How the insurance sector will learn to love smart contracts
As we mark the ten-year anniversary of Bitcoin’s launch, there’s no shortage of news and speculation related to the digital currency’s value and potential applications. Articles related to blockchain, the overwhelming concentrate on an infrastructure underpinning digital currency used for speculative investments. The reality is far more complex. Blockchain technology’s potential application could disrupt vertical industries as diverse as entertainment, agriculture, and logistics.
As distributed ledger technology (DLT), Blockchains have the potential to reduce human error, costs, and processing of data throughout entire supply chains. They also enable synchronization and reconciliation of databases between various players, by increasing efficiency and transparency. These qualities are particularly relevant for the insurance industry, where claims are particularly cumbersome and require details to be checked and verified by separate parties.
Although Blockchain doesn’t inherently change the insurance industry’s business model, it does reduce points of friction between stakeholders while enabling transparency and scalability. In particular, the use of smart contracts, (self-executing pieces of code) sitting on an immutable transparent and auditable shared ledger could revolutionize insurance practices. Blockchain’s “Smart Code” self-executes in response to certain triggers (oracles) from one contractual state to the next and self-verifies when certain terms and conditions have been met.
In practical terms this dramatically changes the risk transparency between contracted parties, improving the ability to calculate risk through verifiable sources, that can be checked in real-time. This automated risk assessment enables blockchain to handle more risk using smart contracts than could otherwise be done using archaic paper=based policies. Blockchain’s data-sharing foundation has the added benefit of protecting against fraud among insurers, reinsurers, and regulators through a distributed database infrastructure.
The reality of smart contract automation is a concern for insurance incumbents who depend on traditional investigations that maintain manual controls necessary to reduce settlement costs. This may result in an influx of insurance startups who will disrupt the industry. If they are successful, it may lead to an insurance revolution throughout the 2020s and beyond.
As a blockchain technology incubator, Adel sees enormous opportunities for this ground-breaking technology to radically transform the way traditional industries operate. As we enter 2019, more people are realizing that this technology can be applied beyond financial services speculative trading applications. The growing awareness of how blockchain can be applied to reduce supply chain frictions in ossified business structures is one of our main predictions for 2019. The use of smart contract technology transforms industries that continue to log information manually., Outdated business models can now be consigned to the past by using blockchain’s trust consensus, in a way that wouldn’t have been possible just a decade ago.
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About the Author
Gabriel is the co-Founder and General Manager at Adel Ecosystem Ltd. He is a seasoned sales and marketing expert with over 25 years in senior positions at Motorola, VeriSign (acquired by Symantec in 2010), and SecureWorks (acquired by Dell in 2011), and Cognitive Security (acquired by Cisco in 2013). He is a blockchain entrepreneur, with strengths in international business strategy. Gabriel has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from McMaster University in Canada and expert knowledge in blockchain incubation, cloud computing, IT security, and video streaming, and Over the Top Content (OTT). Gabriel also runs his own company, Euro Tech Startups s.r.o, creator of MyKoddi, and manages a professional blog.