The Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative (B3i) recently announced a new community program focused on learning and collaboration. Yesterday the other major insurance consortium, the RiskBlock Alliance unveiled its first online training program.
B3i’s community initiative
B3i is currently doing a funding round, but some companies will want to get involved without being a shareholder. Several ‘early mover’ companies will become customers when the first offering goes into pilot at the end of the year. The initial product is a Catastrophe Excess of Loss reinsurance contract. Additionally, partners will want to build on top of B3i’s platform, but that facility will only be available next year. So there’s unmet pent-up demand.
To meet that need B3i unveiled a Community member initiative. A big part of the program is education about blockchain but also about B3i’s activities and the Corda platform which B3i chose as its blockchain technology.
“The whole ethos behind this is about learning, experimenting and collaboration. The learning bit is something that we want to give to the community,” explained Ken Marke, B3i’s CMO. “Why would we do that? Because simply if they understand more about blockchain and how it can solve their problems, then they would then create the demand for use cases. And for the use cases create demand to build them. Hopefully, they might do that with us.”
Some of the education will happen at conferences to be held once a year in North America, Asia and Europe. The focus is on learning, with no vendors or sponsorship.
Part of the Community program is a Think Tank which will involve working groups on hot topics relevant to blockchain insurance, such as regulation or GDPR. The groups will share their findings through white papers. Additionally, the program will offer a library covering both technical and business-related content.
In terms of true community, B3i aims to get feedback on ideas about future products and input about what the community wants to see. There’s a Slack channel to discuss issues as well as a member directory.
At this stage to keep it simple there’s only one membership plan. The annual cost is €50,000, but it’s discounted to €10,000 until the end of November.
One concern with enterprise blockchain is the risk of access exclusion through price, even unintentionally. The Community membership price may be affordable for large insurers, but what about smaller brokers or potential partners that are unfunded startups?
Marke responded to Ledger Insights: “The first phase is really targeted at the insurance companies that have got a hunger for learning and a hunger for creating use cases or understanding use cases. Inevitably there will be other formulae for other people that would benefit and could help us.”
The other industry consortium, the RiskBlock Alliance, is part of The Institutes which is the main insurance industry education and certification body in the US. So it’s not surprising that education is high on RiskBlock’s priority list. Yesterday RiskBlock unveiled an online blockchain training program with a broader target market.
“To date, most blockchain exploration has been done in the C-suite and technology departments, and more education and training to ready the entire insurance industry’s workforce is needed. This course will arm blockchain beginners with a better understanding of how this game-changing technology will affect day-to-day business operations,” said Adam Carmichael, VP of Assessments at The Institutes.
The four-hour course is aimed at insurance professionals with a nontechnical background. The price is $150.00
Two months ago RiskBlock unveiled its Canopy2 platform which includes a policy and claims blockchain. The first two applications are “Proof of Insurance” and “First Notice of Loss” and are currently in the testing phase, readying for launch.