You’ll love to be late for devcon two!

Are you flying to Shanghai for devcon two or Blockchain Week in September? Now you can share the risk of a delayed or canceled flight with your fellow travelers on the Ethereum blockchain.

Update: the experiment has ended, thanks for your participation. We got great feedback and published a summary of our findings. You can still use the UI and contract on testnet at https://fdd.etherisc.com

Flight delays suck! Cancellations suck even more. Theoretically, you can claim compensation from the airline, but the airlines try hard to make the process as cumbersome as possible. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just pay a little amount into a DApp and get an automated and instant payout when your flight is delayed or canceled?

We have already seen some great prototypes on Ethereum dealing with flight delays, most notably InsurETH, a winning project at the London FinTech Week last year, and more recently a demo for the IC3 project Town Crier which aims to provide authenticated data feeds.

There has been a lot of talk about blockchain and insurance. We strongly believe that we need more experiments in this space and some real-world use cases for smart contracts. And we need real users to improve the overall blockchain experience.

Inspired by the projects above and to further the development, a team around Christoph Mussenbrock formed to prepare a DApp to share the risks of delays and cancellations when flying to Shanghai for devcon two and Blockchain Week. If you have booked a flight we invite you to participate and give it a try:

The contract is currently deployed on the Ethereum mainnet, address is 0x4D54bE5a62F5d9fcF4b17C7ab6e68822C142ec6B. Verify the source code on etherscan or ether.camp and fork it at github.com. We also have a version of the contract on Morden testnet.

We provide a web interface to interact with the contract here. We recommend using MetaMask or the Mist Browser.

Usage should be as simple as it gets: Choose your flight by selecting origin, destination airport and the date of departure (note: the departure time should be more than 24 hours in the future). Then you can apply for a policy: The policy application shows you probabilities of your flight being delayed more than 15, 30 and 45 minutes and of the flight being canceled or diverted.

Enter the amount of ETH you want to pay as a premium into the contract. Currently a minimum of 0.5 ETH and a maximum of 5 ETH per policy is accepted. You can then see the estimated payouts in case of the respective delays. Apply for the policy, approve the transaction, and wait for the transaction to be mined. Then you can watch your policy in the list below.

The underwriting oracle will then check and approve or reject your application. Please note that the underwriting oracle only accepts direct flights with departure times until 26 September 2016 12.00 noon UTC. Also note that you need to apply at least 24 hours before the flight’s scheduled departure.

If your flight is delayed, canceled or diverted, the payout oracle will automatically pay the corresponding sum to your address.

Please note that this is a short-term experiment and meant to be a showcase for DApps and not a commercial offering. We will be funding this out of our own pockets with some support from our friends. Premium payments are limited to 5 ETH per policy, maximum payouts are limited too. We also limit the total number of policies per flight and the total amount of premiums in the contract in order to keep the risks manageable.

We are looking for additional sponsors to provide more funds, so we can increase the total limits and make this available to more people. If you are interested in sponsoring this experiment, please contact us at contact@etherisc.com.

The contract uses oraclize (thanks to Thomas Bertani for the great support) and the flightstats API as data source. To pay for the oracles, and to cover the tail risks, the contract deducts a 3% fee off the premium payments.

Expected payouts converge to the sum of paid-in premiums minus the 3% fee. If the contract ends up with a surplus after all policies are paid out or expired, the remaining amount will be donated to the Ethereum foundation’s tip jar.

We plan to provide more information on the underlying risk model, our design decisions, and how the contract works in detail in following posts. And we are looking forward to your questions and feedback here or at devcon two.

Kolkata Airport by Yuvipanda (CC-BY-SA 3.0)

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