London as fifth most bitcoin-friendly city in the world, with 93 businesses accepting the modern currency.