(Image source: OneDegree homepage.)
OneDegree Hong Kong Limited (Hong Kong), an entity founded in 2016 and awarded a virtual insurer license from the Hong Kong Insurance Authority in April 2020, has entered into a three-year strategic partnership with Munich Re (Munich) to launch OneInfinity, a digital asset insurance product, which the company says makes it the first licensed insurer in Asia to collaborate with a global leading reinsurer in offering digital asset insurance.
“We are looking forward to teaming up with OneDegree as a key partner for our digital asset initiative,” comments Greg Barats, Senior Executive, Munich Re and President & CEO of HSB, a Munich Re Group company. “OneDegree is a digital native insurance player, that is part of an innovative group of tech companies. Accordingly, this partnership allows us to be optimally positioned to serve the important and expanding digital asset market.”
OneDegree describes OneInfinity as an insurance and technology product offering designed specifically for digital asset trading platforms, custodians, asset managers and technology providers. Under the partnership, Munich Re will provide reinsurance capacity and support OneDegree’s technical underwriting. The partners have also committed to building modeling capabilities based on OneDegree’s CeFi and DeFi incident database to support future product innovation, according to a OneDegree statement.
OneInfinity bundles OneDegree insurance with solutions from Cymetrics, a separate product offered by a sister company of OneDegree. Cymetrics is designed to help companies examine cyber, blockchain and digital asset risks from the perspective of hackers and insiders in a more agile and flexible way.
With the rapid and mass adoption of digital assets, the global market value of digital assets surged to a record high of US$3 trillion by the end of 2021. To ensure the community’s sustainable growth, a key strategic priority shared by Web3 builders, operators, participants and policy makers is to build a compliant and secure Web3 ecosystem by establishing and adopting best practice in risk management. However, lack of insurance capacity has not only put Web3 practitioners at greater risk, but also hampered institutional investors’ participation. One of the key reasons for the lack of insurance capacity globally is the scarcity of data and expertise to underwrite risks related to digital assets.
Authorized by the Hong Kong Insurance Authority as a virtual insurer since April 2020, OneDegree says it has quickly established itself as the leading virtual insurer in the Hong Kong market by number of paid users. The company says its tech-focused approach gives it a competitive advantage in the digital asset space because it can combine strong underwriting expertise with sophisticated data analytics and technical know-how. By partnering with Cymetrics it can also offer advanced cybersecurity capabilities to clients. OneDegree characterizes its market approach as leveraging these combined strengths, as well as its inter-disciplinary knowledge of blockchain technology, risk management and compliance, to optimize OneInfinity for the end-to-end providers of digital asset services.
In addition to its place as one of the most important reinsurers historically, Munich Re co-founded the Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative and recently started a project in order to seize the business potential of the strongly growing digital asset market. OneDegree reports that it was selected by Munich Re as its digital asset partner after passing the reinsurer’s rigorous due diligence. Howden RE’s Hong Kong team supported OneDegree to establish this important partnership.
“We are delighted to work closely with Munich Re to offer OneInfinity, a market-leading digital asset insurance product,” comments Alvin Kwock, Co-Founder, OneDegree. “Digital asset insurance is set to be the gold standard serving the Web3 community. Regulated insurance coverage is a strong signaling effect that supports trust and credibility of the insured entities. OneDegree is privileged to be Asia’s first insurer to contribute to the secure and compliant development of Web3.”
Helen Ye, Chief Commercial Officer, OneDegree, characterizes the firm’s partnership with Munich Re as a “game changer,” letting OneInfinity offering much-needed protection to the Web3 community. “More importantly, both OneDegree and Munich Re have invested resources in building a digital asset native team and now we will join hands to deepen and broaden our understanding of the full spectrum of risks relating to end-to-end digital asset operations,” Ye comments. “We are confident that the partnership will contribute to establishing best practice in risk management for the digital asset industry. By doing so, we believe our product and technology offerings will be another step forward in enabling the fast-growing digital asset industry to unlock value and potential.”
“This is the insurance sector with one of the highest entry barriers because of the technical inter-disciplinary knowledge required,” says Becky Tam, General Manager of Digital Asset Insurance, OneDegree. “As a digital native insurer, OneDegree is uniquely placed to leverage such knowledge, as well as our insurance-based analytics capabilities, in creating this innovative product offering. We are thankful to all the industry players from the digital asset sector, blockchain service providers and cybersecurity experts to provide valuable advice for us in building the product. We are especially glad to partner with Munich Re to bring reinsurance capacity and expertise to answer the ever-growing demand.”