“Everyone knows” that blockchain technology is supposed to be the next hot insurtech thing, and that it involves people in goatees who trade Bitcoin, from laptops in coffee shops, while muttering mysterious phrases about “coin offerings.”
Computer Solutions & Software International LLC — a Coconut Creek, Florida-based insurance software firm that does business as VUE Software — has tried to make sense of the blockchain tech news, by commissioning business grad students from Harvard and New York University to write a report about the topic in plain English.
(Related: LIMRA Aims to Surf the Tech Wave)
The grad students looked at insurers and venture capitalists to see whether anyone in insurance is actually using blockchain tech, and, if so, how.
The report authors note that block tech is a strategy for spreading an encrypted ledger, or collection of transaction records, around on the web.
Here are three things the report authors found, drawn from the new report.
1. Blockchain terms can be expressed in English.
The authors have demonstrated this fact by including a glossary that defines terms such as “immutable ledger” and “smart contract.”
The authors state, for example, that an “immutable ledger” is, “A history of transactions that cannot be altered in any way, a key characteristic of blockchain ledgers.”
2. Most insurers and insurtech venture capital firms have little or no involvement in blockchain tech efforts.
Few insurers seem to have their blockchain tech efforts, and only 16% of insurance venture capital firms appear to have significant investments in blockchain efforts, the authors write.
However, many large insurers are dabbling with blockchain tech investments, by supporting the B3i and RiskBlock Alliance blockchain insurtech consortiums, the authors write.
B3i has focused on blockchain efforts for property & casualty insurance, but RiskBlock recently teamed up with LIMRA to introduce an app that life insurers can use to monitor the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File.