Friday, 26 May 2017

Cryptocurrencies could fix our broken monetary system

In turbulent and fast-changing times, it helps to know that some of life’s uncertainties are anchored to something solid and dependable.

So it will come as no solace whatsoever to remind you that the global currency system is anything but solid or dependable. That is one reason the world’s finances are in such a mess - but new digital cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could bring us back down to earth.

Let me explain. Once upon a time, the currencies we used to buy and sell things had real tangible value; coins were literally made from silver and gold. When governments introduced paper money and coins made from non-precious metals, they needed a proxy for their former value. So the so-called “gold standard” effectively made coins and notes into an IOU against gold, and everything remained stable.

But when President Nixon ripped up the gold standard in 1971, currency floated free - the dollar became a so-called “fiat” currency, untethered to anything except its central bank’s ability to print more money.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Blockchain is hot, but where’s the beef?

In spite of the hype—news of blockchain developments and its associated Bitcoin currency has become nearly ubiquitous—large-scale enterprises have been slow to adopt the emerging technology that promises to disrupt and improve a wide range of industries from finance & banking, insurance and real estate to cybersecurity and even music.

Companies have played with it; they understand what blockchain does and how it works. Their innovation labs have participated in proof of concepts (POCs) and may belong to one or more industry consortiums created to vet the technology, but they haven’t taken the next step and implemented the technology for any mission critical apps.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Transformation of the Insurance Sector due to the rise of Artificial Intelligence

The need for a business to offer their customers’ personalised, efficient and reliable service has never been greater. Today, society demands instantaneous communication with one another. Technologies such as Apple’s FaceTime, Facebook’s Live Messenger and Microsoft’s Skype allow communication around the world to occur immediately. This ability has meant there has been a proliferation in the amount of data being shared and consequently, it has become expected that businesses provide the same level of communication across devices. Businesses must ensure they connect with customers on a more 1-1 basis and that the customer is at the centre of its business, regardless of time or location.

The need for insurers to focus on customer service is even greater than it is within other industries such as retail, given insurance historically lags behind other industries.

In years gone by Insurers operated in a highly regulated, controlled and predictable environment. They knew that individuals chose their insurer based on their parents previous decisions. Once chosen, individuals would stick to that insurance for years, even for life, accepting new charges and changes in operation as it used to be too difficult and complicated to change insurer, as well as challenging to gather the relevant information on what insurance policy was best for each individual. This is no longer the case.