23 more insurers sign on with blockchain consortium – Digital Insurance

By Nathan Golia    Published October 03, 2017 5:14am EDT

The Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative has added 23 new companies to its Market Testing program.

These entrants bring the total number of consortium members to 38. B3i started last year with five members before adding 10 more earlier this year. The latest cohort has signed on following a successful prototype introduced at the reinsurance industry’s annual Monte Carlo conference this summer.

The new additions are AIA, AIG, Aon, Chubb, Covéa, Everest Re, Gen Re, Guy Carpenter & Marsh, JLT Re, Leadway Assurance, LocalTapiola, Mapfre Re, Navigators, PartnerRe, QBE Re, SAHAM Assurance, Sava Re, Takaful Emarat, TigerRisk, Trust Re, UnipolSai and Willis Re. Some of the companies, like AIG and Gen Re, have explored blockchain previously.

More at: 23 more insurers sign on with blockchain consortium – Digital Insurance

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Microsoft, EY set sail with Maersk on new blockchain voyage

The shipping industry appears to be one fraught with inefficiencies, making it ripe for the disruption that blockchain could potentially deliver.

A new team has formed comprised of Microsoft and EY working with Maersk on a blockchain project targeting marine insurance.

The goal of this initiative is to streamline the complex insurance process involved in shipping, that is currently extremely paper heavy.

While also using the distributed ledger to bring marine insurance into the digital world, it is also intended to seamlessly connect the various parties involved the process, ensuring a greater level of visibility and transparency.

Not only is this blockchain project set to make the process of managing marine insurance more efficient, but it is also planned to be beneficial for achieving regulatory compliance.

According to CNBC, Shaun Crawford, global insurance leader at EY, said: “The reason we chose marine (insurance) as the starting point for this sort of market is mainly because of its complete inefficiency… “The reason we chose marine (insurance) as the starting point for this sort of market is mainly because of its complete inefficiency.”

More at: Microsoft, EY set sail with Maersk on new blockchain voyage

Blockchain Technology: Inevitable Disruption or Inflated Hype? – JDSupra

The virtual currency Bitcoin has gained notoriety and intrigued entrepreneurs, finance magnates and governments. Lauded and criticized for its ability to offer relatively fast, inexpensive and nearly anonymous transactions, Bitcoin ushered in a new era of Fintech innovation. For example, it paved the way for the development of other virtual currencies such as Ethereum, Monero and Dash.

Although various virtual currencies offer different features and purport to serve different purposes, most share one key attribute: the blockchain. This article offers a high-level overview of blockchain technology and how it might impact industries such as finance, insurance, smart contracts, real estate and logistics.

More at: Blockchain Technology: Inevitable Disruption or Inflated Hype? – JDSupra

The Institutes launches U.S. blockchain consortium – Information Management

The Institutes, a provider of educational materials and consulting for the P&C industry, is launching a blockchain consortium with the goal of spurring development of use cases for the technology in the U.S.

The RiskBlock Alliance has a goal of 30 members across the P&C value chain. Potential use cases envisioned by The Institutes include proof of insurance, subrogation, data sharing and risk registries, and parametric insurance.

The Institutes has been getting cozier with blockchain this year. It was a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, a cross-industry effort to create protocols, standards and governance models for the use of private Ethereum networks. Ethereum is one of several distributed computing platforms that make up the blockchain ecosystem.

Source: The Institutes launches U.S. blockchain consortium – Information Management

Insurance Blockchain Startup InsureX Halts Crowdsale due to Security Attacks – CryptoCoinsNews

InsureX has announced that due to security attacks on its system it has halted its crowdsale with immediate effect, two days after starting its sale.

Founded in 2017, the London-based insurance blockchain startup had only launched the opening of its ICO crowdsale on the 11th July, becoming the first blockchain-based marketplace to be utilized for the trade and management of insurance products.

However, on the 13th July, the company announced that because of security attacks on its system over the last two days they had decided to stop the sale.

InsureX said:

This action is not taken lightly but is necessary to protect existing IXT holders and stakeholders of InsureX. We have been working around the clock to keep the token sale open, but the sheer number of attacks is now overwhelming.

More at: Insurance Blockchain Startup InsureX Halts Crowdsale due to Security Attacks – CryptoCoinsNews

Blockchain Could Make the Insurance Industry Much More Transparent – Harvard Business Review

While Edward Lloyd is largely credited with commercializing the insurance industry, with the creation of his namesake firm, Lloyd’s, over 330 years ago, the original concept of spreading risk (or “mutualizing”) goes back even further. Hundreds of years before Lloyd’s was formed, Chinese merchants would spread their valuable cargo across multiple vessels, with each one carrying an equal share of another merchant’s goods. In this manner, no single loss would be catastrophic. This spread of risk, of course, also prevented a merchant from absconding with his ship’s goods and never reuniting with the other traders; he’d have too much to lose. In effect, they all had skin in the game, which remains one of the most elusive elements of modern finance. Both then and in 1686, when Lloyd’s was born in a London coffee house, the global insurance industry was a business of utmost good faith, as it remains today.

Thus a trust and efficiency engine like blockchain technology has the potential to drive radical change in the insurance industry while improving transparency and outcomes across the entire value chain. Intermediaries or “trust brokers” do not have to be written out of the equation — or disintermediated — as many blockchain enthusiasts argue. Rather, they can become early adopters of the technology. Admittedly, this shift will be hardest on the established monoliths in the industry, for it will require uncomfortable transparency and price corrections in their business models. This will be toughest on the portions of the industry that are the least differentiated, where consumers often decide based on price: auto, life, and homeowner’s insurance. However, even these commodity offerings can find ways to innovate and survive.

More at: Blockchain Could Make the Insurance Industry Much More Transparent – Harvard Business Review

AIG and IBM to use blockchain for a ‘smart’ insurance policy – Computer Business Review

Insurance is a space that is in desperate need of digital transformation.

Blockchain is set to break new ground in the development of “smart” insurance policies as American International Group (AIG) and IBM collaborate to carry out the process.

The intention is to create an insurance policy that uses the cutting edge technology to manage international coverage, a task that is currently highly complex.

Moves have already been made towards bringing this project to reality, as the duo have conducted and completed a pilot of a multi-national policy for Standard Chartered Bank PLC.

AIG and IBM have said that this is the first instance of the use of blockchain in this specific way; this marks another stride towards blockchain becoming a practical and trusted method that can revolutionise traditional processes.

More at: AIG and IBM to use blockchain for a ‘smart’ insurance policy – Computer Business Review