FidentiaX to Bring World’s 1st Marketplace for Tradable Insurance Policies

FidentiaX, a Singapore based fintech start-up, has announced the launch of world’s first marketplace based on blockchain technology for tradable insurance policies.  As per the recent announcement, the platform is currently in development phase and is capable of disrupting the status quo in the industry.

The Objective

The fidentiaX marketplace will put the ball in the court of policyholders, empowering them to monetize policies on the blockchain. The company also plans to set up fidentiaX Open Source Foundation (FSOF) in an effort to encourage the integration of blockchain technology with the insurance industry.

The Market Scenario

As reported by OECD, the total market volume in 40 countries was worth of $3.86 billion in 2016. Among the reporting regions, Asia has been anticipated to have the fastest growth rate for life insurance, and an estimated real annual compounded growth rate of 10.2 percent.

However, certain inefficiencies are there in the tradable insurance market, including:

  • Low Level of Awareness

Many policyholders are not familiar with an idea that policies are tradable assets that are sold in the open market at a profit. In 2015, $112 billion worth of policies were put in the U.S market, out of which $57 billion worth of policies could be resold.

  • Absence of Marketplace

There is no specific marketplace for tradable policies, making it difficult for policy sellers and buyers to coordinate and connect.

  • Presence of Third Party

Almost every transaction requires buyer and seller to place trust of the third party, for execution, which increases the overall cost and also makes buyers and sellers dependent on these middlemen.

In view of these loopholes in the traditional marketplace, fidentiaX marketplace has been developed upon membership-centric ecosystem that focuses on all key stakeholders equally.

The Services

FidentiaX marketplace provides the following services:

  • Policy Ledger

This service eliminates the need for intermediaries, by developing a digital ledger for policyholders.

  • Trustless Marketplace

FidentiaX’s trustless marketplace provides buyers and sellers with a comprehensive platform to connect and trade different policies via blockchain.

The company, at present, is focusing on establishing its operations in Asia before implementing its global expansion strategy. The target Asian countries include Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore.

FidentiaX is also planning to announce the launch of its token sale soon. To know more about the platform and be updated with its upcoming ICO dates, please follow https://t.me/fidentiaX

 

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Many different types of projects are being developed on top of the Ethereum blockchain as we speak. Umbrella Coin is one of those projects and it has a lot of potential. More specifically, the team is looking into providing the next generation insurance platform. Life will happen in one way or another and being prepared for the worst is never a bad idea. There will also be an ICO for Umbrella Coin in just over four days from now.

Changing the way the insurance industry works will not be easy. In fact, one could argue the insurance industry hasn’t evolved much over the past few decades. Umbrella Coin feels they can certainly make a difference, though. Democratizing the whole insurance claim process and provide policyholders with benefits sounds like a great change. Disrupting the insurance industry will yield some exciting results, to say the least.

Umbrella Coin is an Intriguing Insurance-related Project

No one can deny that particular sector is not as efficient as it could or should be. Moreover, insurance – especially in the US – has become far more expensive than ever before. Blockchain technology can, in theory, solve a lot of these inefficiencies. Addressing hidden costs and making this tool more accessible on a global scale are two potential outcomes. Removing intermediaries from the equation is a bold plan, though. After all, society has gotten used to insurance agents, administration, and letting third parties take care of things.

Umbrella Coin will feature a reputation-based system to improve overall voting engagement. All users can vote on submitted claims. A random sample of users can vote on an anonymous policy. Those with good behavior, get rewarded. Others, who try to game the system, will be punished for their actions. All of this results in preserving the claim owner’s privacy and creating a fair system for everyone. UMC Holders have no incentive to deny legitimate claims whatsoever.

It is important to note Umbrella Coin isn’t just looking at the US market. An international expansion is on the agenda as well. Additionally, they will provide this service for different methods, including healthcare, car insurance, et cetera. They are not an active insurance provider themselves, though, but they will look to complement existing service providers all over the world. It does sound like a great project, and the white paper features more specific details regarding the business model.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, an Indian insurance major, has announced a successful implementation of blockchain technology into its operations. The new solution, targeting its travel and motor insurance products will speed up the claims settlement process.

