【瑞中法评】论欧洲法律框架下虚拟货币形式的智能保险合同

原文始发于微信公众号(瑞中法协):【瑞中法评】论欧洲法律框架下虚拟货币形式的智能保险合同


【瑞中法评】论欧洲法律框架下虚拟货币形式的智能保险合同

About SmartInsurance Contracts Based on Virtual Currency under the European Legal Framework


论欧洲法律框架下虚拟货币形式的智能保险合同


Dr. Remy Zgraggen

Attorney at law,Leximpact, Zurich, Switzerland

remy.zgraggen@leximpact.ch 

www.leximpact.ch


Remy Zgraggen博士(Leximpact 律师事务所)

邢东榕译(瑞中法律协会顾问)


【瑞中法评】论欧洲法律框架下虚拟货币形式的智能保险合同


【瑞中法评】论欧洲法律框架下虚拟货币形式的智能保险合同


1.    PRELIMINARY REMARKS

前言

 

There is widespread agreement that smart insurance contracts or blockchain technology in general will have a relevant impact on a variety of application scenarios within the insurance sector in the future, such as for example in the form of pay-per-use insurance models, micro insurance contracts, identity/data verification or frauds prevention systems [1]. However, up today the big insurance companies in Europe, Japan or the US still do not offer purely smart contract based, or in generally blockchain-based, insurance solutions. One main reason could be found in the discrepancy between what is technically possible and what is legally allowed within the relevant regulatory framework. Especially in Europe the insurance market is highly regulated, which makes it difficult to establish new products based on a new technology or to enter the insurance market as an insurance-start-up company in general. The present article shall explore these legal or regulatory barriers for blockchain-based insurance application, especially through the example whether and under what conditions an insurance solution can be based on a so called smart insurance contract.
普遍认为,智能保险合同或区块链技术在未来将对在不同情景中对保险行业产生相关的影响,例如按次付费保险模式、微保险合同、身份/数据验证或欺诈预防系统[1]。然而,时至今日,欧洲、日本或美国的大型保险公司仍然无法提供纯智能合约形式或通常基于区块链的保险解决方案。我们可以从实操可能及相关监管框架内法律许可程度之间的差异中找到主要的原因。该情况在欧洲尤为明显,欧洲的保险市场受到了严格的监管,使得利用新技术开发新产品亦或是初创保险公司融入保险市场变得尤为艰难。本文将探讨在区块链下的保险适用面临的种种法律或监管壁垒,并将通过实例来阐述是否以及在何种情况下保险解决方案可建立于我们所说的智能保险合同上。

2.    SMART INSURANCE CONTRACTS

智能保险合同

 
The term smart contract was already defined in 1996 by [2] as a “set of promises, specified in digital form, including protocols within which the parties perform on these promises”. The general objectives of a smart contract are the satisfaction of common contractual conditions (payment terms, periods, confidentiality, or even enforcement clauses), minimize exceptions and minimize the need for intermediaries, such as for example insurance brokers. In other words, smart contracts can be defined as computer programs regulating the rights and obligations between two or more parties. Smart contracts are in general (but not necessarily) linked to blockchain. The legal classification of a smart contract is however still disputed and inconsistent. In general, smart contracts cannot be considered as contracts in the legal sense, as a legal contract must be based on two corresponding declarations of intent [3]. Consequently, an insurance, which is based on a smart contract, needs a traditional contractual basis besides the smart contract as a backup. This is also the case for “Fizzy”, one of the first smart insurance solutions on the market, where however a traditional contractual agreement is necessary between the insures and AXA. In addition, in the case of “Fizzy” the insurance premium needs to be paid in Euro [4].
关于“智能合同”的定义,可以追溯到1996年。“智能合同”是“以数字形式的承诺,包括双方履行这些承诺的协议” [2]。智能合约的目标是满足达成共识的合约条件(付款条件、期限、保密条款,甚至执行条款),减少例外及对中介机构(例如保险经纪人)的需求。换言之,我们可以把智能合约比拟成计算机程序,用来规定双方或多方之间的权利和义务。智能合约通常(但非必需)与区块链相关联。然而,智能合约的法律的分类至今仍存争议难以达成共识。一般来说,智能合同不能视为法律意义上的合同,因为法律意义上的合同必须基于两个意向声明[3]。因此,基于智能合同的保险,除了智能合同之外,还需要传统的合同方式为基础作为备份。以“Fizzy”为例,它是市场上最早的智能保险解决方案之一,要求被保险人和AXA之间必须有传统的合同。此外,在Fizzy例中,保险费需要以欧元支付[4]
Table 1 gives an overview about the proposal of a legal classification of insurance contracts depending on the nature of the underlying currency (ordinary or crypto currency) and on the underlying contractual agreement (traditional legal contract or smart contractor both).
如下图(表一)所示,基于货币实质(普通货币或加密货币)的性质和其对应的合同协议(传统法律合同或智能合同或两者皆有)对保险合同进行大体的法律分类的提议。
 

