Companies are stockpiling bitcoins in preparation of future "ransomware" attacks, which have grown exponentially over the past few years, NBC News reported.
According to cybersecurity experts and firms, about a third of British companies in 2016 retained a cache of digital monies as part of a strategy to "regain access to important intellectual property or business critical data."
They keep Bitcoin on hand — which currently exchanges for about $1,800 per unit — because government agencies don't necessarily have a fix for institutions once hackers have taken hold of their files, and its cybercriminals' preferred payment method.
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The most recent cyberattack, known as "WannaCry," took hundreds of thousands of computers' data files hostage unless users paid a $300 to $600 ransom via Bitcoin.