Accenture joins blockchain consortium to explore use cases in the insurance industry
Global technology consultancy Accenture has joined The Institutes RiskBlock Alliance, aiming to readily test the potential of blockchain technology in use cases within the insurance industry.
RiskBlock is a blockchain consortium within the risk management and insurance industry, seeking to reduce industry and consumer costs and improve safety by streamlining payments using the technology.
“Accenture has established itself as a leader in developing practical blockchain solutions across a number of industries,” said Christopher McDaniel, President of The Institutes RiskBlock Alliance.
“Partnering with Accenture to develop real-world blockchain applications will lead to better insurance solutions and chart a clear course for effectively implementing blockchain technology throughout the insurance industry.”
As part of its new role within the consortium, Accenture will act as the lead framework architect responsible for building the platform that will be used to develop, test and implement the blockchain use cases.
Further, the Dublin-headquartered firm will be required to maintain and update the platform as business and technology needs change within RiskBlock, whilst also helping the alliance to develop and test its use cases.
“RiskBlock has built a powerful alliance, and we’re eager to work with them to develop scalable blockchain use cases in insurance,” said Michael Costonis, Global Insurance Practice Leader at Accenture. “Blockchain has the power to simplify, secure and speed up the way the insurance industry works.”
To date, RiskBlock has identified 40 potential use cases of blockchain within the insurance industry.
Start-ups receive $60 billion investment, smash 2020 record
Start-ups on the continent have raised a massive 43.8 billion euros ($60.9 billion) in just the first six months of 2021, according to figures from Dealroom, surpassing the record 38.5 billion euros invested last year..
This is despite the fact that the number of venture deals signed so far is around half the amount agreed in 2020. Only about 2,700 funding rounds have been raised so far this year, compared to 5,200 last year.
Prime examples in times of change
Examples are Swedish buy-now-pay-later firm Klarna which has raised more than $1.6 billion in two financing rounds, the German stock trading app Trade Republic received $900 million in May and British payments provider Checkout.com snapped up $450 million at the start of the year.
The figures suggest that European tech firms are pulling in far larger sums of money per investment than in previous years, which defies the economic uncertainty of the pandemic and boosted online services enormously.
The CEO of Checkout.com, Guillaume Pousaz, said start-ups have often been created in times of crisis, citing the emergence of several new financial technology companies in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.
He added that big transformational change was often the time when there is the emergence of a lot of new start-ups, sometimes when people are losing their jobs for associated reasons.
UK leading the charge
Scale-Up Europe, a group that includes the founders of UiPath and Wise, proposed 21 recommendations to help the region build “the next generation of tech giants.” Among the suggestions are tax credits to corporates for investing in start-ups and regulatory changes that adapt to new innovations.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna, said the U.K. leads Europe when it comes to tech policy, and that there were a number of regulatory issues needing to be addressed before the European Union can produce tech giants of its own.
Siemiatkowski highlighted EU regulation of web cookies as an example of “poor regulation.” Yet, as the number of $1 billion start-ups in Europe continues to grow, the number of exits in the continent is also increasing.
This year has already seen some notable acquisitions, including Etsy’s $1.6 billion purchase of U.K. fashion resale app Depop and JPMorgan’s takeover of London robo-advisor Nutmeg.
As for stock market listings, a number of notable debuts have taken place in London in particular, including food delivery app Deliveroo, cybersecurity firm Darktrace and reviews site Trustpilot. Money transfer giant Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, plans to go public in the U.K. capital soon.