A new poll of IT mangers at large UK businesses found that exactly half keep stockpiles of cryptocurrency for various reasons. Unlike what some might imagine, only a very small fraction of the companies that are holding bitcoin claim to be doing so as preparation for a ransomware attack.
Big British Bitcoin Survey
A new research commissioned by software developer Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS) has found that 50% of large British businesses have stockpiles of cryptocurrency. The study, which was carried out in partnership with One Poll, surveyed 750 IT decision makers within large UK businesses of 250 employees or more. It found that those businesses hold an average of 24 bitcoins each. Out of those companies, just 7% are investing in bitcoin alone and 93% in a more diverse portfolio of cryptocurrencies. 54% have bought litecoin, 43% ethereum, 33% Ripple’s XRP, and 29% dash.
The research also reveals that 57% of those holding bitcoin sold off part of their stash around the December 2017 highs. The study shows that another 38% of these are considering making a sale these days. Just 5% have no current intention to sell their bitcoins.
As for the main reasons for holding such a portfolio, 40% say they plan to use the cryptocurrencies to pay providers, while 32% are aiming to pay their employees with them. Additional plans include using cryptocurrencies together with smart contracts or other blockchain technologies (27%), as part of fundraising (21%), and to pay for training, R&D or other demonstrative activities (17%).
Not Just Security Fears
Unlike previous misconceptions, this survey reveals that just 4% of companies holding cryptocurrency claim to be stockpiling it as preparation for a ransomware attack. However, 64% say that its rising value has led cyber-criminals to target their stockpile, and 31% believe a stockpile of cryptocurrency might make the business a target for hackers.
Only 5% of responding companies in possession of cryptocurrency have not taken any steps to protect their reserves. Of those that have made changes to secure their assets, 52% have used specific back-up procedures. Other popular security measures listed by the researchers include: using cold storage/offline storage (36%), moving to multiple wallets (36%), using a dedicated/hardened computer (35%) and using dual control so multiple people are required to access the cryptocurrency (22%).
However, Citrix’s Chris Mayers comments: “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.”
Finally, according to the study, 35% are concerned cryptocurrency prices might crash, and 34% admit that fluctuating prices are discouraging them from stockpiling more. Another 18% are concerned that their business will not be able to cash the cryptocurrency in when required.
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