Madrid-based online reputation startup Traity has launched a chatbot that uses an "open blockchain balance sheet" to provide micro-insurance for people carrying out P2P transactions
The bot, called Kevin, has been developed with Australian FS outfit Suncorp and is designed to provide people buying on marketplaces such as Craigslist and Gumtree with insurance of up to $100 against fraud, theft and scams.
Users who agree a deal on such a site visit a dedicated Kevin website and chat with the bot, which asks for details of the transaction and then sends a unique link which the user shares with their counterparty.
Kevin then checks to see if the reputations of both parties are good. If they are, it creates a transaction on blockchain to timestamp that they have agreed to the deal.
The bot then automatically buys $10 worth of bitcoin. If the transaction ends well, Kevin sells $10 worth of bitcoin but if it does not and a payout is needed, $100 is added to the open balance sheet.
Traity says that this system means that anyone, at anytime, can verify and audit Kevin's balance sheet, making the startup as "trustworthy" as any big bank or insurance company.
In a blog, Traity CEO Juan Cartagena says he started Traity after getting conned by someone he paid for a laptop through Gumtree. While the likes of AirBnB and Uber have insurance built in, many other sites do not.
Says Cartagena: "$100 may not sound like much, but it covers most of the transactions online. Furthermore, we think that this is not just about insurance but about prevention. Users who buy and sell through Kevin will be subject to reputation, and scammers will simply try to avoid it".