Periklis Thivaios

PresentationAudio Recording

18 October 2017 | 11:45 – 12:45 | Committee 4

Relevant practice area(s):Wider Fields, Enterprise and Financial Risk Management (ERM)

Suggested audience knowledge level: Foundational



* Blockchain is a new technology that has attracted significant attention in the recent past

* Several blockchain applications have been proposed, with the potential to transform and disrupt the insurance industry

* However, few insurance practitioners (and not only) understand what blockchain really is, where it can be applied and how

* It is important therefore to go beyond the hype and understand, first i) the technology and ii) more importantly the business applications that blockchain can support

* As such, blockchain needs to be understood as a solution to relevant business problems, rather than as a silver bullet to the insurance industry’s challenges and inefficiencies

* A structured approach to understanding blockchain and the areas where it is mostly applicable is essential

* The approach starts with conceptual considerations, is followed by operational considerations and lastly by execution options

* Conceptual considerations include the need for time sequencing, the distribution of data across players and the nature of the data to be block-chained

* Operational considerations have to do with the participants, the architecture and the permissions

* Execution options evaluate the benefits of action, inaction and the speed of adoption

* Only once the above considerations have been thoroughly analysed can an insurance firm be confident that investing in blockchain can be beneficial to its business needs.

* Alternatively, just like with the rise of other ‘ground breaking’ technologies in the past, investments may end up being underutilised, living short of expectations and possibly being written off due to the impractical nature of their application

* The insurance industry, due to its complex nature and specific role in the economy and the society, requires that the generic blockchain doctrines be deconstructed and applied to its specific needs