Overcoming Data Challenges in Insurance: How Blockchain Helps
We live at a time when the global data regulators are increasing their data security requirements across businesses and industry verticals. Data being the most powerful asset of insurance providers, insurance companies worldwide have started implementing steps to secure confidential and sensitive information with the help of advanced technologies like blockchain. The vast growing data holds an immense potential to transform insurance companies, but managing the data coming from multiple sources throws up a lot of challenges. Here’s how blockchain helps in overcoming the data challenges in the insurance industry.
Data Challenges in Insurance Vertical
As you know, insurance is a data-centric service. Let it be life and annuity, property and casualty, risk, loss, or claims, insurers are dependent on large volumes of data for various workflows and operations. With increased data flow comes high risks associated with data storage. A wide range of mobile-friendly options is now made available for consumers by the insurance providers to share their personal data. When insurers request access to customer-specific information, they must ensure the authenticity and security of the data collected. The rapid adoption of digital transactions has left insurers in a complex situation to identify new ways to streamline processes and secure sensitive information.
A recent report from McKinsey states that an estimated 5 to 10 percent of all claims are fraudulent, which costs the US-based non-health insurers more than USD 40 billion per year. Besides handling huge amounts of data, the insurance industry struggles with complex compliance issues, third-party payment transaction challenges, slow growth in matured markets, and fraudulent claims activity. Insurers can overcome these obstacles by gaining more accountability, transparency and superior security provided by the blockchain tech.
Related Reading: Top Five Barriers To Growth and Adoption Of Virtual Customers
How Blockchain Rescues Insurance Companies
For an insurance provider to capitalize on the large volumes of data generated, the data must be analyzed in depth to derive useful insights. This process first requires the data to be stored in a trusted manner. Blockchain allows an action to be performed using a predetermined set of rules that are based on threshold triggers in the data. This huge potential of blockchain plays a major role in saving cost and time as well as increasing your business value.
Blockchain makes use of advanced cryptographic techniques, also known as distributed ledgers, to store data. A secure ledger of data is created which cannot be modified, added, or removed without proper authorization. The advantage of Blockchain that is leveraged by the insurance industry over other technologies is the data security it offers along with clear audit trails. The data stored in a blockchain is immutable as it resides in a distributed ledger that executes transactions using a consensus-based mechanism. Each action is recorded permanently with a time and date stamp, such as titles or document histories, which improves the storage’s credibility.
Securing Insurance Data
Blockchain offers the following capabilities to handle data challenges in the insurance industry:
1. Distributed Network – Every participant in the blockchain network has a full copy of the ledger. This ensures transparency among all those who’re part of the insurance workflow.
2. Programmable Network – Blockchain is programmable with the use of smart contracts, also known as crypto contracts. These are programs that control the transfer of digital currencies and assets between parties directly. They also execute transactions and simplify repetitive processes with real-time auditing and assessment of risks.
3. Time-stamped Transactions – Transaction timestamps are recorded in a block which ensures no data is corrupted/ tampered.
4. Secure – Records are individually encrypted and cannot be manipulated.
5. Irreversible – Validated records are immutable, that is, they cannot be changed.
6. Anonymous/ Pseudonymous Identity – The identity of participants is either anonymous or pseudonymous, which ensures the confidentiality of customer data.
Related Reading: How AI and Machine Learning are Driving Cyber Security in FinTech?
The Upcoming Trends
Decentralized validation, redundancy (continuous replication of data), immutable storage, and encryption are the most important characteristics of blockchain that make it a viable option for insurance companies. Through decentralization, it enables faster and cost-effective peer-to-peer transactions, compared to the traditional methods.
Blockchain is expected to open new channels into different market segments and geographies. The Insurance industry is taking leaps and bounds to explore the many advantages of blockchain technology. An industry-wide collaboration among market players, technology evangelists, start-ups, and regulators can help create more potential use cases of blockchain in insurance, leading to operational transformations in a better regulatory environment. Just as the early bird catches the worm, getting involved in partnerships and industry changes at the earliest is key to shaping the future of the blockchain-insurance ecosystem.
Whether you need a detailed/crisp briefing on Blockchain and how the technology can add value to your insurance business, give us a call asap. Our expert will guide you on how to take advantage of blockchain in your business.
Impact of Blockchain On Education.
Through its tenets of decentralization, transparency, and security, Blockchain has created a new type of internet. It has radicalized the way transactions occur and continues to make great strides in virtually every industry imaginable. Although best known for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, the scope of Blockchain technology doesn’t end there by any means. It has found application in Finance, Healthcare, Real Estate, and many more industries.
In this blog, we will discuss how blockchain technology can have a significant impact on Education.
What Is Blockchain And How Is It Creating an Impact?
