A Huge Bitcoin Exchange Just Disappeared Into Thin Air

The shuttering of Mt. Gox sent the price of the digital currency tumbling and raised questions about its stability

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Ted Soqui / Corbis

A major bitcoin exchange went offline late Monday evening, sending the value of the digital currency tumbling and feeding rampant speculation about its stability.

The website for Mt. Gox, a bitcoin exchange based in Tokyo, went blank late Monday night, after reports surfaced on Twitter and Reddit saying the company had halted all trading. In the hours since Mt. Gox went offline, the value of one bitcoin fell to $470, down from $550 just a few hours ago. The currency has long been volatile.

A purported Mt. Gox document that has been shared online says more than 740,000 bitcoin are missing from the exchange, a loss of $350 million, the Associated Press reports. In the wake of Mt. Gox’s failure, several other bitcoin companies issued a joint statement saying they are working to “re-establish the trust squandered by the failings of Mt. Gox.” The statement said that Mt. Gox’s closure “was the result of one company’s actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of bitcoin and the digital currency industry.”

The closure of one of bitcoin’s largest exchanges comes as the digital currency has gained broader acceptance. The currency is “mined” by computers and gets more difficult to generate over time. There are currently more than 12 million bitcoin in circulation, more than half of the maximum 21 million that can be generated. Mt. Gox’s closure cost many currency traders all of the money they had invested in bitcoin. Kolin Burgess, a bitcoin trader who flew to Tokyo from London in an attempt to retrieve more than $300,000 worth of bitcoin, told the AP that Mt. Gox’s closure “hasn’t shaken my trust in Bitcoin, but it has shaken my trust in bitcoin exchanges.”

[AP]

31 comments
techclerk
techclerk

"A major bitcoin exchange went offline late Monday evening, sending the value of the digital currency tumbling"


You can't tumble the value of a Bitcoin negative because it has no value. It is bought by a sucker and then sold off to the next sucker. But there is no value, only a bid price.


The author must have never heard the Bitcoin propaganda that states after a Bitcoin is lost forever then the so called "value" of the other coins GOES UP... it does not collapse in sympathy.


The correct way to try to state what the writer said, "A major bitcoin exchange went offline late Monday evening, sending the overpriced valuation of the digital currency tumbling"


DavidCunningham
DavidCunningham

let's face it bitcoin is a joke and was bound to collapse.

Only fools wd believe the hype.

the Norwegian who turned 42 dollars in millions got

out at the right time!

Willmatic19
Willmatic19

Still not the fault of bitcoin itself. Just as if you wouldn't store your USD in a shady bank, people should have listened to the noise Mt. Gox was making for its poor system. The cream rises to the top, as they say, and there are other exchanges working hard to prevent this type of problem. Mt. Gox's failure is clearly not a long-term concern for bitcoin; problems happen, as do solutions.

MikeHurly
MikeHurly

By this time next year, Bitcoin will be in the history books. Anyone that thinks this was going to work, is crazy

BTC4BIZ
BTC4BIZ

One thing about the Mt Gox crash is certain: the taxpaying public won't be on the hook for bailing them out. Bitcoin will be fine because there are plenty of other exchanges who will take their business and do a better job of security and programming. Bitcoin is just getting started and the low price now is a buying opportunity.

Grapho
Grapho

I am sorry for everyone who lost their money.  Bitcoin failed you, hardcore.

DarwinAkbar
DarwinAkbar

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!


Let that be a lesson for people who believe in fictitious currencies not officially printed or recognized by any legitimate government. Naturally, the more risk-averse of us always saw through the farce and the huge risk of these uncontrolled and unregulated experiments.

RoyShastid
RoyShastid

Mt Gox was previously a trading house for "Magic the Gathering " trading cards. Seems to me there is some irony here. For sure this is where I would want to put my retirement money.

techclerk
techclerk

Mt. Gox’s closure cost many currency traders all of the money they had invested in bitcoin. "


Nope. Buying Bitcoins cost many currency traders all of the money they had invested in bitcoin. Just like putting gas in my car cost me all the money I spent to buy the gas. Those currency traders bought Bitcoins and they did that no matter what happened to Mt. Gox. 


The traders didn't lose money after buying bitcoin. They lost bitcoin. Now if they sold bitcoin, then they could have lost money in Mt. Gox's closure.


Is this supposed to be news or is this article supposed to be spin? 

techclerk
techclerk

@BTC4BIZ  The only opportunity here is to get into Merchant Services that dump the buyer's Bitcoins onto your own exchange in an agreement that protects the seller from ever holding Bitcoins as a result of any transaction. 


"We Accept Bitcoin!" Translation? "We sell your worthless Bitcoins like a hot potato to somebody who is even dumber than you were."

techclerk
techclerk

@BTC4BIZ  

Then it certainly will be a buying opportunity when the price is a thousand for a dollar! But in the meantime, I'm going to open my own exchange that sells United States Lincoln Pennies for $60 USD

BTC4BIZ
BTC4BIZ

@Grapho Bitcoin didn't fail. One exchange in a larger pool of much better-managed exchanges failed.

ecoquesttom
ecoquesttom

@DarwinAkbar So I assume then that you are NOT invested in Federal Reserve Notes, NOT issued by any government, 99.3% of which are simply bits on computers?  They are issued by the privately held Federal Reserve Bank (not federal, and no visible reserves), owned by a few banking families, not a governement or the public.

Oh no!!  You thought it was the Bitcoin users who are in wonderland....  Sorry if this wakes you up.


ecoquesttom
ecoquesttom

@BreakoutTheory Not so much as those who invest in the digital currency, in unlimited quantities, by the private bank known as the Federal Reserve...  NOT federal and no visible reserves...


Willmatic19
Willmatic19

@RoyShastid haha, thank you, but mine are fine. I listened to the hearsay and store most of them offline in a paper wallet

RoyShastid
RoyShastid

@Willmatic19 @RoyShastid Hey smartboy, if I were you I would be sweating right now. It's March 5th and I just saw this on a webpage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5FS4n1PgbU  .You know one of those webpages that scam artists suck smartboys in like you and when you try to click off it asks "are you sure you want to leave this page " . Pure classic scam for the rubes now as is usual in the last stages of a bubble. Note Forbes take on this  http://www.forbes.com/sites/jessecolombo/2013/12/19/bitcoin-may-be-following-this-classic-bubble-stages-chart/ . See you at the cabbage patch exchange soon !  I am cracking up with laughter at the thought of the look on your face.

RoyShastid
RoyShastid

@ecoquesttom @RoyShastid@Willmatic19 Whoopsie!  Looks like you might be holding your worthless bitcoins out to passerby's on the street corner soon, rattling them in your tin cup and crying out "why". Just saw todays chart and the curve looks just like the latter days of beanie babies.

ecoquesttom
ecoquesttom

@RoyShastid @Willmatic19 So I assume then that you are NOT invested in Federal Reserve Notes, NOT issued by any government, 99.3% of which are simply bits on computers?  They are issued by the privately held Federal Reserve Bank (not federal, and no visible reserves), owned by a few banking families, not a governement or the public.

Oh no!!  You thought it was the Bitcoin users who are in wonderland....  Sorry if this wakes you up.



Willmatic19
Willmatic19

@RoyShastid Your wit is top-notch. I suppose all I can say is the "air" is letting out, to make room for the "helium"  that will replace it to make the BTC balloon "rise" to the top. See what I did there?