The announcement by Bajaj Allianz, a collaborative initiative between Indian auto major and German Insurance giant, comes weeks after Allianz revealed its plans to use a distributed ledger solution for managing Catastrophe bonds (CAT Bonds). The new blockchain implementation in the Indian market is said to be cutting down the time required for processing claims.

The Head of IT, Web Sales and Digital Marketing at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, Sourabh Chatterjee was quoted by a business magazine saying,

“This [blockchain based claim processing solution] is helping us to bring down the current settlement turnaround time for some plans from days to minutes… This technology allowed us to integrate with different travel providers to initially start the offering from travel alliance.”

The “Travel Ezee” insurance product offered to international fliers is now being instantly processed in case of flight delays, without having the policyholder to file a claim. Previously, if the flight was delayed, the policyholder was required to fill the claims form and submit it along with a “certificate of delay” issued by the airline. Blockchain technology has enabled Bajaj Allianz to automate the process to a great extent.

Also, the use of distributed ledger in handling motor insurance claims has brought down the processing time from earlier five to seven days’ timeline to 20 minutes. According to the report, the customer can avail the “On the Spot” facility to self-inspect the vehicle and file a claim using Bajaj Allianz’ wallet app along with pictures of the damaged vehicle and policy/bank details.

With the new implementation of cryptocurrency technology, the company is not only saving the man-hours needed to process claims, but it is also making the lives of policyholders a lot easier.

Ref: BusinessLine | Image: NewsBTC

Bitcoin has gained the status of a mainstream currency in Japan. The growth in adoption of a new mode of payment comes with its own set of challenges due to the decentralized nature of the cryptocurrency. Merchants including Bitcoin as a method of payment are a bit apprehensive about possible failed transactions which might force them to incur losses.

The leading Japanese Bitcoin exchange platform, bitFlyer has come up with a solution for merchants and businesses in the country. The company has partnered with one of the leading Japanese insurance firms, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance to provide retailers with a unique Bitcoin insurance. The new insurance is custom made to address the merchants’ apprehensions about failed cryptocurrency transactions.

The first of its kind insurance product was released on Friday, and more similar policies are expected to enter the Japanese market soon. The new insurance will cover merchants of damages incurred during the occasions when the customers’ payment doesn’t go through correctly due to system problems or other issues.

A leading financial magazine also provides information about another upcoming insurance offering in the making, created by CoinCheck and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance.

The insurance sector has so far been quite apprehensive about the cryptocurrency sector. There have been many instances where similar ideas were shot down before giving it serious consideration. With increasing popularity of Bitcoin, the insurance providers have evolved to meet the changing needs.

Even blockchain technology has gained inroads into the insurance industry. Various companies are currently working on creating distributed ledger based solutions that make use of smart contract to automate the issuance of policies and claim processing. The segment of the industry has already gained a name for itself, “Insurtech”.

As insurance companies increasingly opt a friendly stance towards cryptocurrencies, more crypto-businesses will opt for the services.

Ref: Nikkei | Image: NewsBTC

AIG, the multinational insurance provider, has announced its first blockchain based insurance policy, that was issued to UK’s Standard Chartered Bank. The blockchain policy termed the “master policy” governs multiple policies for the bank’s operations in various countries.

The insurance sector has found that blockchain technology can offer them loads of benefits at a fraction of the cost. The use of distributed ledger and smart contracts allows insurance companies to automate many processes, thereby reducing the time and resources otherwise required to issue policies and process claims. When it comes to multiple high-value policies, with varying risks spread across the world, the use of blockchain technology will relieve the insurance provider of a headache that comes with different versions of paperwork drafted in accordance with the requirements of multiple jurisdictions. It also eliminates the need to have multiple intermediaries between the insurance provider and the customer/policyholder.