The word blockchain comes from the core principles of this technology, where secure blocks of data are bound together in chains using cryptographic principles. The record or ledger of data is time-stamped and immutable and is managed not by a single authority but by a cluster of computers. This enables a verifiable and decentralized record of transactions between two people.
What makes blockchain unstoppable is that this record is public and distributed between many computers called nodes. This allows for validation of the data from all the computers in the network, making it open and transparent, at the same time ensuring that no single entity controls the flow of information or transactions. A vital aspect of this information flow is that digital information can never be copied, only distributed. This makes the blockchain technology a fortified channel for information flow.
Let us look at a few reasons why blockchain technology is becoming one of the most impactful technologies today.
1. Unmatched Security
Transaction verification is one of the key aspects of blockchain technology. A transaction must be requested through a wallet and sent to all the computers in a blockchain network. Each of these nodes or computers must verify the transaction against a set of predetermined rules in that network. The information is then stored in a block and encrypted with a hash. Once this hash is verified by the nodes, the information stored in that block is permanent, immutable and secure. Any alterations to the data by hackers ultimately alter the hash and the entire chain of transactions linked to the hash. This means that the information cannot be altered or misused by anyone. Another added layer of security is Public-key cryptography, where there are two keys – a public key, which others can know and a private key exclusively for the owner. This way every transaction is secure and critical information required by financial services, governments, and other entities are protected.
2. Better Transparency
Blockchain technology makes transaction histories transparent. Being a type of distributed ledger, the nature of the blockchain technology permits changes to be made only through the consensus of all network participants who share the same documentation. Even a single change in the transaction record would mean that all subsequent records will have to be altered. The change will also require the collusion of everyone in the network and that means everyone is aware of any change. This ensures transparency and places a high level of accountability for everyone who handles the document. The transaction history also provides an audit trail of where the information originated from, and every instance of when transactions occurred and changes were made. This helps in ensuring the authenticity of the assets and prevention of fraud.
3. Increased Cost and Time Efficiencies
One of the main reasons for time and cost efficiencies with blockchain is that it cuts out the need for third-party mediation. Instead of relying on third-party intermediaries for verification and the movement of information, blockchain uses cryptology to enable direct transactions between two parties. Proving the authenticity of ownership of an asset is done through the blockchain and the nodes in the network instead of the time-consuming process of knocking on the doors of central authorities or other intermediaries. Recordkeeping through a single ledger also cuts out the clutter of error-prone manual processes, thereby saving time and money.
Blockchain Revolutionizes Education
As discussed, security, transparency and time and cost efficiencies are some of the reasons why blockchain has found application across industries. In the words of Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of Blockchain Revolution (2016): “The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
Now let’s see how this applies in the field of education.
1. Student E-portfolio
The importance of credentialing in the field of education has become more apparent in this day and age where holding a degree just doesn’t cut it anymore. Employers want to see evidence of what the student is capable of outside academic goals like is obtaining a degree. Speaking about the need for universities to keep up with this demand, David Schejbal, the Vice President and Chief of Digital Learning of Marquette University, says: “What we really need is a broad set of credentials that are able to provide the kind of just-in-time learning that many folks need throughout their lives. We need transcripts that reflect transcripts that help students document in some verifiable way, what they’ve demonstrated they can do.”
Blockchain makes this possible by providing secure and verified credentialing and record keeping of student information. This is provided as a model where all of a student’s competency indicators are collected and shared securely. These indicators will include badges, certificates, letters of recommendations, citations and other details which add to the credentials of a student.
The Ledger Project is an interesting concept that looks ahead at a revolutionized education system in the year 2026. In this scenario, all your learning credentials are tracked on “Edublocks” through blockchain technology. This will help employers match their exact needs with the right student candidate and also help students obtain scholarships and funding for their education.
Blockchain is finding a practical use in this context, even today as major players like Sony Global Education with its use of blockchain to securely share student records and MIT with an open standard for verifiable digital records.
2. Cost Savings on Courseware and Research material
Another area where blockchain can be useful in education is in making courseware accessible and affordable. One way is in cutting out intermediary fees in the purchase of software. EBooks, for example, can be fitted with blockchain code and shared through the network. This will eliminate the fees charged by portals like Amazon and credit card fees. The books could be accessed straight from the authors themselves. This would mean major savings for both students and authors. Video tutorials and much more can be accessed this way.
3. Copyright And Digital Rights Protection
The unmatched security provided by Blockchain is an asset when it comes to protecting intellectual property. WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) passed a record-breaking filing mark in 2018 with 253,000 patent applications. This was an increase of 3.9% in 2017. The amount of intellectual property being created is extraordinary and many researchers, academics and students are contributing to the innovation pool daily. Blockchain will help them create, share and control their intellectual property in the way that they want. San Jose State University is an example of how blockchain is being used to create “community content repositories”. With its Library 2.0 movement, the university is enabling effective curation of digital contents and protection of digital rights.
