Higinio Iglesias
ebroker CEO

Interview published in ADN del Seguro on May 16, 2018 - Part 1 / Part 2

Blockchain is a term that captures the attention of the technological moment, but is it a disruptive technology or a fashion? Can you explain this in a simple way and understand it?

Blockchain is nothing more than a technology that allows you to store information, that is, it is a database. As a database it has characteristics that make it special: Information is stored in blocks that are related to each other and are distributed in a replicated way through a set of nodes that make up networks that can be private, public or semi-public. In addition, this type of database when they manage information do so in such a way that based on mathematical algorithms and cryptographic techniques they get the information stored in a blockchain to enjoy integrity, privacy, security and reliability, among other properties.

This technology is not new, in November of someone 2008, that even today it is not clear if it is one or several people, Satoshi Nakamoto, posted on the internet a document of not many pages that prophesied that "A peer-to application -peer electronic payment would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution "and" left there "the keys to organize the information in chains of blocks with the intention of putting the order in check financial world through a virtual currency: The bitcoin.

Bitcoin was the first use case of implementation of blockchain technology, with the purpose of creating a virtual currency, a cryptocurrency, and around it a virtual global financial system based on mathematical algorithms and cryptography (almost nothing); and the blockchain technology was developed because the integrity, privacy, security and reliability, among other properties offered was essential for an end of that nature.

Although bitcoin and blockchain are born hand in hand, blockchain is a technology independent of cryptocurrency and today, a decade later, it is perceived an important potential of this technology for other purposes and the insurance sector, among many others, this has not gone unnoticed and it is spoken of as something disruptive in the context of the insurtech phenomenon, even though the really novel thing is not the technology but the interest in its application.

Bearing in mind that one advantage of blockchain technology is that it will end with intermediaries, how can mediation be affected?

You have to be very careful with this matter. When talking about "disintermediation" as one of the potential capabilities of the blockchain technology, and the context of this assertion is the insurance sector, the alarms go off between the mediators, and to a certain extent it is logical. Blockchain is not a threat to the insurance mediation activity, nor is digital transformation itself, however much it may be wrong to pretend to establish a direct relationship between it and the direct sale of insurers to the detriment of mediators. .

At this time, the concept of disintermediation as a label of benefit or advantage of blockchain is rather related to and inherited from what originally, as a technological support for bitcoin, posed due to its approach and requirement to dispense with centralizing authorities and supervisory mediating entities of financial and information transactions (distribution of information vs. distribution of value), and this has had a certain continuity in the rethinking of this benefit in other cases of use and application of blockchain technology, and when this is raised in the insurance sector as it is already known ...

Blockchain is not a threat to the insurance mediation activity, nor is digital transformation.

The reality is that blockchain as technology represents an opportunity for anyone who is able to take advantage of its potential in cases of use in which it contributes value for business purpose in which other technologies do not have the capacity to do it or the way to do it results less efficient. And this is applicable to insurers, mediators and any other sectorial actor. I am sure that, in this case, neither the digital transformation in general, nor blockchain in particular, will be responsible for a lesser or greater consideration with the insurance mediator in the current multichannel environment.

What is the Blockchain NET ebroker project?

It is a innovation project which consists of creating a private network among insurance brokers based on blockchain technology whose main objective is to manage essential aspects in the field of personal data protection. We are developing a solution implemented on our ebroker ERP that facilitates the gathering of express consent based on a set of purposes that enables the processing of personal data with sufficient evidence support to the requirement of the regulatory framework (RGPD).

Some people think that blockchain is not an appropriate technology for managing solutions in the field of personal data protection, what is your opinion of this?

Obviously we have studied the matter, both from a legal and technological point of view, and our conclusions are clear enough.

Blockchain is a technological implementation conceived in 2008 for a certain purpose, a virtual currency project: Bitcoin. A decade later it is reasonable to think that new purposes will make blockchain evolve towards technological implementations adapted to the requirements and needs of new social, economic, business and regulatory scenarios. And this is already happening. Blockchain technology of a future, rather close, will not exactly be the one conceived by Satoshi Nakamoto, it will be different or it will have nuances and will attend other needs and requirements, such as those related to the world of personal data protection.

Some of the challenges to be faced in this evolution or turn of the technological implementation of blockchain in relation to its application to the RGPD have to do with the fact of being able to eliminate personal data from the blockchain network in case the interested party revokes your consent, to be able to modify the information stored, or to be able to delete personal data in the future, when the purposes for which they were collected have concluded and all this with the ability and vision not to distort the essence of this technology. This is possible and is being worked on.

And do you have all this planned for the 25 in May, the date on which the new RGPD regulation will apply?

No, not at all, the project we are talking about is something else. Looking ahead to the next 25 in May, our ERP ebroker will be adapted to the new regulatory requirements of the RGPD following conventional patterns as surely as other solutions of a similar nature to ours will do.

This project based on blockchain technology, which we have christened "Blockchain NET ebroker" is an innovative initiative from which we hope to get results in January of 2019.

In contrast to the traditional formulas for obtaining the consent of clients, an obligation imposed by the RGPD, what advantages does this system provide for the broker?

Among others, 3 offers especially attractive advantages:

1ª - Gratuity in the accreditation of evidence of consent.

2ª - Improvement in the efficiency of processes related to collection, storage and management.

3ª - Possibility of sharing consents and associated documentation with insurers.

Are there other actors in the insurance sector with interest and willingness to participate in the project?

Yes. Important insurers have already expressed their interest in participating collaboratively in this project, but in addition to insurers other companies such as telecommunications operators and companies specializing in certification and electronic notification have already decided to join us in this initiative.

What is the advantage for companies?

Share and structure channel relationships based on technologies that bring transparency and confidence to the current problem that poses the need to efficiently manage such essential aspects as consent in the processing of personal data in insurance operations intervened by insurance brokers, is enough reason in itself to consider cooperation in a project like the one we are developing.

In addition to important insurers, other companies such as telecommunications operators and companies specializing in certification and electronic notification have already decided to join us in this initiative.

Do you have other blockchain application projects in mind?

A large blockchain private network, with a potential of more than 600 nodes, formed by the insurance brokers that make up the community of ebroker user companies, which will also have the capacity to interoperate with insurance entities within the framework of other private networks or semi-public, like the Red Alastria Consortium, opens important expectations and opportunities for innovation and digital transformation of the insurance broker not only in the field of personal data protection, but in others as important and strategic as digital certification, security, standardization, IoT, big data, etc. .

We want to "echain Blockchain NET"It is the first step to put in value the capacity and strength of a group of companies united in a network through a technology with great potential in the new business models. This is how we understand the digital transformation from ebroker.

With regard to the new requirements for the entry into force in October of the IDD, and in particular in relation to the insurance product information document (DIPS), what role should technology play in this matter?

Technology platforms for brokers should receive from the insurers the contents of the DIPS (insurance product information document) in a data structure, for example, XML, through webservices, and also under EIAC standardization.

The EIAC standard must evolve and adapt to meet new needs, such as the efficient management of DIPS because, in addition, the standardization of information management generates value for the broker in processes of comparative analysis and client advice. The moments of need also represent moments of opportunity, and what better time than this to record in a determined way the industry's commitment to standardization as a means to efficient business relations between brokers and insurers.

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