Crypto Insurer Evertas Buys Bitcoin Mining Cover Specialist Bitsure
Evertas, one of the few cryptocurrency insurance providers to work with the Lloyd’s of London market, has acquired Bitsure, a specialist insurer of Bitcoin mining operations, for an undisclosed amount.
As part of the deal, Bitsure co-founder and president Thomas Shewchuck joins Evertas as head of underwriting.
Crypto companies have found insurance products thin on the ground in recent years as underwriters and issuers struggle to get their heads around the unique characteristics of digital assets.
Bucking that trend, Evertas, which asked Bitsure to be its dedicated mining policy underwriter earlier this year, has received authority from Bermuda-based Arch Insurance to offer mining policies of up to $200 million per location. (Bitsure previously had authority to write policies of just $5 million per location.) Back in December, bitcoin mining and hosting company Compass Mining said it had created a $75m insurance policy for mining equipment
Providing insurance for the specialized equipment used to mine bitcoin might seem similar to the straightforward type of property-risk cover for data centers and the like, said Evertas CEO J. Gdanski. But a lingering fear of crypto generally, combined with several variables that affect the value of mining rigs, make it a poorly understood risk, Gdanski said.
“Of all the crypto risks this is probably the most familiar to the conventional insurance market,” Gdanski told CoinDesk. “Still, there’s so much variability in the pricing of mining hardware due to the fact that its replacement value is based on the value of the asset that’s being mined. That does present unique and novel challenges, and that’s why it’s hard for other insurers to get comfortable with it.”
The value of crypto mining equipment, based on future cash flow over the next several years, is also affected by mining difficulty: More miners on the network mean fewer bitcoin awards since it’s a zero-sum game, Shewchuck, Evertas’ new head of underwriting, said.
“As the bear market continues and we go into the halving, margins continue to get crushed for miners,” he said in an interview. “When it’s not possible to mine profitably, people turn their rigs off and often just sell them at a discount to larger players. This means more equipment in fewer locations, which increases the risk.”
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