The first quarter of 2019 has seen us delivering IXT Protect as well as re-organising the way we work. We have now evaluated our options and are putting more details to our plans. It is clear that the crypto markets and blockchain space are still very difficult to operate in and predict.
We released a new version of IXT Protect, which allowed us taking fiat payments to join the membership. However, having discovered a few teething problems, we decided to roll back some of the changes. We will soon release a new version which reverts back to a staking based model but with the new interface.
We are increasing the integration with PayRue, with the aim of becoming the insurance offering within this payment ecosystem. Not only do we have an active and growing user community in PayRue, but there are many overlapping features such as token swaps / exchange features, commissions, KYC etc so it makes a lot of sense to bring the two closer together.
The development of our B2B solution is restarting with a renewed effort to specify the functionality and explore the go-to-market opportunities. From a high-level, we are sticking to the initial concepts such as an exchange for insurance, a ledger for transactions, a professional network for people and companies and so on. We have already working solutions in some of these areas, and what we need to do now is to bring it together in a simple, workable solution that is appealing to potential end users.
This work will culminate in the release of a new whitepaper, although it will be more geared to a functional specification and some of the traditional token whitepaper content will not be included, since it won’t make sense at this stage in our project.
We have had some initial conversations with Etherisc to explore ways we can collaborate and help them bringing their parametric insurance to market in the UK.
In addition, we have created an insurance solution targeting the gig economy in the UK, and are looking at options to bring it to market. This will require traditional funding and insurance carriers which is currently being explored.
Our work on a concept for a claim solution in partnership with one of GenRe’s clients has come to a point where they are evaluating multiple vendors to see who would suit them the best. So for now, all we can do is wait. The initial exploration of this area has given us a great use case for blockchain in insurance. Bringing together the participants of a typical claim case is currently challenging, and the blockchain can help significantly we believe.
As a general theme now however, we are trying to sharpen the focus and zero in on just one viable direction. So having explored these different possibilities, we will pick one to bring to the next level. Which one we pick will mainly be influenced by the value to the token, the commercial opportunity and what is possible to deliver by our new way of operating. So even if there is a great commercial opportunity to insure all the people in the gig economy in the UK, if it doesn’t bring value to our token it might not be the one we go for initially.
Having downsized the team in the UK we are now looking at a different way of achieving our goals. It has become clear that hiring permanent staff in London is not viable for a start-up. The lack of skills, the extremely high cost and the uncertainty of Brexit are all contributing factors. Most people who joined us over the past year also lacked the ambition and attitude required to make a start-up work. So instead, we are now lining up close partnership with teams and partners who can help with development, marketing and sales.
Our in-house community management and marketing efforts will stop next month, and we are looking to share community communication and marketing with other teams, in order to be more efficient but also be able to reach new communities. This will be a temporary measure until our requirements intensifies with progress of the project in general. Further updates will follow shortly.
As we also removed the “insurance expertise” function, we are now talking directly with people in the industry who know how things work. There is typically a wide gap between having worked in a role within insurance and to actually translate knowledge into working products.
We are now well positioned to be around for the long term, by operating efficiently and only with costs linked to delivering tangible output. There are obvious challenges with this type of arrangements but we feel it is the right way given the challenging environment.
The New Whitepaper
The whitepaper will specify the insurance exchange we have had as a goal from the very first day. With the increased understanding of the insurance market, new business contacts and technology knowledge we believe we stand a good chance to make it a viable solution.
Its main value proposition remain unchanged, i.e. introducing companies to insurance products and facilitate a risk transfer. A particular focus is of course to define how blockchain will help and how our token can be used.
We will aim to release the new whitepaper in April or May depending on how far we feel it’s right to take it. After that, an MVP (Minimal Viable Product) will be released. In the meantime, discussions with possible early adopters will continue.