It’s official – Mt. Gox has filed for bankruptcy.
In a move that everyone was expecting, the world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange market has gone bankrupt, after days of letting everyone wonder what the next step was.
Japanese media reports that the company has filed for bankruptcy protection at the Tokyo District Court. The company’s lawyer is citing outstanding debts of $63.6 million (€46.1 million).
The move comes days after the company’s site went dark and an internal document was leaked to the media. In it, it was mentioned that the company had somehow lost, over 744,000 Bitcoins, worth over $468 million. It was unclear whether it was a bug that caused the loss or they were stolen.
Mt. Gox’s issues date a little bit further back. A few weeks ago, the company said it had detected a bug that was affecting its system. Basically, people could replicate transactions, allowing them to sell Bitcoins twice.
As a response, Mt. Gox froze Bitcoin withdrawals, saying that it needed time to iron out the details. Two weeks and many angry users later, the issue had yet to be resolved. Instead, the company briefly took down the transactions too, effectively blocking the entire platform.
That only lasted for a short time, making everyone hope for the best.
This past weekend, however, transactions were frozen again, and the site went down completely. A message was posted on it, saying that the company was trying to protect the site and its users, taking this time to monitor the situation and the media.
A couple of days ago, Mark Karpeles, the Mt. Gox CEO also added a message to the page, saying that he was still in Japan, despite speculations that he’d left the sinking boat.
“As there is a lot of speculation regarding MtGox and its future, I would like to use this opportunity to reassure everyone that I am still in Japan, and working very hard with the support of different parties to find a solution to our recent issues. Furthermore I would like to kindly ask that people refrain from asking questions to our staff: they have been instructed not to give any response or information. Please visit this page for further announcements and updates,” Karpeles wrote.
It remains unknown exactly what will happen with the Bitcoins hosted by Mt. Gox and whether users will ever see them again or not, which is a big issue considering that the site boasts to handle some 80 percent of all Bitcoin transactions. Considering the number of coins gone missing from the platform, few still have high hopes for a safe return of their money.