There are many other ways in which blockchain technology is influencing the Education sector. Reach out to us and find out how this can be leveraged for your company.
Most of us, technology geeks or not, are eager to stay first in line to catch up with the latest game-changing technology trends. Here we are to know which technologies will thrive in 2019!
The Potential Technology Trends You Need To Explore In 2019
Have you ever looked up at the sky and clapped your eyelids on a bat? This is commonplace. But what if it was a drone. Or would it be a flying fleet? Since we don’t belong to the Jetsons family, the latter is not expected but we are close to it! 2019 is definitely a transformative year for technological innovation!
According to Gartner, the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019 are Block chain, Artificial Intelligence, Empowered Edge, Privacy and Digital Ethics, Quantum Computing, Immersive Experiences, Augmented Analytics, Autonomous Things, and Digital Twins!
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Following are the emerging technology trends and catalyzing technical innovation that we can expect to see more of in 2019!!
Related Reading: Find how digital innovation is transforming today’s business world.
1. Blockchain Technology – The ‘New Internet’
Some call Blockchain technology the ‘New Internet’. The blockchain is the brainchild of a person or group of people known by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. It permits digital information to be distributed but not duplicated.
“Blockchain solves the manipulation problem”, says Vitalik Buterin, inventor of Ethereum.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Apart from AI-powered chatbots, 2019 will witness chip manufacturers such as Intel, NVIDIA, AMD, ARM, and Qualcomm shipping specialized chips that speed up the execution of AI-enabled applications.
2019 will also be the year for hyperscale infrastructure companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook.
Related Reading: Check out the top AI trends of 2019.
3. Cloud-independent edge computing
The study from IDC illustrates that 45 percent of the entire data created by IoT devices will be stored, processed, analyzed and acted upon close to or at the edge of a network by 2020! Edge computing is a mesh network of data centers that process and store data locally before being sent to a centralized storage center or cloud.
4. Privacy and Digital Ethics
Facebook, recently witnessed the biggest security breach in which 50 million accounts were compromised. Facebook, later clarified that data of 30 million accounts were stolen.
People are becoming more nervous about how organizations and third-parties are using their personal data.
5. Quantum Computing
The world is behind building the first fully-functional quantum computer. Also called the supercomputer, this is expected to be a cloud service rather than an on-prem service. IBM is already offering cloud-based quantum computing services. For instance, the automotive, financial, insurance, pharmaceuticals, military, and research industries have the most to gain from the advancements in Quantum Computing.
6. Immersive Experiences
Conversational platforms are changing the way in which people communicate with the digital world. Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) are changing their approaches to know more about people’s perception.
7. Augmented Analytics
Augmented analytics relies on augmented intelligence. This uses machine learning (ML) to transform how analytics content can be developed, consumed and shared.
“Through 2020, the number of data scientists will grow five times faster than the number of experts”, says David Cearley!
8. Autonomous Things
Autonomous things, such as robots, drones, and autonomous fleet, use Artificial Intelligence techniques to automate their functions that were previously performed by humans.
9. Digital Twins
A digital twin is a digital representation of real-world items that are interlinked. Cearley states that there can be digital twins of people, processes, and things!
A DTO is an aspect of the Digital Twin evolution that is a dynamic software model that relies on operational or other data. DTOs help drive efficiencies in business processes.
Apart from these, there are other key technology trends that organizations need to explore in 2019. These include:
10. Cybersecurity and Risk Management
According to the estimates from the firm Gemalto, the data breaches were 4.5 billion in the first half of 2018! The University of Maryland study found that hackers attack computers every 39 seconds.
In 2019 we will be facing a more sophisticated array of physical security and cybersecurity challenges.
Cybersecurity is thus the digital glue that has held IoT, Smart Cities, and the world of converged machines, sensors, applications, and algorithms operational throughout!
11. Smart Spaces
A smart space is a physical or digital environment in which humans and technology-enabled systems interact in an increasingly open, connected, coordinated and intelligent ecosystems, according to Gartner! The world of technology is to enter accelerated delivery of smart spaces in 2019.
12. Self-powered data centers
Data centers grow every minute with the implementation of virtual servers and storage, energy-efficient buildings. In 2019, the data centers are expected to run on its own self-contained power plants!
13. IoT integration
2019 will witness more IoT implementation. An International Forrester IT survey that said among a recent group study, 82% of respondents were unable to identify all of the devices connected to their networks. Of this lot, 54% were nervous about device security, and 55% were concerned about integration!
Related Reading: Find the role of Data Analytics in Internet of Things (IoT)
14. More self-service IT kiosks for business users
2019 will be a year of IT innovation designed to build better communication between IT and end users. The self-service IT kiosks to be set up would enable users to log on and choose what they want for the apps that they build.
