A Growth Opportunity for an Established Industry
A very interesting article in @HarvardBiz this month: Blockchain Could Help Us Reclaim Control of Our Personal Data. Michael Mainelli @mrmainelli lays out an interesting case for how distributed ledger technology could help safeguard our personal data.
The method seems to have promise, particularly alongside the subpar situation we are in today. Encrypted, distributed networks offer advantages that centralized databases cannot match. I clearly see a data infrastructure where a blockchain platform is provided and managed on which individual personal data is maintained. When companies want to use this data, it is bought, and part of the proceeds return to the platform provider and part directly to you and me.
However, one of my outstanding questions is what industry will see the business opportunity in safeguarding what is now being called the “oil of the 21st century?” Personal data reflects our preferences, needs, and unmet wants, so it offers impactful opportunities to service us (and sell us stuff).
Who will challenge the status quo which transfers the value of our personal data to oligopolistic constructs which are not always aligned with our needs? My belief is that insurers are perfectly placed to fill this role. (Note: I use insurer in the broadest sense of the word; this new service is also a natural fit for a broker.) Consider the following: