Block Stories #1

In the first film of the series, hear about the lightbulb moment that drove Hugh Karp to leave his 15-year career in the insurance industry to build Nexus Mutual, a decentralized insurance alternative built on the Ethereum blockchain. Hugh’s Web3 story begins at Devcon 3, where he first shared the unique value his project could bring to the blockchain ecosystem. 

“It was probably a risky move, but it was one of the best things I did.”
Photo of Hugh Karp

About Hugh Karp

Hugh Karp is the founder of Nexus Mutual, a decentralized insurance alternative that empowers people to collectively manage risk without the need for centralized intermediaries. He is an insurance professional and actuary with over 15 years of experience in a broad range of insurance and reinsurance roles, including as CFO of UK Life operations for a global reinsurer.

Nexus Mutual logo

Nexus Mutual and Chainlink

Nexus Mutual uses high-quality, tamper-proof market data from Chainlink Price Feeds to help secure its multi-currency capital pool. Onchain access to globally precise market data helps the protocol maintain its minimum capital requirement (MCR) and accurately calculate quotes for new insurance coverage.

$278M USD
total value locked in Nexus Mutual as of June 1, 2022
$28M USD
total premiums paid as of June 1, 2022
annualized premiums in force as of June 1, 2022

“Chainlink was our first and only choice. The high availability and robust security of Chainlink Price Feeds are critical for helping us protect our decentralized insurance alternative. Security is a critical aspect of what we are doing; it’s at the core of our product and is absolutely essential to providing the best options for our members.”

Hugh Karp, Founder of Nexus Mutual

Act summary

Finding Inspiration in Peru
Having seen an earthquake ravage a small community in Peru, Hugh believed that blockchain technology could have offered a solution for supporting the rebuild. Knowing what drives you is a founder’s first step to success.
“I’ve thought about taking insurance back to its roots of that cooperative, community-driven approach.”
The DAO Hack
When the DAO hack occurred, Hugh saw how his 15 years of experience in the insurance industry could help him fundamentally support the DeFi ecosystem. Founders must always be on the lookout for an opportunity to build on what they know.
“The reason I wanted to build something insurance-related on the blockchain was because I knew that was the value I could add to the ecosystem.”
Gatecrashing Devcon
In November 2017, Hugh got on a plane and flew from Australia to Mexico to give a 20-minute presentation at Devcon that laid the groundwork for Nexus Mutual as a project. Founders must take a leap of faith, even if they’re not sure where they’ll land.
”It was probably a bit of a risky move, but it was one of the best things I did.”
Running Out of Money
Making 70-year financial projections as an actuary helped Hugh cultivate the long-term mindset needed to succeed in crypto. Founders must look beyond the day-to-day activities and focus on the long-term vision. 
“The short-term nature of crypto is very distracting and being able to have resilience and long-term focus is critical if you’re going to make a success of something.”  
Making a Real-World Impact
Nexus Mutual is empowering communities to collectively manage risk and become more resilient on their own terms. Web3 founders must ensure that their onchain innovations make an impact in the real, off-chain world. 
“Get outside the specific Web3 world and into the real world, because fundamentally, this technology can really change things.”

About Block Stories

Block Stories is a series of short films that digs beneath the code and uncovers the origin stories of the most successful Web3 protocols. From next-generation insurance alternatives to NFTs and the emerging metaverse, discover the principles, people, and technologies behind the biggest Web3 innovations.

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