Insurance Technology

B3i considering technology alternatives


B3i, The Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative, is considering alternative technologies. The company that incorporated in Zurich weeks ago plans to go live with its first product later in the year. The solution uses Hyperledger Fabric, but according to the Business Insurance website, B3i’s Paul Meeusen stated that they’re assessing other platforms.

Technology debate

“We’ve also had some lessons learned in terms of, in particular, scalability and privacy in the handling of data,” Meeusen said. “Those are two criteria for which we are taking a closer look at technology and potential alternatives.” He confirmed other options include Ethereum and R3’s Corda.

This echoes findings from other insurance industry players to whom we’ve chatted. ChainThat tried all the major platforms and settled on R3’s Corda, and Hong Kong-based Galileo is using the Quorum variation of Ethereum. In both cases, the companies have deep tech credentials. US-based consortium RiskBlock plans to support all three platforms.

However, the Hyperledger Fabric developers are addressing some of the problems. Fabric uses channels for permissions which impact privacy. A channel is the equivalent of a relationship. Everyone in the relationship sees what they’re allowed to see for all events; there are no one-off events or secrets. When you join the relationship, you get to know all the history. That’s not always ideal. In an attempt to address this, the latest version of Fabric includes the concept of sub-channels.

B3i fundraising

In other news, B3i is commencing a funding round next week. They’ve outlined their three-step vision.

As an independent entity, they can now commercialize their first product, a Property Cat XOL contract which will launch later in the year. After that, the plan is to add other reinsurance lines.

In the second phase, they will launch products that are co-developed with industry partners, using the B3i network, platform, and relationships to achieve market scale. This is perhaps a recognition that some partners may want to focus on other blockchain applications, but those partners will still need additional industry players for their products to be useful. Perhaps RiskBlock’s similar approach is an influence here. B3i’s willingness to adapt is promising and necessary for a startup.

They envision the third phase of developing innovative products and enabling participants to grow into new markets.

Naturally, the details about the fundraising are under NDA and only available directly from B3i.

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