Mt. Gox, the embattled Bitcoin exchange, has filed for bankruptcy protection after falling into a state of disarray earlier this month in the wake of a security lapse that led to fraudulent withdrawals.
The exchange’s CEO, Mark Karpeles, announced the news in Tokyo on Friday, saying that Mt. Gox lost nearly 750,000 customer bitcoins, as well as 100,000 of the exchange’s own bitcoins. The total number of lost bitcoins translates to nearly $500 million at the current exchange rate, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
At the Tokyo press conference, Karpeles expressed contrition about Mt. Gox’s crash, and sought to separate that development from the larger Bitcoin movement. “First of all, I’m very sorry,” he said, according to Reuters. “The bitcoin industry is healthy and it is growing. It will continue, and reducing the impact is the most important point.” …
A secretive online black market was robbed over the weekend, costing its users possibly as much as $100 million in Bitcoins — and some say the thieves were the marketplace owners themselves.
After the FBI shut down the largest online black market, Silk Road, in October, a number of other black market sites filled the vacuum. One was a narcotics bazaar called Sheep Marketplace.
Like Silk Road and most of its ilk, Sheep Marketplace was only accessible via Tor, the anonymizing software designed to protect users’ Internet anonymity. Furthermore, all transactions were in Bitcoin , a decentralized online currency that is difficult to trace.