15. The Internet of Things and Smart Cities
50 billion equipment, including smartphones, and others are expected by the IoT to be wirelessly connected via a network of sensors to the internet by 2020!
The term “Smart City” means creating a public/private infrastructure to conduct activities that protect and secure citizens. It integrates communications (5-G), transportation, energy, water resources, waste collections, smart-building technologies, and security technologies and services!
To upgrade your business with the latest technology trends on the table, contact the experts at Fingent today! Also, read through our latest blogs to learn more about accelerated technological development!!
The term “blockchain” is now commonly used as a synonym for cryptocurrencies, thanks to the tremendous popularity of Bitcoins. However, Blockchain is only the underlying technology behind Bitcoins. The potential of blockchain is open in many sectors, from banking to logistics, from healthcare to public administration, and more.
Blockchain transactions move data incrementally in peer-to-peer networks, with transaction records kept in transparent ledgers. The technology brings about a paradigm shift in the way enterprises approach data, and how developers write, market, and sell software.
Establishment of New Standards
Blockchain enables smart contracts, which allows any user to store, verify, and execute code on a blockchain. Several projects are now ongoing, holding the potential to replace the traditional processing, storage, and computing elements of the computing stack.
Blockchain standards are still fluid, with several new standards and protocols coming up by the day. A churn is imminent in the space, but the underlying reality of new standards and protocols is here to stay. The soaring popularity of the blockchain means these new blockchain standards, offering infinite greater possibilities compared to conventional programming, will soon become the norm in software development.
Understand the Blockchain in Two Minutes [Source: IFTF]
Transparent, Multi-Functional Databases
Blockchain adopts a distributed database where data records are accessible to everyone and is but protects against unauthorized access. These databases, built on peer-to-peer technology is more robust and secure and again eliminate the “middleman” provider.
A user having access to the application developed using the Blockchain development technology may view the data or add a record to the database, but cannot modify or delete any data record. Such robust databases improve the integrity of the entire process manifold. The benefits are especially huge in protecting the integrity of information in several sensitive industries, where even a minor change can have big implications.
Several major industries are already exploring the possibility of integrating blockchain databases into their core systems. For instance, GE’s Aviation Division plans to adopt these databases in aviation. The new blockchain-based software could manage GE’s aviation inventory, sales tracking, and record keeping, with a high level of transparency and integrity.
Innovations in this field even allow adding a blockchain layer to existing databases such as MongoDB and RethinkDB. Such interesting approaches allow enterprises to leverage the benefits of blockchain database without overhauling or uprooting their incumbent databases.
Usually, transparency runs counter to integrity. Greater the transparency, greater the risk of the information being tampered. Blockchain databases facilitate both and offer added advantages of cost-effectiveness and improved functionality. At the same time, there is improved accountability and better transaction support.
Empowerment of New Small sellers
In today’s business ecosystem, any transaction between two parties is done through a third-party middleman, whose primary role is to enforce reliability and trust. For instance, most online financial transactions are done through PayPal, Moneybookers or other intermediaries, who acts as the depository for people sending and receiving money. Likewise, freelance software development largely takes place either through software development firms or through third-party portals such as Upwork. Without such a third-party firm or portal, there is no reliable way for a buyer to contact and get work done from a seller, and for the seller to ensure he gets paid for the work done. The system is loaded against individual programmers, who rarely have the means or the time to market themselves and conduct the extensive administrative requirements vital to establish trust and integrity.
Blockchain offers a level playing field, offering a tremendous advantage to small players. Small sellers can now compete effectively with biggies, and eliminate the middleman firm or portal in the process. The peer-to-peer network of blockchain enables self-executing contracts, which facilitate payments between customers and developers, eliminating the middleman. The net result is an encouragement of small teams and individual developers, radically altering the hierarchy of the software industry.
The blockchain ecosystem is also throwing up various resources, which facilitate such decentralization and de-institutionalization of online transactions. A case in point is Game Protocol, a “decentralized gaming ecosystem” offering crowdfunding and other development tools to host games in the marketplace. The tool also accepts cryptocurrency transactions, allowing enterprise software developers to sell their products directly to the market without the help of an institutional or a virtual middleman who takes a cut of the proceeds.
New File storage Protocols
The Blockchain technology also offers a host of innovative file storage approaches.
Filecoin offers another innovative storage mechanism. The protocol rather than adopt the conventional blockchain method of tracking transactions between blocks of spare storage around data centers and the Internet builds on traditional storage mechanism and adds a blockchain layer to it. Users may bid for the space on offer, and track usage,
The bottom-line of all these innovations is a radical shift in the approach to programming. Many of these new innovations are sure to become the dominant norm in the near future. Top software developers would need to radically alter their approach and co-opt these new concepts.