Michael Mainelli and Chiara von Gunten
Z/Yen Group, Long Finance (December 2014), 51 pages.
"Chain Of A Lifetime: How Blockchain Technology Might Transform Personal Insurance" is the outcome of a research project conducted between August and December 2014 which explored how blockchain technology might transform personal insurance and in particular interactions among individuals and insurance companies over time.
Blockchain technology's main innovation is an electronic public transaction record of integrity without central authority. Beside cryptocurrencies and distributed payment systems, blockchain applications could include areas of finance where a central, trusted third party has traditionally been used, trade reporting, depository receipts, escrow accounts or trade finance. Blockchains can contain set of documents, record assets and help to manage interconnected devices. Emerging applications, such as smart contracts and decentralised autonomous organisations, might in future also permit blockchains to act as automated agents.
The report concludes that blockchain technology could transform the way people manage identities and personal information; blur even further the divide between global and local; influence consumer perception of time; drive honesty and transparency; and, influence consumer perceptions of risk that could change the way insurers support mutualisation. The report highlights how, at the time of writing, most insurance companies do not yet seem ready to experiment with blockchain technology. They find it difficult enough to understand Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies. Non-insurers are more likely to be the first to create insurance or insurance-related applications. Blockchain applications in insurance are likely to start with digital identity systems and management of personal data.
This free-to-download report was prepared by Z/Yen Group and published by Long Finance in December 2014 (press release):
Find out more about Long Finance research interest in Distributed Futures - Distributed Ledgers, Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies.