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Blockchain will have major role in aiding comp transactions, expert says

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Blockchain technology has a future in workers compensation transactions as the technology has the potential to improve communication and efficiency industrywide, a presenter told attendees of the National Council for Compensation Insurance Inc.’s Annual Issues Symposium on Friday.

Blockchain is a decentralized, peer-to-peer network that provides insurers and stakeholders a way of “producing, storing, managing and sharing data as a secure record of transactions,” said Paul Meeusen, head of distributed ledger technology and director of finance reinsurance at Swiss Re and CEO of B3i.

Blockchain consists of a distributed ledger, consensus providing a “single version” of information, cryptography for secure and authentic transactions, and smart contracts, which are auto-executed under predefined conditions, Mr. Meeusen said.

In a traditional insurance system, there is an inefficient flow of information from policyholder to insurer to reinsurer to capital market, he said. Mr. Meeusen explained how the technology works to create efficiencies rather than collecting and examining data in separate systems.

"We are working together, but we keep control of our data,” he said.

For workers compensation, blockchain can allow stakeholders opportunities for sharing personal and medical information, providing a secure place to store and access data. The technology would also allow for verification of comp coverage across the blockchain platform, he said. Blockchain also allows for real-time messaging and confidential sharing of information across the industry, he added.

“There is definitely an efficiency component here,” said Mr. Meeusen.