【瑞中法评】论欧洲法律框架下虚拟货币形式的智能保险合同

Table 1: Legal Classification of Smart Insurance Contracts
表一:智能保险合同的法律分类



Even though Fizzy (and similar blockchain-based applications) can be considered as a pioneering innovation within the insurance sector, the next step should be a blockchain-based insurance-contract, where no additional contract is necessary and where the insurance premiums and the claims payments will be made in virtual currency. Whereas the legal equal treatment of traditional contracts and smart contracts need a fundamental change of the concepts and definitions of a contract from a legal point of view, a traditional insurance contract where premiums and claims payments can be made in crypto currency is prima vista in principle conceivable, at least from a civil or contractual law approach. According to the principle of contractual freedom, any kind of obligation can be foreseen in principle between the contractual parties. In financial market law this principle is however highly restricted by provisions of public law, in especially regulatory requirements and financial supervisory law in general. Consequently, in order to be able to offer a private insurance contract as an insurer, precisely defined regulatory conditions must be fulfilled. These conditions are appropriate and necessary because of overriding public interests, which cannot be achieved through the self-regulatory powers of the free market [5]. In the insurance sector, one of the main public interests is consumer protection – which means that the financial and non-financial interests of the individual policyholders need to be protected against the interests of the insurance undertakings. Besideconsumer protection, financial regulation aims to guarantee the proper and efficient functioning of the financial market in general.
尽管Fizzy(等其他类似的区块链形式的应用)可以被视为保险行业的一项开创性举措,但下一步应该开创区块链形式的保险合同,在这种情况下,不需要额外的合同,而且保险费和索赔金将以虚拟货币结算。鉴于应平等对待传统合同和智能合同,从法的角度出发,我们对于合同的概念和定义应进行转变。其中传统的保险合同应许可通过加密货币支付保费和索赔,这是第一要素,至少从民法或合同法的角度来说。根据合同自由原则,合同当事人在原则上是可以预测任何一种可能发生的责任义务。然而,在金融市场法中,这一原则受到公法的严重限制,特别在规管条件及金融监管法中。因此,保险公司为了能够提供私人保险合同,必须满足戒律分明的监管条件,这些条件往往适当且有必要的,因为它凌驾于公共利益之上,而公共利益并不能通过自由市场的自律来实现的[5]。在保险业,主要的公共利益之一是消费者保护,这意味着需要保护投保人个人的金融和非金融利益,使其免受保险公司利益的损害。除了保护消费者之外,金融监管的目的是确保金融市场的正常和高效运行。

