B3i Shifts From Blockchain Consortium to Full-Fledged Company

A blockchain consortium backed by a group of global insurance firms has created an independent company with the aim of commercializing some of the solutions it has developed.

B3i is backed by notable firms including giants AIG and AIA as well as founding members like Allianz, Aegon and Swiss Re, among others. The group first debuted in 2016, aiming to develop applications of the tech for the insurance and reinsurance industries, and the transition to a fully-fledged company marks the next step in their work.

In statements, the group positioned the company's formation in Switzerland - long known as a hub for blockchain companies - as a way to advance the work with additional resources.

"As an independent legal entity with its own capital and intellectual property, B3i Services AG can streamline the development, testing and commercialization of blockchain solutions," B3i commented last week.

The consortium introduced its first product - a blockchain prototype for property catastrophe excess of loss reinsurance contracts - in 2017, and the new company expects to kick off the first live trades on the platform by the end of the year. It also revealed in the statement that it has several other products in development, though it did not provide further details.

More broadly, B3i Service AG will aim to "create an ecosystem of products and services developed 'by the market, for the market.'"

The newly incorporated entity was formed by the founders of the original initiative, and Gerhard Lohmann, CFO of reinsurance at Swiss Re, has been selected as to chair the company.

"The transition of B3i from consortium to independent company is a concrete step forward to realizing the enormous potential of blockchain for the insurance industry," Lohmann said in a statement.

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