In a report on one of the leading financial media outlets, the Head of AIG, Carol Barton mentioned that the new policy issued to Standard Chartered over blockchain helped the company cut down on months of processing time. She was quoted saying,

“ Typically a multinational policy can take a lot of time because of local regulatory requirements. This [blockchain-based] system provides a lot of certainty more quickly. A process that could have taken months was cut down to a few days.

Ultimately, it makes it cheaper. There are a lot of frictional costs in chasing after things, but the system makes the process faster and more cost-effective. “

AIG implements the insurance policy for Standard Chartered in partnership with IBM Blockchain. The article also quotes the General Manager of IBM Blockchain Marie Weick saying,

“By helping solve some of the biggest problems challenging the [insurance]industry, from eliminating silos of information to improving efficiency, blockchain can truly make an enormous impact and even lead to new business models.”

Meanwhile, there isn’t enough information available on the policy itself, as Standard Chartered has refused to divulge any information about it. Other players are also exploring InsurTech at the moment, and there are few products in different stages of development. In the coming days, we will see more such solutions making it to the market, enabling everyone to buy and claim insurance on the fly.

Ref: Financial Times | Image: NewsBTC

The cryptocurrency revolution is opening up new markets for conventional businesses as well. The insurance industry is one such sector that can capitalize on the increasing demand. Mitsui Sumitomo, the Japanese insurance major has announced its plans to offer a new product exclusively for the cryptocurrency sector.

Cryptocurrency exchange platforms around the world are under constant threat of being hacked. Many exchanges including Japan’s own Mt Gox had been a victim of such cyber threat. Now, with insurance companies opening up to the high-risk industry segment, confidence among investors is bound to grow. According to reports, Mitsui Sumitomo’s insurance product is co-developed with the Japanese Bitcoin exchange — bitFlyer. Both cryptocurrency exchanges and its users are set to benefit from the new product offering.

The total coverage offered by Mitsui Sumitomo ranges from 10 million yen to 1 billion yen. It will factor in damages and losses caused by hacking incidents, unauthorized access, other cyber-attacks, human error and impropriety by employees. The product is available for the domestic Bitcoin market and it will also cover the costs incurred by the insurer while dealing with international lawsuits.

The announcement of a new insurance product by Mitsui Sumitomo comes at a time when the adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain based systems are at an all-time high in the country. Businesses and individuals are increasingly using custom cryptocurrency solutions to meet their requirements. Apart from Bitcoin, Counterparty is one of the widely-adopted cryptocurrency platforms in Japan at the moment.

The increased confidence among the cryptocurrency community in Japan is expected to increase digital currency related activity in the coming years. The transaction and trading related growth during 2016 and 2017 is expected increase beyond the previously estimated figures by Seed Planning, a market research firm.

As Asian countries of Japan, China, and India continues to adopt cryptocurrency in the rapid pace, due to various economic factors, Bitcoin is expected to display huge growth in the coming years.

Ref: Nikkei | Image: NewsBTC

 

The Blockchain technology is designed to be secure by default as it stores important cryptocurrency transaction data. The information stored on blockchain is responsible for the execution of transactions and prevention of double spending. The bitcoin blockchain is built around the SHA-256 cryptographic function to secure data.

The open source nature of bitcoin technology has facilitated its adoption in sectors other than mainstream cryptocurrency. It is being used to store information other than transactions. It can be used to create irrefutable records with verifiable time stamps, which is a very important requirement for the industries and companies involved directly or indirectly in finance. Insurance is one of the industries that can benefit a lot from blockchain technology.

Insurance products have not seen many transformations since the olden days, but with the increasing usage of technology among people, the need for insurance is constantly changing. Businesses are coming up with a variety of tech-driven products and services which were never heard of in the last decade. These new-age companies are denied insurance cover for some of their products as they do not conform to the existing (outdated) insurance products. It is time for the insurance providers to adapt to the existing market and offer services relevant to the current needs instead of trying to sell the old products.

