Blockchain technology: the best life insurance

Photo by Jake Thacker on Unsplash

I have never been so inclined to write about a real blockchain use case nor have I had so much passion to address some real life issues as much as this. This is a real life situation which I experienced first-hand and still do as time passes by. If you have been in a situation where you were denied access to funds that should by right be transferred to you upon the demise of another, you would understand this. For ages, this has been another embezzlement front for most highly placed staffs and government officials. The avenue to sit on hard-earned income of old employees till they meet their inevitable end.

“…denied access to funds that should by right be transferred to you upon the demise of another… has been another embezzlement front for most highly placed staffs and government officials for ages.”

Employees often give over 35 years of their most productive phase to the government in service, expecting that when they are old and unable to do much that government will take care of them. How sad that many of them pass away without tasting a penny in their retirement benefits. Those who have the opportunity of collecting it, when it gets paid are entitled to a depreciating currency that doesn’t evolve with time, a currency that has no internal value. It is not even an acceptable payment during international trades.

A once monthly take-home pay can now hardly pay completely for a day meal. Not to mention the ordeals they must go through to get their rights given to them. A game many know they will never win before death visits them on a bench, in the sun, tired and thirsty, with an empty water bottle in their hand, as they wait endlessly at the entrance of the retirement pension building. Needless to say, these things should be automated and done without a sweat. Something that took thirty-five years to prepare should not take a day more to deliver.

The basic idea behind the scheme is to provide them a lump sum that’ll afford a pleasant life after retirement and, in the event of their demise, their loved ones will be protected from the prospect of financial ruin. But then, it isn’t so. The death of the rightful owner most times is what precedes the permanent loss of funds. Life insurance is a great idea but misses on the greater opportunity of assurance a good life after death. The purpose of life insurance by the way is to provide financial protection to surviving dependents after the death of an insured. This doesn’t include any finance outside of the scope. Sadly, this is one of the setbacks that plague Cryptocurrency today.

“Sadly this is one of the setbacks that plague Cryptocurrency today.”

I once worked as a support specialist for Poloniex, but was a chat moderator in the trollbox before then. I had a lot experience working for an exchange but one story stands out. A contract staff for Poloniex suddenly stopped showing up for work and his funds, nor was his account ever accessed for over a year. He was presumed dead, but we never knew for certain what happened to him. The point is, his account was left untouched with funds in it and perhaps none of his family can access it and that’s just one of the many lost valuable digital funds.

People are doing a lot of crazy things to recover their lost Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. People search the toxic landfill, go through hypnotherapy, or even try hacking their Bitcoin vaults and so on. All these because someone forgets or loses his password, PIN, passphrase or seed as the case may be. As established earlier, death is just another way funds can be lost. With thousands of cryptocurrencies out there with different values, with more emphasis on BTC, it’s estimated that nearly 4 million Bitcoin is lost forever. This is just Bitcoin; how about countless others.

“…to recover their lost Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies …People search the toxic landfill, go through hypnotherapy, or even try hacking their Bitcoin vaults and so on.”

Since we are focusing on life after death and the faith of the living, I would rather not digress too much. People have resolved to putting some funds away as “life insurance” and this is not a modern day practice. It was introduced by the Greek and Romans in 600BC when they created guilds called “benevolent societies”. The sole purpose of this society is to care for the families of the deceased members, as well as pay funeral expenses of members. The first life insurance policies however were taken out in the early 18th century, the first of which came from a company called “American Society for Perpetual Assurance Office” founded in London, in 1706. So, you see, catering for what happens after we are dead isn’t innovative. What differentiates it is how we do it.

As great as the idea sounds, there are a couple of reasons I would not go for a life insurance as some other better substitutes have come to light. Of course, these are personal reasons which should not necessarily make me anti-insurance or make anyone change their mind. First, there is the lack of trust in third parties when it comes to financial engagements. I cannot trust the life of my kin to another after I die and there is no one to fight for them. The system may work today, what of tomorrow?

