A web-based insurance firm in China is investing in new blockchain product development, with an eye to build a services platform around the technology.
Zhong An Online P&C Insurance Co. announced today that it was creating a new technology-focused subsidiary that will develop products and services in the areas of artificial intelligence, cloud computing and blockchain. The firm has been described in the media as China's first online-only insurance company.
The new subsidiary will be building on progress that already exists today. Zhong An said that it is developing a platform for insurance transactions using ethereum as a basis. Further, Zhong An said it was working with local firms in Shanghai as part of the Shanghai Blockchain Industry Development Research Alliance.
The company said that is is also working with the Fudan University School of Computer Sciences and Technology on additional research efforts. Zhong An said that it would co-found a research and development lab alongside Fudan University staff, with a particular focus on security.
Zhong An CEO Jin Chen said in a statement:
The launch is perhaps another example of the insurance firm flexing its financial muscle. Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Zhong An was looking to raise as much as $2bn by going public. Zhong An was reportedly valued at $8bn in a then-recent funding round.
Image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.