The Context of Blockchain, aka Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT)
In the late 1990’s and continuing to the present, the insurance industry has seen a shift from traditional paper-based processes to digital operations. As the internet has normalized, business decision-makers and influencers have come to accept the real business implications of e-Commerce. Countless applications and software programs have been adapted or developed from scratch to tap the potential of the internet for the business of insurance – be it new products, acquisition, claims, and countless process improvements. Indeed, since 2014 or so, “Insurtech” has been one of the hottest sectors in private equity and venture capital funding.
Meanwhile, beginning in 2005 or so, Web 2.0 saw the rise of Social Technologies, including Mobile, Social Networks, Social Media, Digital Marketing, Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, Rating Systems, and related “Algorithms”. More recently, BigData, Wearables, IoT, AI and Machine Learning, and soon, 5G, have each sought to expand the ROI of e-Commerce capabilities. However, along the way, tech departments have been inundated with M&A-driven system integrations and maintenance, cyber security, new legal and regulatory requirements, competitive pressures, product run-offs, and corresponding financial constraints.
As we now enter the 2020’s, DLT brings with it a significant change in information architecture, “Distributed” being the key differentiator. In the world of DLT, the game-changers are consensus, cryptography, and tokenomics, aka digital currency or digital assets. The sharing of transactional information using cryptography and consensus means that databases can be distributed across multiple nodes while ensuring accuracy, privacy, and security.
“Smart Contracts” within the DLT code base, a new term for stored procedures, by leveraging external, trusted oracles such as public weather data aggregators or air traffic and flight data, can automate the terms of the insurance and reinsurance policies and their corresponding processes and settlements. The use of public and private keys to programmatically release and access information by and to multiple parties involved in a transaction promises to simultaneously increase information accuracy and security, while reducing transaction friction and costs.
As with any new era in business and industry, new insurance products will be spawned, products rendered obsolete will be sunset and runoff, and a myriad of technological advances will ensue along the insurance sales and service continuum. As always, the enterprise with the right information at the right time that can then move and adapt with precision will have the best chance of surviving the transition – and winning.
A private, interactive, knowledge-transfer process featuring actual projects happening within the industry, facilitated in a safe place such as a company boardroom by a veteran insurance technologist, is an effective method for understanding the essentials of blockchain/DLT and the corresponding implications for the insurance enterprise and the industry at-large.
Insurance & Blockchain Proofs of Concept & Consortiums as of 2020
To provide a sense of what is happening in the blockchain space in insurance worldwide, following is a partial list of publicly announced DLT projects. References are made to the companies and the technical focus of the projects, sorted by recency. In the Bootcamp itself, the participants will be led in a facilitated discussion of a selection of these projects, to include research on the Who (incl. consultants, business partners, and technologies), What, When, Where, Why, How, and How Much, when available.
- 3 Half-days, ideally delivered in the Boardroom or off-site, invitation-only, leadership team (optionally virtual)
- Keynote educational content, plain language, including detailed insurance case studies, concluded by a well-documented, facilitated WIIFM enterprise application Session
Session ONE – Leadership Team Education – What do I really need to know?
- Immediate Past, Present, & Foreseeable Future of Technology
- Essential Elements of Executive Awareness about Blockchain?
- What IS blockchain?
- Distributed Ledger Architecture
- Nodes & Consensus
- Deep Cryptography, Proof of Work v. Proof of Stake
- Tokenization & Store of Value
- Zero Knowledge Proofs “Trustless” Verification, & “The Last Mile”
- All about Oracles and API’s
- Applications of IoT and AI
- Impacts of the Network Effect
- Global Consortia, by Industry
- Early Adopters, by Industry
- What should and should NOT be on the Blockchain
- Legal & Regulatory – Singapore, Wyoming, Senate Hearings, ICO’s, Tokens
- The Ecosystem – Protocols, The Tech Stack, Public/Private, Vendors, Consultants
- Global .edu’s teaching on Blockchain for Business (MIT, Oxford, etc.)
- Global Blockchain communities – Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, Global Blockchain Business Council, Government Blockchain Association, etc.
- What IS blockchain?
Session TWO – Deep-dive by Industry
- Global Insurance DLT Consortia
- Case Studies
- Quick Look Ahead: Successful Transition to the Blockchain
Session THREE – Strategic Next Steps
- A 10-Step Process for Applying DLT to Our Business
- Project Ideation, Prioritizing - What makes sense for Our business?
- Final Thoughts Around the Room
The below graphic are clients from e-Commerce and Social Tech Consulting.