A blockchain technology consortium spearheaded by a global group of insurers has added several new members.
The B3i project - short for the Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative - was launched in October, an effort aimed at providing a way for insurers like Allianz and Swiss Re, among others, to swap information and collaboratively test prototypes and use cases.
While some insurers have been testing blockchain independently, B3i offered the chance to conduct those experiments under one roof. Since launch, other insurers, including Liberty Mutual, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa and the Reinsurance Group of America have joined.
Now, the initiative is expanding its membership once again.
A trio of insurers - Hannover, Generali Group and SCOR - all announced that they are taking part in the B3i project. In statements, the companies indicated that, if successful, the project could have a material impact on how they do business.
Gerhard Ebeling, Hannover's general manager and head of department IT operations, said in a statement:
"Blockchain technology has the potential to optimize business processes and value chains in the insurance industry. With the B3i initiative we now have a platform of the efficient and trendsetting testing and improvement of inter-company processes."
The entry of new members comes amid reports that B3i stakeholders are accelerating a key prototype.
A Swiss Re representative told Reuters last month that the group was advancing development on a shared platform for exchanging contracts. A prototype is expected to undergo testing in the coming weeks, with a plan to publish the results this year.
The insurers could spin that platform off into a separate company for commercial use by 2018 at the earliest, according to Paul Meeusen, who leads Swiss Re's B3i efforts.
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