As the insurance sector works on coming up with new, workable insurance products, the use of blockchain technology has not been overlooked. An insurance company, SafeShare has recently announced their new product- a blockchain based insurance solution for the sharing economy.

SafeShare for Shared Economy

SafeShare is a new-age insurance solutions provider based out of London, England. It is part of Cornerstone Insurance Brokers Limited. SafeShare specializes in insurance solutions for the new-age startups which are based on sharing economy. We all know about the popularity of applications like Airbnb and Uber. They are all based on the sharing economy where individuals offer services in a personal capacity, facilitated by an application or a platform.

These businesses (if you can call it) require real-time insurance coverage as and when a new client shows up and the blockchain based insurance solution being offered by SafeShare does just that. According to Alex Steinart, the blockchain technology used by SafeShare is created by Z/Yen Group using MetroGnomo open source timestamping service. It helps the company offer its insurance products to customers in real-time while maintaining a history of insured transactions.

The insurance solution offered by SafeShare over blockchain is underwritten by Lloyd’s with a 24 hours’ claims hotline. Apart from offering real-time, convenient insurance solutions, the help of bitcoin technology will also help insurance companies keep their costs low.

Vrumi, an office space sharing startup that allows people will extra rooms to share the space with those looking for an office space is currently working with SafeShare to implement the company’s blockchain based insurance offering for its customers.

Blockchain technology is helping the industries get up to speed with the technology sector, allowing them to take advantage of the new market needs and it will continue to do so.

Ref:L'USINEDIGITALE

Putting bitcoin aside for a minute, he concept of financial security, and faithful transaction, is at the root of any stable monetary system. Mainstream adoption of anything, from credit and debit cards to online payment mechanisms such as PayPal and Skrill was reliant upon users feeling like they could send and receive money without fear of fraud, theft and data compromise. Of course, these things happen, and will likely continue to do so across whatever means with which we transact, but the organizations behind the processing of these methods all have policies in place that compensate users in the event of fraudulent transactions (in most cases, at least).

Banks will generally reverse transactions, or compensate account holders, when somebody steals their cards and spends funds. The same is true for things like PayPal, which has a resolution center and offers users the ability to reverse payments (somewhat controversially, but there we go).

We’ve had some pretty big fundamental developments in the bitcoin space over the last couple of weeks, with China pushing for the distribution of its own digital currency, and the Australian Stock Exchange setting its sights on becoming the first organization of its kind to settle transactions using the blockchain, and now the head of a hugely important organization in the financial-sphere has weighed in on blockchain technology and – specifically – bitcoin and its path to mainstream adoption. The man is Greg Medcraft, the organization is the International Organization of Securities Commissions (Iosco), and here’s what he had to say in an interview with The Financial Times earlier this week:

One way to get consumer confidence is that someone has to look after the issue of fraud… At least at the start, exchanges will have to guarantee the customer behind [the trade].

The organization Medcraft heads up is responsible for the overseeing of all of the worlds major securities commissions, which in turn are the bodies responsible for overseeing the various global securities exchanges (think SEC and NASDAQ in the US, or the FCA and LSE in the UK). As such, he is specifically referring to guarantees put in place by those parties on each side or a securities based transaction, but the concept can – and should, in this author’s opinion – be applied to other sectors of the bitcoin space. Without this extended application, mainstream adoption is nigh on impossible.

So what would this involve? Well, just as major banks offer protection from fraud and, as mentioned, reverse fraudulent transactions, exchanges, commercial wallet providers and payment processors should do the same. We know this sort of thing is in place with some of the major service providers – Coinbase, for example insures against loss that comes about as a result of a breach of our physical security, cyber security, or as a result of employee theft – but its not enough.

It’s obviously a controversial issue. Should we expect companies like Coinbase to reimburse us if our log in details are compromised, for example? At the moment, they don’t. But this is comparable to HSBC reimbursing us when our card is stolen, is it not? Yes, we should do all we can to avoid our accounts being used fraudulently, but there needs to be contingency in place for if (more like when) it happens to someone.

