Last month, I started hearing some chatter in blockchain tech circles (some skeptical) about Inchain, an autonomous insurance service on the Ethereum blockchain. Its initial stated objective is to manage the risk of loss of virtual assets stored on blockchains – rather than physical assets in the “real world”.
Inchain is a decentralised insurance platform that mitigates risks associated with total or partial losses of crypto assets due to cyber attacks and hacks. We have placed Ethereum smart contracts at the core of the platform so it requires minimal human involvement.
The general idea is to use a crowdsale to get investment into a DAO-style smart contract. The funds will then be used to sell insurance for blockchain assets and eventually for off-chain assets (real stuff).
This is interesting from an insurance perspective because it taps into the community involvement inherent to blockchain and especially Ethereum circles. Taking it further, it seems like quite a natural fit for Peer to Peer insurance popularized by Lemonade.
Distributed Autonomous Organizations
Inchain’s use of smart contracts to run its core business is particularly striking since this allows its activities to be run autonomously based on “votes” made by investors. For those of us that followed the rise and fall of The DAO, this is both welcome and ironic. But more about that in a later post.
Crowdsales and ICOs
Like many blockchain startups, Inchain announced an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) as a crowdsale rather than pursuing traditional funding sources. Investors get tokens of ownership and get to vote on investments made by the fund.
I’ve invested some Ether in the ICO, but am not holding my breath for a quick return. I’d say that my modest investment is more from a technical and professional curiosity rather than deep commitment to success of autonomous insurance services.
Win or lose, it should be interesting.
- The Inchain white paper: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/2ueb5urybsyvulp/Whitepaper%20Inchain%20v1.pdf
This post first appeared in Faisal’s blog, Musings About Tech.
Faisal Siddiqi — Distinguished Engineer
Faisal Siddiqi is an expert in mobile technologies, user experience (UX) design, performance engineering, Application Programming Interface (API) design and open source.
Much of his work focuses on the insurance industry. As architect for CSC Mobile Insurance, Faisal directs all design, training, learning and development activities and sets technology direction and mentoring for the team. He is establishing procedures to cross-train mobile with non-mobile team members, as mobile technologies can no longer be separated from mainstream product development.
See Faisal’s bio.