Maritime insurer UK P&I Club has lauded the potential benefits of blockchain for the shipping sector when it comes to exchanging information.
Blockchain allows multiple parties to participate in transactions without allowing one user to have more control than the others and amend transaction information, for example.
Filip Koscielecki, UK P&I Club claims executive, said: “Blockchain can enable a conversion of the contractual terms and conditions into self-executable computer software which automatically implements and polices the terms and conditions between the parties to the contract.
“As the technology progresses, the prospects are that natural language contracts might even be done away with completely and be replaced with a contract made entirely of code.”
According to Koscielecki, the technology could lead to increased accuracy, security and transparency, reduce reliance on intermediaries and save time.
Blockchain does face some hurdles, particularly securing recognition of blockchain contracts in certain jurisdiction, but Koscielecki said this should not be an issue.
He said: “Electronic means for transmitting and exchanging information have been available for some time. Most jurisdictions therefore, no longer challenge the possibility for contracts to be created electronically.
“Smart contracts will gradually become pervasive in the wider maritime industry. Law and regulations will undoubtedly develop to accommodate this impending commercial revolution and the uncertainties surrounding them will then gradually diminish.”