AP Explains: Why HBO hackers demanded payment in bitcoin
August 9, 2017
NEW YORK (AP) — The digital currency Bitcoin is the payment of choice for HBO's cyberattackers. The hackers demand what they say is their "6-month salary" in bitcoin, suggesting it's at least $6 million.
Bitcoin allows people to buy goods and services and exchange money without involving banks, credit card issuers or other third parties. Although bitcoin isn't widely used, it has strong appeal in some circles because transactions can be made anonymously. The currency is popular with libertarians, tech enthusiasts, speculators — and criminals.
Here's a brief look at bitcoin: