Upcoming Swiss Hackathon Seeks To Use Blockchain To Disrupt The Insurance Industryby Fintechnews Switzerland November 8, 2016
An upcoming blockchain hackathon organized by EPAM in collaboration with Swiss Finance + Technology Association and Validity Labs is looking for innovative solutions to disrupt the insurance industry.
The EPAM 2016 Blockchain Hackathon, taking place on November 18 and 19, 2016 in Zurich, is seeking dynamic teams to take on the challenges set by the three largest insurance companies in Switzerland, namely Swiss Life, Zurich and Swiss Re.
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The teams will be judged by representatives from these three companies on the following criteria: originality and innovation, usefulness and practicality, business potential and commercialization to go to market, design and interface, and technical implementation.
Industry experts will assist the teams during the hackathon to provide insights and answer questions about specific industry characteristics.
Insurance and Blockchain?
Like banks, insurers have been exploring the merits of blockchain technology to disrupt their industry and streamline payments of premium and claims.
According to a Deloitte paper, blockchain technology could support the significant digital transformation underway in the industry because much of this transformation relies on data.
“Smart contracts powered by a blockchain could provide customers and insurers with the means to manage claims in a transparent, responsive and irrefutable manner,” the report states.
“Contracts and claims could be recorded onto a blockchain and validated by the network, ensuring online valid claims are paid. […] Smart contracts would also enforce the claims – for instance, triggering payments automatically when certain conditions are met (and validated).”
Blockchain technology could allow the industry as a whole to streamline its processing and offer a better user experience for customers. Storing claims and customer information on a blockchain would also cut down fraudulent activity.
Early blockchain developments have tended to focus on optimizing current ways of working within organizations. For instance, London-based bitcoin startup Everledger uses the blockchain to create a permanent ledger for diamond certification and related transaction history. The ledger lets insurers and potential buyers check the history of any individual stone, helping insurers prevent, detect and counter fraud.
Blockchain Industry Challenges
Despite the enormous potential, the biggest challenges to industry-wide implementation are facilitating collaboration between market participants and technology leaders, succeeding in the operational transformation, and shaping a stimulating regulatory environment, according to McKinsey and Company.
EPAM Systems is a leading global product development and platform engineering services company and one of Forbes’ 25 Fastest Growing Public Tech Companies.
Validity Labs, a startup created by several blockchain technology experts in Zurich, aims at bridging the shortage of educated blockchain engineers, entrepreneurs and executives. The company organizes various educational events and workshops in Switzerland.
Swiss FinteCH is an independent association aimed at promoting and supporting Switzerland’s fintech industry. It connects stakeholders, creates research papers, advocates for solutions and promotes Switzerland as a global fintech hub.