Best's Review


From the Editor's Desk
Insurers Take Initial Steps to Explore the Use of Cryptocurrency

The August issue also includes coverage of the reinsurance sector and a ranking of the largest insurers in Russia and Kazakhstan as well as the largest risk retention groups, based on AM Best data.
  • Patricia Vowinkel
  • August 2021

The dramatic rise and fall in the price of Bitcoin earlier this year captured the public's imagination as the price moved ever higher, helping to fuel the growing interest in cryptocurrency in general.

Bitcoin started out on Aug. 1 last year at $11,810, rising to as much as $63,000 by mid-April before falling back to around $34,000 in mid-July. Other cryptocurrencies have made similar journeys over the past year.

As cryptocurrencies rallied, more people began to take notice. Some 14% of U.S. adults now own some amount of cryptocurrency and what had once been viewed as a somewhat shadowy sector has now emerged to become more mainstream, with a growing number of businesses accepting payment in digital coins.

In “Cryptocurrency: Insurance Industry Tests the Waters with New Initiatives,” Best's Review examines some of the ways insurers are starting to gain some experience with digital currency.

In “Cryptocurrency Opens New Frontier for Life Insurers,” Best's Review speaks with Massachusetts Mutual and Build Asset Management as well as AM Best's Rosemarie Mirabella and Tom Rosendale about cryptocurrency developments in the life sector.

The August issue of Best's Review also focuses on the reinsurance industry. This is typically timed in connection with the annual Rendez-Vous de Septembre gathering in Monte Carlo.

Although Rendez-Vous has been canceled for the second year in a row due to the pandemic, the organizing committee has said it will organize conferences and roundtables on the insurance and reinsurance industry for the week of Sept. 13.

August is Reinsurance Awareness Month. Best's Review examines a few of the new reinsurance startups in “New Reinsurers Enter the Market Amid a Rise in Innovation, Abundant Capital and a Market-Changing Pandemic.”

Insurtechs have made use of technology and data to improve the customer experience and help spur innovation in the industry. “Insurtechs' Innovation, Big Data Catch the Attention of Reinsurers” explains why reinsurers are paying close attention.

While reinsurers often play a key role in helping to backstop large, catastrophic losses, some losses go beyond the means of the industry. A number of pandemic backstops were proposed last year to respond in the event of a future pandemic.

“Pandemic Backstops Face Uphill Battle Amid COVID-19 Crisis” tells the story of where those proposals stand now.

A report on the Russia insurance market includes a ranking of the largest insurers in Russia and Kazakhstan, based on AM Best data. Go to “AM Best: COVID-19 Sparked Innovation for Insurers in Russia” to learn more.

The August issue also includes a ranking of the largest risk retention groups in the story “Tennessee Cuts Capital Requirements for Protected Cell Captives.”

Patricia Vowinkel, Executive Editor,

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