Newscast Media TOKYO—Once the world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange, Tokyo-based Mt.
Gox has appeared to have essentially vanished into thin air, with its website content
not accessible. Reports about a debilitating theft are running wild.
The disappearance of the Mt. Gox website content on Tuesday marked another
setback for efforts to gain legitimacy for the Bitcoin virtual currency. The URL of the
exchange was returning a blank page, following Sunday’s resignation of CEO Mark
Karpeles from the Board of the Bitcoin Foundation.
A report spread online and believed to be an internal Mt. Gox document said more
than 740,000 bitcoins were missing from the exchange. It said the theft went
unnoticed for several years and turned on disguised withdrawals.
A theft of that magnitude would equate to losses of $350 million (255 million euros) at
current Bitcoin prices, the report suggested.
Tokyo investors in the frontier electronic currency said the problem was with Mt. Gox,
not with the revolutionary Bitcoin currency itself. Six leading Bitcoin exchanges,
including Coinbase, Kraken and Bitstamp distanced themselves from Mt. Gox.
“This tragic violation of the trust of users was the result of one company’s actions
and does not reflect the resilience or value of Bitcoin and the digital currency
industry,” they said in a joint statement.
“As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out,
and that’s what we’re seeing today,” they added.
Mark Karpeles told Reuters news agency the bitcoin exchange was “at a turning
On Tuesday afternoon, the website said laconically: “In the event of recent news
reports and the potential repercussions on MtGox’s operations and the market, a
decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the
site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react
accordingly.” No further content was accessible.
Source: Radio Deutsche Welle