Alice Budge

the key to crypto

Cryptocurrencies are catnip to criminals. A crook only has to hack into the private key details and they can digitally transfer any available cryptocurrency to their own anonymous account. More than $1.3bn has been stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges since the first Bitcoin block was mined in 2009. Alice and her colleagues are actively involved in finding ways to reduce the risk to investors.

Alice’s degree in Geography and German at Leeds may not be the obvious place to start a career in financial services. Currently she works for Specialty Risk International, a broker, but in the last 10 years she has built a successful career by taking an entrepreneurial approach to both clients and new products.

“I was about 25 when I realised that I needed to grow by developing my own business area” says Alice. “A lot of business comes from the US so I took a trip to New York and started contacting brokers that might want to send their business to London. Whether it is debt collecting or crypto, the key is to do your homework, be trustworthy and don’t promise what you can’t deliver”.

Crypto insurance is at the cutting edge of product development. It covers the loss, damage, destruction or theft of digital assets in secure premises or in transit or transmission, but there are also risks from someone hacking into the personal data that accompanies it or holding the operators to ransom by attacking the network.

This continual evolution, and the ability to think about how the changing world alters the risks we face is one of the reasons that Alice loves working in the London insurance market. She continues “I have recently been looking at how you can have a crypto key which has three parts – using hot and cold wallets and having a third party to verify the transaction. It is fascinating how crime adapts and then solutions evolve to bolt that door against them.

“You don’t have to be specialist, but being curious and willing to learn are vital to getting the most out of a career in insurance”.