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Chain Reaction:

How Blockchain Technology Might Transform Wholesale Insurance July 2016 A Long Finance report prepared by Z/Yen Group Principal authors: Michael Mainelli and Bernard Manson

Sponsored by


Chain Reaction: How Blockchain Technology Might Transform Wholesale Insurance

Foreword Long Finance aims to ‘improve society’s understanding and use of finance over the long-term’. Long Finance has researched mutual distributed ledger (MDL, aka blockchain) technology for some time. Chain Of A Lifetime, published in 2014, explored the potential for blockchain technology to transform personal insurance. This study of blockchains for wholesale insurance is a natural successor to that work and reflects developments in everyone’s understanding of the technology. Our sponsor, PwC, is active as advisor, technology implementer, and project manager both in the global insurance market and in the use of blockchain and other technologies. PwC believes that there is now a huge potential for blockchain to be a transformational technology within aspects of wholesale insurance, and accordingly it has worked alongside Z/Yen during the course of this study. Z/Yen deployed its first mutual distributed ledger in 1995 and has several blockchain insurance clients. Long Finance is grateful to PwC for their support which has allowed us to undertake this important and timely research.

Professor Michael Mainelli Executive Chairman, Z/Yen Group Limited

Chain Reaction: How Blockchain Technology Might Transform Wholesale Insurance

Contents Foreword 2 Introduction 4 Executive Summary


1. Background To The Study


2. Blockchain Technology


3. Wholesale Insurance Markets


4. Reactions


5. Long List Of Potential Use Cases


6. Short List of Potential Use Cases


7. Conclusions and Recommendations


Appendix A – Acknowledgements


Appendix B – Technical Background On Blockchain


Appendix C – Proof-of-concept


Glossary 55 Bibliography 58



Chain Reaction: How Blockchain Technology Might Transform Wholesale Insurance

Introduction Mutual distributed ledger technologies – commonly known as blockchain – have the potential to transform the global insurance industry. Still, while there is no doubt that blockchain now looms large on the radar screens of financial services businesses, it’s also the case that many businesses are only just starting to get to grips with what is possible. In one recent PwC study1, 56% of firms said they recognised the importance of blockchain, but 57% conceded they did not yet know how to respond. Insurers, in particular, are less likely to be familiar with blockchain technologies and applications, the PwC study shows. That’s in line with the more general perception that insurance often lags behind other sectors of financial services in modernising its business processes and technology. This reflects the need to work with large clients, provide bespoke cover, and manage specialist risks; these require data-heavy interactions between multiple participants including brokers, insurers, and reinsurers. 1 PwC Global FinTech Report ( advisory-services/FinTech/PwC%20FinTech%20Global%20 Report.pdf) 2 MetroGnomo,, built by Z/Yen and operated with the States of Alderney. 3 Blockchain Insurance Start-Up SafeShare Launches First Blockchain Insurance Solution with Vrumi [http://www.] 4 Everledger Brings Blockchain Tech to Fight Against Diamond Theft, Coindesk [