Deloitte to accelerate blockchain development in U.S. and Canada

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Deloitte has been selected by the Institutes RiskBlock Alliance, a U.S.-based blockchain consortium representing 31 risk management and insurance companies, to help advance its blockchain application and product-development efforts in North America.

While this project focuses on insurance technology, Deloitte’s continued investment in blockchain development will ultimately have an impact on the accounting profession, as Deloitte’s main concern is with accounting. For instance, in this project, the RiskBlock Alliance is preparing to launch blockchain-based applications, including a proof of insurance application, a first notice of loss data-sharing process and a smart-contract-enabled subrogation tool. The subrogation tool will be built by Deloitte and use smart contracts to facilitate the netting of members’ payments and improve the efficiency of claims processing payment and accounting. Deloitte has already presented a smart contract proof of concept at its New York blockchain lab, and smart contracts are of great interest to accountants as they facilitate a range of interactions with clients.

Deloitte has worked with the RiskBlock Alliance since its launch in July 2017. This new announcement expands the partnership's scope significantly, the Alliance says.

According to the plan, Deloitte will leverage its digital capabilities to help the RiskBlock Alliance implement and test multiple products that will be brought to market by the end of 2018.

Deloitte will also help the RiskBlock Alliance expand the consortium into Canada, the first piece of a planned international expansion. Over the next few months, and with Deloitte’s strategic support, the RiskBlock Alliance plans to establish a legal entity in Canada and begin working with Canadian property-casualty and life/annuity insurers. The expansion will help the RiskBlock Alliance deliver blockchain solutions across the global insurance industry.

The firm will be responsible for the methodology, prioritization and development of a number of blockchain applications for RiskBlock Alliance members. The applications will address different aspects of insurance transactions, ranging from underwriting to claims processing. Each new app will be provided via Canopy, a company that’s creating a reusable blockchain framework and will focus on enhancing efficiency and lowering transaction costs for policyholders. Canopy is being built exclusively for the RiskBlock Alliance on a different company’s — R3 — blockchain platform called Corda.

“Deloitte has established itself as a leader in blockchain and distributed ledger technology and has strong global relationships with both blockchain and insurance organizations,” said Christopher G. McDaniel, president of the Institutes RiskBlock Alliance, in a statement. “... The RiskBlock Alliance isn’t concerned with theoretical experiments. We’re completely focused on rapidly delivering real production applications to the industry. With the help of Deloitte, we’re building out a virtual blockchain application factory that members can use immediately for real business needs.”

“Our goal matches the Institutes’ own expectations — the platform will serve as the home base for all things insurtech for the global insurance industry in the years ahead,” added Linda Pawczuk, a principal and financial services blockchain leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP. “At Deloitte, we have 1,500 blockchain practitioners in 33 countries across 23 industries dedicated to discovering how distributed ledger technology can improve different areas of the economy. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to broaden our role globally and begin building concrete applications for the market.”

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Blockchain Distributed ledger technology Deloitte