Tag Archives: Tokyo

MTGox Locate ‘Stolen’ Bitcoins

In February bitcoin exchange giant MTGox filed for bankruptcy following a loss of 750,000 of its customers bitcoins as well as 100,000 of its own.

This accounted for around 7% of the total bitcoins available at the time. The company was convinced the virtual currency had been stolen in a cyber-attack.

On Friday 21st March, Tokyo-based MtGox, said in a statement that it had recovered around 200,000 of the ‘stolen’ currency. The bitcoins were identified on March 7 after “old format” wallets were searched as part of its bankruptcy proceedings.

Mark Karpeles who is the chief executive of MtGox explained that the wallets were no longer in use and that they assumed no longer held any bitcoins.

Karpeles stated, “MtGox had certain old-format wallets which were used in the past and which, MtGox thought, no longer held any bitcoins. Following the application for commencement of a civil rehabilitation proceeding, these wallets were rescanned and their balances researched.”

The company has not specified the type of “wallets”, but they can include USB sticks and paper documents. However the remaining 650,000 bitcoins still remain unaccounted for.

MtGox has reopened its website for its customers so that they can check their balances. However, their customers cannot withdraw any money or bitcoin.

MtGox’s creditors have been unconvinced about the firm’s moves after it had filed for bankruptcy protection. The company had said that its liabilities totalled 6.5 billion yen, while it has only 3.8bn yen of assets.

At current prices, the rediscovered bitcoins are worth around $120m (£73m). The problems with MtGox have added to concerns over the viability of bitcoins.

The virtual currency has grown in popularity since it was created in 2009 as a way to make transactions without involving third parties such as banks.

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