PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the largest professional services firm in the world, is set to initiate research into blockchain tech by focusing on its potential uses in wholesale insurance.
PwC to Test Insurance on the Blockchain
The research will be a collaborative project between PwC and Z/Yen, a consultancy think-tank located in the City of London. PwC and Z/Yen will be bringing together a wide range of insurance sector experts to act as advisers for the project, such as wholesale brokers, insurers and re-insurers. This way they will be able to create a comprehensive roadmap of the potential benefits that the blockchain could bring.
PwC and Z/Yen will also be conducting a global survey of the industry and interviewing leading thinkers around the globe. The study will be used as a way to assess predominant thinking and sentiments within the insurance industry, while exploring the potential for ‘mutual’ or consortium research into taxonomies and standards. Additionally, the study will also aim to identify “priority business use cases” for future blockchain developments.
PwC is a sponsor of the project, and as a sponsor will be working with Z/Yen, as part ofZ/Yen’s Long Finance initiative, to co-develop the report. Z/Yen will be making use of PwC’s newly established blockchain research laboratory in Belfast in order to develop their proof-of-concept. It is expected that the study and a working proof of concept will be completed sometime in July.
PwC partner, Steve Webb, staked out his beliefs about the blockchain, saying:
With a new technology like blockchain it’s fundamental that you work in an agile way to prove that the technologies not only work, but provide the right solutions to specific business problems.
Webb also added that he thinks business need to build, and learn from mistakes. He says that the PwC’s lab team is uniquely equipped to handle such a task and by working alongside PwC insurance experts and the Z/Yen team, he is certain that a working proof of concept will be available by the time the report is published.
PwC’s Blockchain Literacy
This is not the first time that PwC has experimented with blockchain, nor is it the first time they have associated themselves with the technology. In February, 2016 PwC unveiled its “blockchain solution portfolio.” Essentially, a bundle of services that aim at spanning the cycle of analysis ongoing at major financial firms. The portfolio is also the result of a past study the firm did on the blockchain, which was compiled based on two years of internal research.
In creating their portfolio, PwC hoped to help companies and other clients understand the new technology since “blockchain illiteracy” could hurt businesses in the future, PwC warns. Furthermore, PwC has also partnered with key blockchain start-ups in the past like Blockstream, Digital Asset Holdings and Eris Industries.
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