Our revised version of the whitepaper was published last Friday and introduced IRX, our risk exchange. Alongside the high-level description in the whitepaper, we have worked through the product specification and technical implementation with our architects and designers. This work will go on for another 2-3 weeks to have enough of a foundation to start our Agile development process. The new version can be downloaded here: https://www.ixt.global/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IRX-Intelligent-Risk-Exchange.pdf
As you can see from our whitepaper, the vision for the platform is very much aligned with our initial concept. Over the past year or so, we have sometimes been side-tracked from this core vision, which can be expected from a startup who’s trying to find the angle to enter the market in such a challenging industry. An interesting observation is the fact that our friends at ChainThat announced plans to launch a risk exchange out of Bermuda, which gives credence to our initial vision. As a company, ChainThat has been going for a couple of years longer than us and was earlier focused on the back-office accounting and settlement. It is very interesting to see them pivoting into the marketplace / exchange concept.
Our concept of an insurance marketplace has sometimes has received a lukewarm reception from insurance people, but maybe that’s what you have to expect when asking the incumbents. We believe that the change needed to improve the insurance markets for consumers is initially a change to how insurance is bought and sold, rather than the behind the scenes process, internal to insurance companies. We hope that all pioneers in the blockchain insurtech space prosper together, the insurance industry is large enough for all of us.
We will provide development updates as we go along, to keep everyone posted on our progress. The focus of Mikael and me is now shifting into the operational aspects of the venture, required for launch. The main challenge is the regulatory requirements necessary to operate our platform. Our initial version would most likely be ok as an intermediary, working with a single licenced partner in each country we support. This could see us building up a strong network leveraging technology rather than expensive offices and operations in many locations. The longer term vision might need further licences and regulation. One option we are exploring is to operate part of the company as a cell in a protected cell company or as a captive, possibly in partnership with an insurer to leverage the actuarial models and claim processing.
Our current idea is to operate the exchange out of Gibraltar, which is a natural choice for us given that IXT Ltd is based there. There is an established insurance environment there, albeit smaller than for example Bermuda. But the advantage is that it is part of the EU, thus financial services passport rules apply. Of course, with the likely prospect of a hard Brexit might see us having to change this to a different location. As our plan is to have a working product ready by Q3/4 we should have clarity by then in terms of the Brexit situation.
We are feeling optimistic and firing on all cylinders now.