Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox shuts down amid insolvency claims

Summary:Thanks to a reportedly year-long hacking spree, Mt. Gox has closed its doors, leaving traders furious and Bitcoin price plummeting.

 
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The world's largest Bitcoin trading post, Mt. Gox, has shut down and deleted its Twitter feed after "unusual activity" was detected on its systems.

Several days ago, the organization said a technical glitch forced bitcoin exchanges to be suspended temporarily, and following the trading halt, the CEO of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox Mark Karpeles resigned from advocacy and regulatory group the Bitcoin Foundation.

According to a Bitcoin blogger who leaked a potentially authentic document detailing crisis management of Mt. Gox, the exchange is now insolvent due to the loss of 744,408 bitcoins -- roughly worth $350 million -- due to a year-long hacking campaign that went unnoticed.

Bitcoin companies Coinbase, Blockchain.info, Circle, Kraken, Bitstamp, and BTC China quickly issued a joint statement regarding Mt. Gox, saying:

"This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt.Gox was the result of one company’s abhorrent actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of bitcoin and the digital currency industry. There are hundreds of trustworthy and responsible companies involved in bitcoin. These companies will continue to build the future of money by making bitcoin more secure and easy to use for consumers and merchants."

Currently, Mt. Gox is offline -- and the firm's Twitter has been wiped clean. However, we may be expecting an announcement soon on the trading post's future, thanks to an examination of the home page's source code, which has a block saying "<-- put announce for mtgox acq here -->".

Read on: Wired

Image credit: Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

About

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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