Marsh extends IBM deal for blockchain-based proof-of-insurance

Risk management firm Marsh is taking insurance to a different level. The insurance brokerage is expanding its collaboration with tech giant IBM to launch a commercial blockchain solution for proof of insurance to a wider customer base.

In April, Marsh introduced a commercial version of an insurance verification it developed with IBM. Now, Marsh is taking advantage of IBM’s connections with Saleforce, a customer relationship management company.

The partnership between Marsh and IBM will provide a platform that will speed up the process of clients seeking to hire contractors. Sandip Patel, insurance general manager of IBM, explained the impact of the distributed ledger technology on the insurance sphere, saying:

“Distributed ledger technologies are driving efficiency across many industries by enabling legacy manual processes to operate more efficiently and with greater transparency and trust. This innovation is an ideal example of how blockchain can be used to drive real business results and collaboration in the insurance industry.”

The blockchain-based proof-of-insurance solution developed by Marsh and IBM is powered on the IBM Blockchain. The project also includes ACORD, which is a global standards-setting body for insurance and financial services industries, and ISN, a supplier information management service, as partners.

Sastry Durvasula, chief digital, data and analytics officer at Marsh, explained, “By making proof of insurance accessible digitally and instantaneously for our clients through Salesforce, we are streamlining a key business requirement through easy and secure sharing of proof of insurance.”

Marsh isn’t the firm firs to look at blockchain to power an insurance solution. In September, People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC) announced that it will apply blockchain technology to its operations through a new partnership with blockchain platform VeChain. PICC also partnered with DNV GL, a global quality assurance and risk management company, to improve fraud prevention and ensure that business becomes more time and cost efficient. Equally in August, the American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS) introduced an open blockchain platform to ensure that the collection of statistical data by insurance carriers is secured.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Gemini crypto exchange assets now insured

The Winklevoss twins’ cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini Trust Company LLC, now offers insurance coverage for digital assets in its custody.

In a statement, the company noted that “a global consortium of industry-leading insurers” as arranged by financial solutions provider Aon is insuring the assets.

Yusuf Hussain, head of risk at Gemini, said, “Consumers are looking for the same levels of insured protection they’re used to being afforded by traditional financial institutions.”

Already, Gemini users are covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for dollar funds kept in their accounts.

In a blog post, Hussain noted how insurers at present have been reluctant to offer their services to exchanges, due to “high-profile hacks” over the years that have exposed their vulnerability. According to Gemini executive, the premiums asked by insurers tended to be too high for exchanges to accept.

Hussain said, however, that “we were able to successfully demonstrate to insurers that Gemini, a New York trust company, is indeed a safe and secure exchange and custodian where customers can buy, sell, and store digital assets in a regulated, secure, and compliant manner.”

He added that “[e]ducating our insurers not only allows us to provide such protections to our customers, but it also sets the expectation for consumer protection across the crypto industry.”

According to the Gemini website, the majority of cryptocurrencies it holds are kept offline, in “cold storage,” with only a small portion of assets in its “hot wallet” online.

Insurance for losses due to hacks has also been offered by South Korean firm Hanwha Insurance, which has said it will be in discussions with exchanges in the country on whether such insurance will be made compulsory. South Korea has been the location of recent hacks, including one involving some $40 million worth of cryptocurrencies stolen from the Coinrail exchange, and another where about $30 million was stolen from Bithumb.

Kentucky-based cryptocurrency custodian Kingdom Trust has also offered insurance coverage as provided by Lloyd’s of London.

Gemini is reportedly looking to expand into the UK, as part of plans to establish a global presence.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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