John Hancock’s Lab Of Forward Thinking Kicks Off Blockchain Proof-of-Concept with ConsenSys Enterprise and BlockApps

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John Hancock’s Lab of Forward Thinking (LOFT) has announced a collaboration with ConsenSys Enterprise and BlockApps in LOFT’s first Ethereum Blockchain proof of concept (PoC). Blockchain technologies are a point of focus for LOFT, with the goal of driving internal operational efficiencies and developing new capabilities driven by smart contracts. The purpose of the LOFT PoC is to better track operational procedures associated with a client.

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Ace Moghimi, AVP and Head of Innovation, noted:  

“We could not have found a better partner than ConsenSys in accelerating our understanding and our ability to build out applications leveraging this technology. The team is very excited about standing up the infrastructure internally and exploring the possibilities through our business use cases.”

In 2015, John Hancock launched the LOFT, a 6,500 square foot space located at its Seaport area headquarters in Boston’s “Innovation District,” devoted to a culture of innovation and creativity within all facets of the organization. Its objective is to cultivate a high impact environment and provide a centralized resource for employees across John Hancock and parent company Manulife to collaborate and devise new forward-thinking technology solutions for the companies’ various wealth and asset management and insurance business lines.

Igor Lilic, Principal Technical Lead of ConsenSys Enterprise, said,

“The LOFT group is a model example of innovation within the enterprise:  bright, enthusiastic teams tasked with understanding new technologies and who aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty by building prototypes. We are incredibly enthusiastic about John Hancock’s commitment to the blockchain ecosystem and we look forward to continued collaboration as LOFT builds smart contract based platforms.”

Kieren James-Lubin, Chief Product Officer of BlockApps, said,

“LOFT is just that – an organization focused around forward thinking. They are building the technical knowhow and internal stakeholder support that will allow John Hancock to be a disruptor rather than a disruptee as the blockchain revolution materializes. We are extremely enthusiastic about our partnership with LOFT.”

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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