Decentralized Insurance: A Conversation With Coincover’s Sharon Henley

Mar 22, 2021

Decentralized Insurance: A Conversation With Coincover’s Sharon Henley


The following is an interview we recently had with Sharon Henley, CPO at Coincover.

What's your background? How did you get involved in crypto/blockchain?

SH: I started in blockchain and crypto while Head of Marketing at the Royal Mint, where I was responsible for launching The Royal Mint’s blockchain venture- Royal Mint Gold (RMG); a tradable, digital, direct ownership of gold.  I serve now as CPO for Coincover, the number one brand in crypto security delivering FCIS like Deposit Protection and insurance back theft cover for crypto assets. I’m also non-executive director for and was co-founder of The British Blockchain and Frontier Technologies Association. 

What value does your company bring to users?

SH: Coincover exists to drive mass adoption of cryptocurrency and we are driving this by making it safe. Our products are designed to ensure institutional investors and end users alike will never lose access to their funds and as the only company to offer personal insurance at the hot wallet level we guarantee that should funds ever be stolen we will pay out. We are underwritten by Lloyds of London.

Where do you see your company five years from now?

SH: Bitcoin has been around for 11 years now, but only now do we all really start to see signs of widespread adoption with more retail investors as well as institutional investors enter the market. We see crypto and DeFi continuing to disrupt traditional banking and finance as well as migrate to products and services not yet even considered. At Coincover, we see ourselves evolving our protection products and services to ensure however the industry evolves we will be there to protect and deliver safety to those looking to participate in this exciting industry.

What are the most common misconceptions you hear about decentralized insurance?

Most people don’t understand the different types of insurance in the cryptocurrency and DeFi space.

For example insurance can be classified into three key areas:

Crime insurance – Theft, internal collusion, hacks. (Answering the question of what happens if your crypto is stollen).

Custody insurance – Key storage, key recovery, disaster recovery, cold-storage. (Answering the question of what happens if you lose access to your crypto keys or the business holding your crypto goes out of business)

Business insurance – PII, D&O (General directors insurance – but becoming harder to get for crypto businesses)

DeFi insurance -  Smart contract insurance (Ensuring the tech/software is hack proof and delivering on the promise of the transaction you have entered into)

What's next for decentralized insurance in 2021?

SH: InsurTech as an industry segment as well as insurance products in general is certainly set to evolve in the crypto space.  At Coincover we are the safety standard for crypto and we see a world in which users cryptocurrency holders will be afforded the same type of protection the FDIC scheme provides for bank deposits. But we don’t just protect against 8+ theft risk vectors, but also against lost access to funds should you lose your private key, or if the business you are working with goes out of business. We also provide Cryptocurrency Wills – enabling crypto assets to be inherited by loved ones, without having to disclose confidential or security information.

We see a lot more insurance products developing in the PII, D&O space and ourselves are working on launching such products within 2021. It has become increasingly hard for crypto players to obtain such cover.

We are seeing a lot more interest for our Cryptocurrency Wills product. When the value of crypto increases more and more people want to have a safe way to give it to loved ones in the case of their death.

DeFi will be huge and there is a lot to protect. This will become complicated as there are more and more risk vectors – from hacks and collusion, but also technology failure – i.e. smart contracts. 

Some start-ups have been looking at providing insurance on the volatility of Bitcoin – that is protecting from a downside crash for example.

Escrow-type insurance is increasing. Facilitating large whale transactions for example.

Top-Up insurance. We are seeing lots of institutional investors come to us for top-up insurance which is in addition to the level of cover guaranteed to the institution on the exchange. This way they can guarantee the funds are fully protected.

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