Andreas Schertzinger on why blockchain has become such a hot topic in the insurance industry

Swiss Re's Head of the Reinsurance Technology Initiative talks about the steps the firm is taking to realise blockchain's full potential at the Blockchain conference: How insurers are building up trust by breaking down barriers at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue.

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Read a text version of the interview here:

"Blockchain has become a hot topic really in all industries I would say, but especially in the financial services sector. Banks invested quite heavily starting about three or four years ago and created a consortium, launched products, and derivatives on Blockchain now recently.

Insurance, if you will, is really a bit later in the game, but definitely over the past year or one and a half years, I would say, not only did we get to understand the potential, but we also saw first use cases really happening and that I think is what attracted a lot of interest from the insurers.

If you start with authentication and identification of the insured, or objects that are being insured, Blockchain can create an environment where those assets, those tokens of value, are being recorded.

Ultimately one can think about syndicated risk markets on Blockchain, and so on and so forth. If you will, there is endless opportunities but there is definitely very mid-term use cases we can already pursue.

We at Swiss Re are taking a few steps towards realizing the potential of Blockchain. First of all, starting very simple, we created internally a community around Blockchain. I would say, starting with 15, probably 30 people from the business side, the operations side and IT, who are really interested in re-thinking our business model and how Blockchain can enable it.

Secondly, we established a Blockchain technical center of competence within our IT department so people could really get their hands dirty and get to understand the technology ever better and its limitations.

Third, together with peers and the industry, last year around October, we announced the B3I Blockchain group, which is a group of insurers and re-insurers who are interested in driving forward commercial solutions based on Blockchain."