Mt Gox site and statement addressing its solvency disappears

Summary:The bitcoin price has plummeted after Mt Gox cleared its Twitter feed and web presence, and a joint statement from other bitcoin exchanges initially spoke of Mt Gox's insolvency before disappearing.

Mt Gox, the bitcoin exchange that only yesterday resigned from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation , has today continued the purging of its online presence, with the exchange now presenting an empty page as its homepage.

Yesterday, Mt Gox has cleared its Twitter feed, and has suspended trading in bitcoins since Thursday last week.

Overnight, a number of other bitcoin exchanges signed a joint statement to the bitcoin community regarding the drama that is increasingly engulfing the cryptocurrency.

"To reestablish the trust squandered by the failings of Mt Gox, responsible bitcoin exchanges are working together and are committed to the future of bitcoin and the security of all customer funds," the statement said.

However, the statement, as available on Coinbase, has undergone at least one set of revisions. At the time of writing, an unchanged version was still unavailable on Circle, which showed that the statement was originally slated to deal with the insolvency of Mt Gox.

"The purpose of this document is to summarise a joint statement to the bitcoin community regarding the insolvency of Mt Gox," the original statement began.

"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."

The edited version now closes with the following sentence

"Acting as a custodian should require a high bar, including appropriate security safeguards that are independently audited and tested on a regular basis, adequate balance sheets and reserves as commercial entities, transparent and accountable customer disclosures, and clear policies to not use customer assets for proprietary trading or for margin loans in leveraged trading."

But the original had an additional kicker: "It does not appear to any of us that Mt Gox followed any these essential requirements as a financial services provider.".

The joint statement was signed by the CEOs of Kraken, Bitstamp.net, BTC China, Blockchain.info, Circle, and one of the co-founders of Coinbase.

In the past 24 hours until the time of writing, the price of bitcoins on Bitstamp has fallen by $100 to $475, while the price for bitcoins on Mt Gox is around the $135 mark, having fallen to $100 previously.

At the start of the year, the cryptocurrency looked headed to the moon, as the price peaked at $1,000.

In Australian Senate Estimates yesterday, John Schmidt, CEO of the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, the Australian government agency responsible for countering money laundering and the financing of terrorism, said that the Australian government is able to track any conversions into or out of the bitcoin ecosystem that involve Australian dollars.

"Australia is very fortunate among its international counterparts, in that we are one of the few countries which currently collects all international funds transfers, into or out of Australia," Schmidt said.

"At some point, in the current world, to realise the benefits of those transactions, you will want to convert them back into Australian dollars — and at that point, we have an opportunity to identify those transactions."

Schmidt said that the agency does not have the cryptocurrency high on its threat list.

"Because they are not backed by government, because they are floating in the ether and there is no regulator as such, there's a volatility and exposure there to individuals using them, which is limiting their usage, and the mere fact that there aren't that many sites where you can use them yet."

Topics: Security, Australia, Privacy

About

Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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