Hugh Karp is the founder and CEO of Nexus Mutual - a people-powered alternative to insurance. Nexus Mutual uses the power of Ethereum so individuals can share risk together without the need for an insurance company.
Why you should listen:
Hugh is an insurance professional and actuary with 15 years of experience. An actuary is a business professional who deals with the measurement and management of risk and uncertainty. Actuaries are employed by insurance companies or risk management firms to calculate the "risks" associated with insuring individuals against downside events.
A mutual is simply a group of people coming together to share risk. Hugh says the only reason we’ve moved away from a mutual (in legacy systems) to shareholders is that it’s a more efficient way of connecting capital with people. However, thanks to smart contracts, we can start to do that in a peer to peer fashion which optimizes for efficiency when it comes to capital pooling. When joining the mutual you become a legal member of a UK company. All members have legal rights to the pool of funds.
Hugh first became interested in blockchain technology in 2011. He became fascinated by the emergence of Ethereum. Hugh recognized that the traditional insurance industry wasn’t yet prepared to provide any meaningful cover for crypto-related risks. Hugh watched the DAO being drained live and realized there was a need for a company like Nexus Mutual to provide cover against Smart Contract risks.
Smart Contract Cover is not an actual contract of insurance but rather an insurance like product. Members of the mutual vote to decide on claims. Claims payments are enforced by token economic incentives rather than placing trust in an insurance company.
In DeFi there are three primary risk categories; technical smart contract risk, external risk, and economic incentive failure risk. It’s important to understand these risks are in addition to the normal use of the particular smart contract. For example, if you use a gambling app there is a risk you could lose all of your money through the normal usage of the system. Nexus Mutual is focused on the more severe risks, and provides cover against system failure.
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