Accenture, Generali Launch Blockchain Solution for Employee Benefits

Accenture, Generali Launch Blockchain Solution for Employee Benefits

Accenture and Generali Employee Benefits have launched a blockchain solution for employee benefits that innovates the reinsurance process for captive insurance services.

Ireland-based global consulting firm Accenture and Italy-based insurance giant Generali Group’s employee benefits unit have debuted a blockchain solution for employee benefits. The partnership was announced in a press release from the firms on April 16.

Generali Employee Benefits (GEB) is an employee benefit solutions provider and global business line of Italy’s largest insurance firm — and 8th largest globally. The press release states that GEB operates the largest employee benefits solutions network worldwide.

The blockchain solution will reportedly facilitate data sharing for parties involved in the reinsurance process for captive and pooling services. It will also reportedly improve procedures’ reliability through the use of smart contracts and automated reconciliation.

Captive insurance refers to underwriters who are wholly-owned by their insured clients, while reinsurance pooling services are a risk financing mechanism used by insurers to increase their ability to underwrite specific types of risks.

The blockchain tool is designed to innovate and simplify GEB’s existing employee benefits operating model for captive services, which spans policies such as life, disability, accident and healthcare insurance.

The solution is reportedly supported by Generali and inspired by the work of the insurance industry collaborative blockchain initiative B3i.

The solution’s launch reportedly comes after the successful completion of a prototype in 2018, involving major agricultural firm Syngenta, as well as Spanish, Swiss and Serbian local insurers.

The prototype was found to provide significant benefits for the employee benefits sector by establishing effective integration of systems, data and processes for all stakeholders, improving data quality and saving time and costs.

GEB’s CEO stated in the press release that in its provision of a seamless ecosystem, “blockchain will change not only our Network but the employee benefits industry as we know it.”

As reported, B3i Service AG — the Swiss blockchain startup founded by B3i in March of last year — expanded its group of investors this month as part of its ongoing funding round.

The startup is focused on multi-company syndicated risk placement, accounting, and claims, and has developed a product based on R3 Corda’s distributed ledger technology.

Telegram’s TON Partners With Wirecard to Develop Digital Financial Services

Telegram’s TON Partners With Wirecard to Develop Digital Financial Services

The deal will deliver as yet unspecified new offerings and comes as TON reportedly prepares for its public launch.

The development team behind encrypted messaging service Telegram’s forthcoming blockchain ecosystem Telegram Open Network (TON) has partnered with German financial services provider Wirecard. The latter revealed the news in a press release on April 17.

TON Labs, which also functions as a knowledge base for decentralized project development, will work with Wirecard to develop new digital financial products, the press release reports.

The partnership comes a week after sources hinted that TON had moved to private beta testing mode, a watershed moment for the project since its massive private initial coin offering (ICO) last year.

“The addition of TON Blockchain to Telegram’s growing ecosystem is opening new opportunities for business and technological innovation,” Alexander Filatov, managing partner at TON Labs, commented in the press release. He added:

“We are excited to partner with one of the world’s most dynamic and innovative financial technology companies to bring synergetic new generation fintech solutions to the market.”

Details of the offerings the two entities will work on remain unspecified, Wirecard stating that announcements will come in stages without giving a timeframe.

“Their [TON Labs’] immense experience in highly scalable technology and decentralized solutions as well as the strong global growth of Telegram messenger will be instrumental for the success of our joint program,” Wirecard’s executive vice president of group business development, Georg von Waldenfels, added.

Wirecard meanwhile caught the attention of the mainstream media this week after Germany’s finance regulator informed prosecutors about potential market manipulation of its shares from January.

EY Launches Beta Test Version of Smart Contract Analyzer for Ethereum Blockchain

EY Launches Beta Test Version of Smart Contract Analyzer for Ethereum Blockchain

Big Four auditing firm EY has launched a private beta test version of its new Smart Contract Analyzer tool for the public Ethereum blockchain.

Big Four auditing firm Ernst & Young (EY) has launched a private beta test version of its new Smart Contract Analyzer tool for the public Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. The news was announced in an EY press release on April 16.

The tool is described as a testing and security service that will allow companies and individual investors to assess smart contracts and associated tokens for known security risks.

Developed by the EY Blockchain Security Lab in Israel, the tool works for tokens and contracts either prior to their launch or after they have gone live on the public blockchain.

EY states it has created a list of over 250 standard tests, which cover aspects such as potential malware and coding errors, as well as verifying whether tokens conform to accepted industry standards.