3.    CONCLUSIVE REMARKS

结论

 
The legal hurdles for blockchain-based insurance products are diverse and very high, however, they are not insurmountable in the medium and long term. As shown in Table 1 above, the way to purely blockchain-based smart insurance contracts can be undertaken step by step. In general, the legal barriers in the Europeanre gulatory framework can be found on the one hand in private law, especially in contractual law, and on the other in public law, especially in financial supervisory law. In contractual law the most important step will be the recognition of smart contracts as generally accepted legal contracts.
区块链形式的保险产品所面临的法律壁垒是多样及复杂的,但从中长期来看,这些壁垒是可以攻克的。如上表一所示,我们可以一步一步地实现纯区块链智能保险合同。总体来说,欧洲监管框架中的法律壁垒,一方面存在于私法中,特别是在合同法领域,另一方面存在于公法中,特别是在金融监管法领域。在合同法中,最重要的一步将是承认智能合同为普遍接受的法律合同。
In financial supervisory law the consistent and uniform classification and recognition of virtual currencies and crypto-assets within the balance sheet of an insurance company will be one of the main challenges for the future. If crypto currencies or crypto-assets in general cannot be used by the insurance companies to fulfill the capital requirements, it becomes much more difficult for insurers to be able to offer blockchain-based insurance products. However, if cryptocurrencies remain very volatile and as long as they are not widely accepted as means of payment in everyday life and as an official currency, it is difficult to imagine a full legal equivalence of insurance products based on virtual currencies and of those based on fiat currencies. Especially with regard to consumer protection issues, the regulatory framework cannot allow for example life insurance or pension products in crypto currency, when these products are intended to guarantee the full coverage of living expenses in the future for the insured persons. In addition, also for non-life insurance products, such as for example car insurance products, the insurance company and the regulator must make sure that insurance premiums in the long run do not only have to cover the potential damages but also the administrative costs (e.g.personnel costs) of the insurance company. With some exceptions these days the car repair shops and the personnel costs of an insurance company for example cannot be paid in virtual currency.
在金融监管法中,对保险公司资产负债表中的虚拟货币和加密资产进行一致、统一的分类和确认将是未来面临的主要挑战之一。如果加密货币或加密资产通常不能被保险公司用来满足作为资本的要求,那么保险公司就很难提供以区块链基础的保险产品。然而,如果加密货币始终难以保持稳定,不能成为被广泛接受的支付手段或者官方货币,期待虚拟货币形式和法定货币形式的这两种保险产品在法律上地位实现完全等同只会是镜花水月。特别是在消费者保护问题上,现有的监管框架下不允许诸如以加密货币发行的人寿保险或养老金产品,因为这些产品旨在保证被保险人今后的生活费用得到充分保障。此外,对于非人寿保险产品,如汽车保险产品。从长期来看保险公司和监管机构必须确保保费不仅要涵盖潜在的损失,而且还要涵盖保险公司的管理费用(如人工费)但目前来说,汽车修理店和保险公司的人工费都不能用虚拟货币支付。
Nevertheless, it can be expected on the long run that smart insurance contracts will be officially accepted within insurance industry under a given legal framework. However, in a first step these smart insurance contracts need to be based on ordinary currency (See Table 1 above). Probably in a second step, when large parts of the economy will become token- or blockchain based, smart contracts based on virtual currency will be possible. For the near future only very simple smart insurance products based on crypto currencies are conceivable, such as for example an add-on life-insurance product, which is not intended to cover the full cost of living, but which foresees only a certain additional amount in crypto currencies in the case of realization of the insured event. To summarize, as it was the case for other historic technological innovations, the way from technical feasibility to full legal acceptance can be hard and difficult in particular cases in practice, also for smart insurance contracts.
然而,从长远来看,在特定的法律框架下,保险业将会正式地认可智能保险合同。然而,第一步,这些智能保险合同需要以普通货币为基础(见上表一)。或许在第二步,当大部分的经济形式转变成代币或区块链形式的时候,基于虚拟货币的智能合约将成为可能。在不久的将来,非常简单的加密货币形式的智能保险产品将被适用,例如一个附加的人寿保险产品,它目的不是涵盖全部的生活费用,只在被保人在保险期间出现被保事故时适用,如以预计的加密货币支付额外的费用。总而言之,智能保险合同,和其他人类史上的创新科技一样,在实操灵活性与法律认可框架下往往面临艰难险阻,我们拭目以待。
 

4.    REFERENCES

      参考
 
[1]    Gatteschi, V. et al. 2018.Blockchain and Smart Contracts for Insurance: Is the Technology Mature Enough?,in Future Internet, 10(2):20, DOI:10.3390/fi0020020.
[2]    Szabo, N. 1996. SmartContracts: Building Blocks for Digital markets, in Extropy Magazine #16, 1996.
[3]    Trüeb,H.-R. 2018. Smart Contracts inGrolimund, P. et al. (Ed.) Festschrift für Anton K. Schnyder 2018. p. 723-734,Schulthess, Zurich, Switzerland.
[4]    Fizzy by AXA, https://fizzy.axa/en-gb/, 2019.
[5]    Rawlings, P./Georgosouli,A./Russo, C. 2014. Regulation of financial services: Aims and methods, QueenMary University of London, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, April 2014,London, UK.

【瑞中法评】论欧洲法律框架下虚拟货币形式的智能保险合同


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【瑞中法评】论欧洲法律框架下虚拟货币形式的智能保险合同

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