Blockchain technology and the associated digital ledger technology make up a revolutionary new platform with serious advances on current technology regarding how an industry can trade between businesses and with their customers. But what is the link between cryptocurrencies and blockchain and how is this even relevant for the insurance industry? Register and read on to find out more.
Is it all a game?
Cryptocurrency sounded like something from Dungeons and Dragons. The stark reality is, it’s no board game. Serious money is exchanged. By January 2018 the total market capitalisation of cryptocurrency was $813 billion (https://coinmarketcap.com/charts/). To some it seems very daunting and futuristic with talk of “nodes” and “immutable data”, especially when many of us are still coming to terms with contactless credit cards.
With contactless, as with many innovations, the world becomes quickly segmented with those early adopters and those just not ready to trust. The early adopters wanting to up the £30 limits on many cards. Tottenham fans actually had the decision made for them with a cashless bar at the new stadium. The initial feeling of mistrust from many is very quickly overtaken by the benefits of something that is very simple and easy (not to mention shorter queues for a pint!).
The ‘crypto crowd’ soon realised that the benefits of blockchain were perfect for trading digital currencies with the first Bitcoin transaction in January 2009 and although the early days of crypto trading were often seen as a little murky, today it is a growing business with greater credibility.
Crypto meant blockchain can now flourish
The association between cryptocurrency and blockchain is conflicting. Would blockchain have become as developed without it? Blockchain is becoming the buzz word that people want to know about and talk about. One insurer, having been through a Blocksure Discovery experience said to me after his introduction, “When I go back to the office I will be king. The one-eyed man in the land of the blind is king’’. Seeing is believing and although the technology behind blockchain and distributed ledger maybe complex, what it delivers in terms of benefits is clear and obvious to see. There are masses of opportunities being uncovered. The early adopters very quickly saw the advantages of a platform that could securely transfer digital data, have it time stamped, share it and reconcile it immediately and record changes and deletions.
We can’t get enough of the Amazon experience
The early adopters of the internet included the porn industry as it immediately recognised the benefits. However, just as blockchain is not only about cryptocurrencies, development of the world wide web did not stop with pornography! Today we can’t get enough of the Amazon experience and all the innovations on our mobile devices. It takes time and experience to build trust but it will inevitably come for blockchain too.
The benefits are there to be seen
Blockchain technology and the associated digital ledger technology make up a revolutionary new platform (based on internet technology), with serious advances on current technology regarding how an industry can trade between businesses and with their customers. It takes on board the simplicity and speed of the internet but brings much, much more. Where a number of parties share data, blockchain comes into its own. There really could not be a quicker, safer and incorruptible way to trade, removing many unnecessary back office processes.
With hindsight, it’s not so much a Crypto Myth because blockchain has a lot to thank Bitcoin for, but what is now blossoming is a technology that will make our lives better and our data safer. Blockchain and digital ledger technology should not suffer ‘guilt by association’. The internet has broken free from the shackles of being a ‘porn star’ and businesses now aspire to the Amazon trading experience.
The insurance industry is exploring the opportunity
Industry as a whole is exploring the benefits of blockchain and the insurance industry is just waking up to the benefits of this incredible tool. The insurance industry is a fantastic diverse marketplace, with solutions which provide for virtually any business’ or individual’s needs. Mariah Carey has her legs and voice insured for $35 million each! This wouldn’t be possible without the interaction of many different parties. However what facilitates this flexibility and vast opportunity is an extensive intermediated network, sharing of large volumes of data and layering of risk. The nature of this only adds complexity and reduces efficiency. Blockchain has a solution and the insurance sector is beginning to see the benefits for itself.