Secondly, there are too many rules and one can easily be misinformed on so many expectations only for there to be a sour outcome. Life is too complex already; we need not to make it more complex. And then finally, the principle of opportunity cost of having some funds locked somewhere valueless when you can easily put them to use to yield more. Life insurance isn’t an investment; it’s an expense and not an asset.

“Life insurance is NOT an investment; it’s an expense and NOT an asset.”

I will like to believe we have been able to state most of the problems or issues. Let’s talk about the possible way out. In order to do this, we need to switch to the world of cryptocurrencies, which is of course the new money. It is the only form of money that enables you to be your own bank, carry out transactions easily with no third party required, and protect your funds from theft and fraud. These among many others are some of the advantages of Cryptocurrency over fiat money. With Cryptocurrency, you stand the chance to have a total control with unlimited

possibilities.

The solution revolves around a term called “Dead Man Switch” and its many uses. It is however only available on the Ardor platform — a platform that can and is being powered by the Sun as I have in the past described it. This feature qualifies Ardor as the most customer-centric platform of our time that cares about its users to their last wishes. It provides a way-out for your funds to be available to whomever you wish when you are no longer around. Now, how is this possible?

“Ardor…the most customer-centric platform of our time that cares about its users to their last wishes”

The mechanism involved makes use of a reverse multi-signature transaction which transfers all your funds to your beneficiary’s account, but only if it’s not countered until a certain block height. You will have the opportunity to trigger the rejection and resubmit the transaction in view of another block height. So, in the event of the account holder’s demise, after the approved block height is reached, his/her funds will automatically be transferred to the beneficiaries. This can be viewed as the dying wish of the deceased and it will be, without doubt, honored. It is possible on Ardor using the “Dead Man Switch”, enabling the dead to make an outgoing transaction even after demise, therefore ensuring his funds aren’t locked forever and may be put to use by his beneficiaries.

To show how customer-centric Ardor is, this feature is also enabled on all of its child chains, thus making them similarly efficient.. With this:

1. Your funds get transferred to your beneficiaries when you are gone.

2. You get to put your funds to a specific investment, not just in an insurance purse with no other life benefit, and it still serves the purpose.

3. The transaction can be done without involving a middle man at no extra cost.

Additionally, is also very simple to carry out with no complicated steps in its execution and no legal documents involved, and it is a totally decentralized procedure. If integrated into the Pension scheme:

1. The processing becomes faster and payment will be instant.

2. The value will evolve with time and, depending on the design of the payment structure, may even favour the retirees as the value of their benefits increases with the market. 1 BTC in 2013 isn’t the same today.

3. No worker will lack his or her rights and, inevitably, corruption in the sector is mitigated.

4. With the use of the Lightweight contracts as well, upon the demise of the retiree, the funds will endlessly be credited to the account of the beneficiary depending on his/her wishes included in the contract.

“…feature is also enabled on all of its child chains, thus making them similarly efficient.”

Guess what, customer-centricity isn’t just caring about your customers while they are alive, we must now redefine it to include caring about them even when they are no more. This is a concern for all. Although we hardly want to think about its horrible possibility, we all want to make sure our death won’t also be the death of all we love and care for. So, if you really want to show your customers you care as a blockchain startup or company integrating the blockchain system, you should show them you care all the way. Provide them with benefits that don’t end with their last breath. Let their death be a lifesaver for their chosen ones as they all receive a financial gift from their dearly lost one when they least expect it. All this is possible on the Ardor platform, a customer-centric blockchain platform that is powered by the Sun.

Further reading:

http://fortune.com/2017/11/25/lost-bitcoins/

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/21/3-crazy-things-people-are-doing-to-recover-lost-bitcoin.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_insurance

https://www.i-scoop.eu/customer-centricity/

https://termlife2go.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-life-insurance/

https://hackernoon.com/dead-man-switch-35c00694eb55

https://decentralize.today/5-benefits-of-cryptocurrency-a-new-economy-for-the-future-925747434103


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