Blockchain: the next big thing in insurance?


What is really unique about this conference
is it is one of the first, if not the first conference, that focuses entirely on our industry. That is so important because many of the technical
challenges that we still have around Blockchain but also many of the business challenges we
need to solve, they accumulate around insurance. Blockchain has become a hot topic around insurers
because there’s pressure to cut operational cost. Capital charges are going up and expenses
are under pressure as a result. Of course investment income has gone down
in some European countries. At Swiss Re, we have started this journey
about a year ago. Our objective is to get hands on experience
so that we know how viable this technology for our business. BTI, Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative
is an important step towards that direction. There’s also a way to develop new approaches
to insurance. For example, on life insurance where you have
no exclusions in a smart contract that provides value for a consumer. The diamond industry is embracing the technology
to solve some of the real problems that it faces in today’s market. The ability to bring that into a ledger globally
so that information can be seen by the consumer to give them a full consciousness of mind
around the purchase that they’re making with the diamond. One primary advantage that smart contracts
have is that it gives us an ability to understand that other companies have accomplished a process
in an appropriate and agreed manner. They also allow us to compute things at a
network level rather than at an individual company level. The biggest regulatory challenge to Blockchain’s
adoption is just basic education. There’s a lot of misinformation, miscommunication
especially within the policy community, throughout the world about how this technology operates
and how it can benefit. I think what’s next is more porous organizations,
where the boundaries of the firm are not as clearly delineated and that’s going to force
companies that are used to being vertically integrated and managing many parts of the
value chain to think more about how to create value in a network. The knowledge collaboration awareness of the
whole industry is very important in this kind of technology use cases. I think this kind of event that brings awareness
of the whole insurance and reinsures industry to this blockchain technology is very important.

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