B3i founders form blockchain start-up

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The Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative (B3i) has formed a new company to commercialise its distributed ledger solutions.

Incorporated in Zurich, Switzerland, B3i Services will provide insurance solutions on a blockchain platform that is designed to substantially improve efficiency across the value chain of the (re)insurance industry.

Up until now, B3i has been a collaborative initiative of 15 global insurers and reinsurers that came together in late 2016 to explore and test the potential of blockchain in the industry.

The founding shareholders of the new company are Achmea, Aegon, Ageas, Allianz, Generali, Hanover Re, Liberty Mutual, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re, Tokio Marine, XL Catlin and Zurich Insurance Group.

The formation and incorporation of B3i Services represents a significant milestone for the members of the group, according to a statement. As an independent legal entity with its own capital and intellectual property, B3i Services can streamline the development, testing and commercialisation of blockchain solutions.

The initiative successfully completed its first product, a blockchain prototype for property cat XoL reinsurance contracts in mid-2017. Throughout October of last year, a group of 38 insurers, brokers, and reinsurers tested its functionality and robustness.

The prototype demonstrated that transactions could become quicker, more efficient and more secure than with current methods. The first live trades on the platform are anticipated by the end of 2018, with several other products being developed concurrently.

The incorporation of B3i Services is the starting point for the next stage of the initiative. The company will be raising additional funds from a wide spectrum of insurance industry participants over the coming months.

Gerhard Lohmann, CFO of reinsurance at Swiss Re, has been appointed as chairman of the company. He recently commented: “The transition of B3i from consortium to independent company is a concrete step forward to realising the enormous potential of blockchain for the insurance industry.”

“Personally, I am very excited to be at the forefront of this innovation that has the capability to transform the industry and help make insurance more affordable, accessible and attractive for market segments that are currently disenfranchised, or underprivileged.”

Members of the new company’s executive management team are Paul Meeusen, Fei Zhang, Sylvain De Crom, Markus Tradt and Ken Marke.

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk