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Innovation Summit to host blockchain hackathon

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The world is abuzz about blockchain: Forbes is writing about it, Sir Richard Branson is hosting exclusive conferences about it.
Now, the SA Innovation Summit, partnering with Santam, is offering an opportunity to all South-Africans to get involved in building something brand new, disruptive and radical, that might change the insurance landscape as we know it forever.
The 24-hour Santam blockchain hackathon will take place from 23-24 September as part of the annual SA Innovation Summit.
Fraud is problematic for all stakeholders in the eco-system and affects much more than the cost of insurance premiums as a result. The hackathon will amongst other things investigate using a digital asset/token or currency (such as Ripple XRP or bitcoin) as a potentially cheaper payment method than conventional methods.
“It is exactly this kind of forward thinking that ensures Santam’s success an industry leader and we’re very excited about the greater-good outcomes resulting from this hackathon for all stakeholders in the insurance industry,” says Dr Audrey Verheaghe, chairperson of the summit.
The hackathon will explore a number of applications of blockchain like smart contracts, automated payments and tracking assets from when it was purchased, until destroyed or stolen. Previous claims that have been made for that asset can also be tracked thereby helping insurers prevent, detect and counter fraud.
“Fraud is a critical challenge for the insurance industry and we at Santam work with other stakeholders to promote awareness of fraud as well as continually improving our systems of detection and prevention. We have now partnered with the SA Innovation Summit to challenge blockchain experts to use this innovative technology to find solutions to fraud that the industry could adopt. Preventing and reducing fraud will benefit consumers and insurers alike and demonstrably illustrate what Insurance Good and Proper means from a Santam perspective,” says Nathan van Rooyen, head of digital business support at Santam.