Mt.Gox Implodes

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Mt.Gox, one of the first Bitcoin exchanges, is down after an apparent long-term operation bled the company of 744,408 BTC – about $350 million at today’s rate – over a period of years. Bitcoin is trading at about $500 today and Mt.Gox transactions have halted.

The shutdown comes after a supposedly leaked document, below, described the company’s issues in detail. While the legitimacy of the document is still in question, the proposed action items, including a rebranding of the site to gox.com and a joint statement released by the BTC community have all happened.

The joint statement, released by the proprietors of popular exchanges Coinbase, Kraken, BitStamp, Circle, and BTC China, notes that Mt.Gox is an outlier in the BTC trading world and that their failures should not reflect on the currency. They write:

In order to re-establish 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. As part of the effort to re-assure customers, the following services will be coordinating efforts over the coming days to publicly reassure customers and the general public that all funds continue to be held in a safe and secure manner: Coinbase, Kraken, BitStamp, Circle, and BTC China.
We strongly believe in transparent, thoughtful, and comprehensive consumer protection measures. We pledge to lead the way.

What’s next for Mt.Gox? According to the document, the company will fire CEO Mark Karpelès and completely rebrand. “Moving to a new country (Singapore?) could be helpful,” the author writes.