International Insurance Alliance Forms Blockchain Startup In Zurich

Announcements, News | March 29, 2018 By:

The Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative (B3i) has announced its transition from a consortium to an independent legal entity.

Founded in 2016, the B3i is a collaboration of 15 global insurers and reinsurers formed to explore the potential of using distributed ledger technologies (DLT) within the industry for the benefit of all stakeholders in the value chain. It is focused on developing and testing technical developments aimed at better serving customers and enhancing transaction efficiency, thus promoting competition. The B3i is backed by notable firms including giants AIG and AIA as well as founding members like Allianz, Aegon, and Swiss Re, among others.

The new independent company, called B3i Services AG, will be based in Zurich, Switzerland, long known for its crypto-friendly regulations and thriving FinTech innovation ecosystem. The new entity aims to provide blockchain-based insurance solutions that substantially improves efficiency across the value chain of the re/insurance industry.

The B3i said the new company has its own capital and intellectual property and will streamline the development, testing, and commercialization of blockchain solutions. In the coming months, B3i Services AG will be raising additional funds from a wide spectrum of insurance industry participants.

Gerhard Lohmann, CFO of Reinsurance, Swiss Re has been appointed as chairman of the company. Other members of the B3i Services’ executive management team are Paul Meeusen, Fei Zhang, Sylvain De Crom, Markus Tradt and Ken Marke.

Lohmann said the transition of B3i from consortium to independent company is a concrete step forward to realizing 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,” Lohmann said.

In mid-2017, B3i successfully completed its first product, a blockchain prototype for property cat XoL reinsurance contracts. A group of 38 insurers, brokers, and reinsurers tested the prototype’s functionality in October 2017. According to the B3i, the prototype demonstrated that transactions could become quicker, more efficient, and more secure than with current methods. The prototype’s first live trades are anticipated by the end of the year, with several other products being developed concurrently.