Mini-Workshop on Smart Contract and Decentralized Insurance

August 3, 2022
9:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Chancellor Ballroom, I-Hotel
1900 S. First Street
Champaign, IL

The purpose of the mini-workshop is to bring attention to emerging blockchain technology applications in the insurance space. The mini-workshop is at the beginner’s level and is intended for students, industrial professionals, and academics. Participants can learn smart contract basics and current state of insurance applications.

The recordings of the mini-workshop can be found here:


Introduction to Blockchain and Smart Contracts

Smart contracts are programs that run to allow for one or more users to interact with a set of instructions held on-chain. These instructions can allow for coordination between multiple users and for systems to be built where users do not need to trust one another in order to trust the outcome of the program.

Overview of Decentralized Finance

DeFi is made up of a diverse ecosystem of ‘primitives’ that allow for different types of actions to be taken by many users of a given primitive. For example, a Decentralized Exchange is implemented as a set of contracts that allow for users to sell and buy tokens from one another at the price agreed upon by the market, (in this case the DEX). DeFi allows for financial instruments such as lending and borrowing, bonds, synthetics, and many more innovative things that are not available in the Traditional Finance or TradFi industry.

Challenges and Opportunities for DeFi Insurance

While DeFi’s promise and growth have been astounding, DeFi insurance is in its infancy within this nascent industry. This panel includes some of the best innovators in the entrepreneurial space who have been building first-of-its-kind DeFi insurance business models. We invite the panelists to speak on the latest trends in the industry, the successes and failures and predict what’s next for the DeFi insurance sector. We also hope to offer academics with insights on emerging topics for which academics can assist in the development of cutting-edge technology for the future of DeFi insurance.


Riley Kilgore, an engineer that graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. He has been interested in crypto since running a BTC node in teenage years. Since graduating, Riley has helped to start the first Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) on the Cardano Blockchain, called ADAO, and continues to work on open-source code within this community.

Marco Mirabella is the CEO of Ensuro, a decentralized reinsurance company licensed by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. Prior to Ensuro, Marco was the Chief Strategy Officer at BigGo, the biggest price comparison website in South East Asia. Marco is also the founder of Cartesi, a layer2 blockchain solution. He started his career in the venture capital space, working for SOSV a US$ 1b AUM venture capital fund.

Osho Jha is a Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist at Arbol, Inc, a parametric weather derivatives platform using blockchain. He is also a Founding Partner of dClimate, which is the world’s first transparent, decentralized marketplace where climate data, forecasts, and models are standardized, monetized, and distributed. The marketplace connects data publishers directly with data consumers, making climate data more accessible and reliable.

Runhuan Feng is the State Farm Companies Foundation Endowed Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also the Faculty Lead for Finance and Insurance Sector at the University of Illinois System’s Discovery Partner Institute in Chicago. Runhuan is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst. His recent research work focuses primarily on distributed technologies including DeFi and decentralized insurance.


9:00 – 9:10 a.m.  Welcome Remarks
9:10 – 9:50 a.m.  Introduction to Blockchain and Smart Contract
9:50 – 10:30 a.m. Overview of Decentralized Finance
10:45 – 11:25 a.m. Challenges and Opportunities for Decentralized Insurance
11:25 – 11:30 a.m.  Closing Remarks and Networking

Further information about the mini-workshop will be provided to registrants.

Join us as we explore the rapidly evolving landscape of decentralized insurance.