A poll of IT managers from large UK businesses has found that half are currently sitting on a stockpile of cryptocurrency.
The research, which was commissioned by software developer Citrix, polled 750 IT decision makers from UK businesses with 250 employees or more. 50% were holding cryptocurrency, with the average holding being 24 bitcoins.
Out of the companies with a crypto stockpile, only 7% are investing in Bitcoin alone. 54% have also bought Litecoin, 43% Ethereum, 33% Ripple XRP and 29% Dash.
57% of those companies holding Bitcoin sold off part of their stockpile in December 2017 as the price soared to almost $20,000. 38% are currently considering whether to make a sale, while 5% have no plans to sell their Bitcoins.
The main reason given by respondents for holding cryptocurrencies was the potential to use them to pay providers (40%). 32% were exploring the possibility of using them to pay their employees. For 27%, they wanted to use the coins in conjunction with smart contracts and blockchain technology.
The commonly trumpeted assertion that companies were holding crypto stockpiles in order to prepare for a ransomware attack proved to be largely inaccurate. Only 4% of those surveyed reported buying digital currencies for those purpose.
64%, however, said the rise in value among cryptocurrencies had led cyber-criminals to target their stash.
Citrix’s Chris Mayers said:
“We know that very often, people are the weakest link in the security chain, and 18% of responding businesses say they worry that their hoard of digital currency might put them at risk of insider theft.”