Without this contingency bitcoin won’t achieve mainstream adoption.

Bitcoin knows no borders; transactions between geographical borders is the same as making a bitcoin transfer to someone sitting right next to you. There will be no difference in transaction fee or time required for execution of the transaction. This quality of bitcoin is a boon for people who regularly make overseas transfers, especially people employed in different countries who transfer funds back home on a regular basis or those who keep travelling on work and have to take care of their utility bills etc. back home while on a trip.

Bitwala, a bitcoin startup is leveraging upon this quality of bitcoin to make remittance and bill payments easier from across the world. Bitwala is a 6-month-old Dutch startup offering bitcoin payment services. The company has recently introduced a new payment system called EmailPay where users no longer have to use a long string of characters to make bitcoin transfers. EmailPay allows registered users on the platform to make bitcoin transactions using email ids instead of wallet address.

Bitwala has been gradually expanding its reach across Europe and the company currently has users from over 19 Eurozone countries and beyond. The QuickPay service offered by Bitwala makes paying rent and utility bills with bitcoin easier. Anyone from anywhere across the world can pay rents, utility bills, insurance premium, credit card bills etc. in the following Eurozone nations – 1. Austria, 2. Belgium, 3. Cyprus, 4. Estonia, 5. Finland, 6.France, 7. Germany, 8. Greece, 9. Ireland, 10. Italy, 11. Latvia, 12. Lithuania, 13. Luxembourg, 14. Malta, 15. Netherlands, 16. Portugal, 17. Slovakia, 18. Slovenia and 19. Spain.

A three-member team comprising of Jorg von Minckwitz, Jan Goslicki and Ben Jones have been instrumental in getting Bitwala up and running. The brand has now grown beyond Europe as the company has lately been receiving remittance requests from North Africa, India and other countries.

READ MORE: Rebit Allows Overseas Filipinos to Pay Family’s Bills through Bitcoin

The London based insurance giant, Lloyd’s has recently published a report on the risk factor associated with Bitcoin and other digital currencies. The report titled “Bitcoin – Risk factors for insurance” provides a detailed description of different kinds of threats faced by Bitcoin. According to the company, the security risk associated with Bitcoin will never be reduced to zero.

The Lloyd’s report, authored by multiple experts was specially commissioned to understand and assess the risks associated with insuring Bitcoin based businesses. The report shows that the companies involved in Bitcoin businesses will continue to face a “dynamic threat” irrespective of the security practices they follow.

At the time when almost anything can be insured, including the way one looks, insurance cover for Bitcoin shouldn’t be a big deal. While Bitcoin is constantly plagued by cyberattacks and price fluctuations, it is still exhibiting steady growth in adoption and the mainstream financial industry has also started adopting it.

The incidences with Mt Gox, Bter, other wallet providers and exchanges which has amounted to millions of dollars in losses has got the Bitcoin companies lining up for insurance policies against such incidences. At the same time, Bitcoin faces threats from multiple sides. Bitcoin faces both insider threats and external ones. In order to safeguard themselves from such threats, the companies should ensure that they have a really good security system in place by implementing cold storage, multi-sig and hybrid wallet systems to store Bitcoin.

The poor track record exhibited by Bitcoin exchanges so far when it comes to securing their Bitcoin deposits is another factor responsible for pushing the risk factor upward. As the industry is constantly progressing, the insurance companies will have to approach this industry in a different way, as compared to conventional businesses. Usually, insurers take the previous track record into consideration before insuring businesses. But with the Bitcoin industry, it should be the other way around. The insurers should keep track of the new developments and security upgrades these Bitcoin companies are implementing to gauge the risk instead of depending upon past records.

Few Bitcoin businesses like Coinbase and Xapo have already made announcements about their insurance policies making it more evident that we can expect more Bitcoin companies to receive insurance coverage in the coming days.

READ MORE: Coinbase Publicly Announces It’s Holding Insurance Against Theft/Loss of Bitcoins