The auditor giant indicates that its assessment parameters target both security vulnerabilities as well as efficiency shortcomings. The press release also notes that the service will support the development of customized testing and ongoing monitoring of contracts and token as they undergo changes.

Paul Brody, EY Global Innovation Leader for blockchain, has stated that as adoption rises, blockchain-based investment systems should be provided with the same audit tools as enterprise computing systems are more broadly. He added:

“It’s not enough to test static code, we need to see how contracts and tokens perform under real transaction conditions. The simulator allows many different transaction scenarios to be tested using the full Ethereum blockchain, without changing its state. This includes all kinds of standard activities like code updates, lock-up rules and transfer restrictions.”

EY states that the smart contract testing service will be integrated later this year into the new version of its Blockchain Analyzer.

As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, the latter is a blockchain analytics, tax and monitoring platform that has just undergone major upgrades. Also yesterday, EY released a zero knowledge proof protocol, which aims to facilitate the adoption of secure, private transactions over public blockchains.

This March, cybersecurity solutions firm Kudelski Security entered into a strategic partnership with smart contracts auditor Hosho to cooperate on providing better security solutions to firms and public sector organizations that use blockchain.

Forbes Releases List of Billion Dollar Companies Using Blockchain

Forbes Releases List of Billion Dollar Companies Using Blockchain

Finance publication Forbes has released a list of 50 $1 billion firms that are implementing blockchain technology.

Financial news outlet Forbes has released a list of “Blockchain’s Billion Dollar Babies,” or companies implementing blockchain technology that have minimum revenues or valuations of $1 billion, on April 16.

The list includes companies in the cryptocurrency and blockchain development spaces, in addition to traditional financial firms like banks and clearing houses, food companies, supply chain management firms and others.

Most of the companies listed are household names like Amazon, Walmart, Facebook, ING, Mastercard, Microsoft and Nestle.

Cryptocurrency-related companies featured on the list include United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, European mining and hardware firm Bitfury, and blockchain-based financial services network and XRP token creator Ripple.

In addition to noting major firms that are dabbling or full-on adopting blockchain technology, the list also includes which blockchain protocols are being adopted and by whom. Various Hyperledger protocols, blockchain consortium R3’s Corda protocol and the Ethereum network are prominently featured at a number of firms across various industries.

Forbes notes the potential for blockchain technology to simplify various business process per the example of Depository Trust & Clearing Corp (DTCC), which keeps records of 90 million transactions a day, or most of the world’s $48 trillion dollars in securities.

Per Forbes, the firm will begin switching its 50,000 accounts to a blockchain-based system, which will help eliminate duplicate procedures and reconciliations that are still prone to happen on traditional electronic clearing networks.

In mid-March, DTCC published a white paper outlining guiding principles for the post-trade processing of tokenized securities. The paper notes the unique characteristics of the nascent market for tokenized securities and proposes that global policy standards for traditional markets are often applicable, and useful for stakeholders to identify the legal responsibilities pertaining to security token platforms.

Following Community Poll, Kraken Delists Bitcoin SV

Following Community Poll, Kraken Delists Bitcoin SV

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has followed ShapeShift and Binance in delisting bitcoin SV.

Major United States cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has decided to delist bitcoin (BTC) offshoot bitcoin SV (BSV), the firm announced on April 16.

In an official press release, Kraken said that BSV had “engaged in behavior completely antithetical to everything we at Kraken and the wider crypto community stands for.” As such, the exchange has decided to delist the currency, which was the result of a hard fork in the bitcoin cash (BTC) network last November.

The exchange’s decision follows a Twitter poll yesterday, in which it asked the community’s opinion about whether it should delist BSV.

Kraken Twitter poll on BSV delisting. Source: Kraken

Kraken cited erratic behavior such as fraudulent claims, threats and legal action as the catalyst behind the delisting. The exchange’s decision follows in the footsteps of exchanges Binance and ShapeShift, which dropped the coin earlier this week.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao had previously warned Australian computer scientist Craig Wright — BSV’s most stalwart proponent and self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto — that if he did correct some controversial behavior, Binance would delist BSV.

Binance dropped BSV after Wright set a $5,000 bounty in BSV for information regarding the identity of Hodlnaut, the Twitter user behind the recent bitcoin “Lightning Torch” charity event.

While Kraken’s announcement did not refer to anyone by name, it said, “The threats made last week to individual members of the community were the last straw. This aggression will not stand.”

Bitcoin SV’s price has suffered as a result of the delistings. At press time the coin is down 4.67% on the day and just over 30% on the week, according to CoinMarketCap.