Shrub Receives Chainlink Grant to Bring Parametric Disaster Insurance to Uninsured Populations

When disaster strikes, an individual’s economic destiny can be permanently altered at a moment’s notice. Catastrophic events like floods, earthquakes, landslides, droughts, and wildfires are increasing in frequency too as climate change continues to take effect. In 2020 alone, global losses from natural catastrophes totaled $210 billion dollars. Yet, many regions in the world still do not have access to insurance products—meaning hundreds of millions of people cannot protect their families or businesses from financial hardships due to natural disasters.

In support of more globally accessible and affordable insurance solutions, the Chainlink Community Grants Program is pleased to award a social impact grant to Shrub—a peer-to-peer parametric insurance marketplace on the blockchain based on an initial prototype developed at the Spring 2021 Chainlink Hackathon. Starting with earthquake and hurricane insurance, Shrub enables users from around the world to purchase or sell disaster coverage to hedge against unforeseen catastrophic events with nothing more than an Internet connection.

Shrub showcases Chainlink’s continued commitment to both supporting social impact initiatives and creating a pipeline where individual developers can go from community members to launching world-changing projects in production. For example, Shrub was able to use the Chainlink Hackathon to learn how to build hybrid smart contract applications, win prizes for submitting an innovative MVP, and now access direct financial support through the Chainlink Community Grants Program to build out their solution and solve a real world problem.

Through Chainlink grant support, Shrub will be able to access the resources necessary to launch their product live in production, penetrate target markets, and make a more meaningful impact in the world. Not only will the grant enable several improvements to the Shrub platform, but it will fund development of open-source weather data tools that can be leveraged by the entire Chainlink ecosystem. Some of the specific grant funded initiatives include:

  • Launch multiple Chainlink nodes on testnet for obtaining earthquake and hurricane data. These nodes will be available to the wider Chainlink community and contain custom APIs and External Adapters that enable developers to query the data in multiple ways, such as to learn about the most recent earthquake/hurricane’s magnitude, category, and location.
  • Make Shrub coverage solutions accessible to under-insured populations and within hard-to-reach markets. Additionally, expand support for new types of coverage like protection against pandemics, sea-level rises, droughts, and wildfires so people have more options of protecting their livelihoods.
  • Write fully-featured, open-source documentation that includes API guides and detailed information of various nodes and External Adapters, empowering Chainlink ecosystem projects to harness Shrub’s climate and weather data to build novel use cases.

Shrub is a peer-to-peer parametric weather derivatives marketplace where users can buy or sell coverage against the occurrence of specific disaster events. Insurance coverage policies are coded as hybrid smart contracts that are priced and settled on-chain using external data feeds. Shrub uses Chainlink oracles to securely bridge real-world data on-chain, leveraging Chainlink External Adapters to create connections to any data source, including publicly available information and authenticated APIs for premium data, IoT sensors, and enterprise backends.

Hybrid smart contracts for parametric coverage of catastrophic events offer many benefits over traditional insurance solutions. The most obvious is their low barrier to entry and global reach, as they only require data to price and settle in an automated and algorithmic way. Hybrid smart contracts also provide transparency into how settlement occurs and offer more timely payouts since policies are triggered automatically upon the arrival of data. Finally, they are tamper-proof and thus have lower forms of counterparty risk. The combination of these advantages make it easier to bootstrap insurance solutions for regions of the world without access to such forms of risk management, ultimately helping people live more stable lives despite the unexpected volatility of the real world.

“We are thrilled to receive a social impact grant from the Chainlink Community Grant Program to accelerate the launch of our parametric insurance marketplace,” stated Michael Vander Meiden, Co-Founder of Shrub. “Not only has Chainlink offered advice and financial support to bootstrap our project, but its decentralized oracle networks are pivotal to achieving our mission to create an accessible, global, and user-owned coverage network. We look forward to using this grant to expand our platform and bring open-source climate and weather data to all developers and projects in the Chainlink ecosystem.”

Through the Chainlink Community Grants program, we look forward to continuing to empower more and more Chainlink ecosystem teams, researchers, and social impact projects that are both researching and building key tools and infrastructure to accelerate the development of universally connected smart contracts, secure oracle networks, and impactful technology. We will continue supporting the community as a key driver of Chainlink’s rapid growth, because only together can we make universally connected, hybrid smart contracts into the dominant form of digital agreement.

If you want to learn more about the Grant Program, check out our recent blog post that further expands upon its goals and the criteria for submission. We encourage talented individual developers and development teams to apply to the grant program here, or if you’re a researcher and want to collaborate, contact us. Chainlink Community Grants are provided in cash and/or LINK.

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