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B3i launches market testing programme for re/insurance blockchain prototype

11th September 2017 - Author: Marianne Lehnis

B3i, the blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative, launched a market beta-testing programme for its newly developed blockchain driven platform for reinsurance transactions at the Monte Carlo RVS conference.

Blockchain tile image via ZDNet

All insurance industry participants have been invited to join in B3i’s market beta-testing programme for the prototype which is set to begin from October.

The B3i initiative is an agreement between 15 re/insurers to collaborate on blockchain use to create a global platform for market participants to more easily cede, handle, and trade risks.

The  B3i’s primary short-term focus is the handling of reinsurance contracts.

The blockchain initiative selected the IBM Blockchain Platform, built on the open source, openly governed Hyperledger Fabric.

Paul Meeusen of B3i, said; “I am really excited about our launch. Over the past four months, a dedicated, combined team drawn from B3i member firms has produced a working prototype covering the core functionalities required to enable a distributed smart contract management system for Property Cat XoL contracts.

“The deployment architecture is already close to a production-ready environment and the team is preparing for feature enhancements of the prototype and a first deployment into production in 2018.”

B3i said an industry business case for the platform that can be used across the entire re/insurance value chain has been built, with participants claiming a productivity gain of up to 30%.

B3i’s Sylvain De Crom, commented that “brokers, insurers and reinsurers alike will benefit from lower administration costs and will be able to offer more attractive rates and fees in the future.”

Participants of the B3i’s market beta-testing programme will receive access to a “sandbox” environment to simulate creation and settlement of contracts and will be required to submit feedback; they’ll also get access to B3i user group workshops until the end of 2017.

The blockchain initiative is being reviewed to consider creating a more permanent operation within a legal entity in 2018 to enhance the group’s infrastructure, talent acquisition and future platform R&D capabilities.

However, the current structure and composition of the B3i, based on a contractual agreement, will remain unchanged until 31st December 2017.

B3i members as well as the blockchain prototype testing participants will be given information about investment opportunities for the initiative’s next business phase.

The blockchain initiative aims to develop market-wide solutions that enable more efficient risk transfer and operation of insurance or reinsurance strategies, across the entire insurance value chain.

Distributed ledger technology has been hailed as one of the most important component’s of the sector’s future, with the potential to revolutionise risk transfer processes to benefit the sector’s cost-of-capital and ultimately the consumer.

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