Bitcoin website Mt. Gox shutters following reports of hack and transaction issues

By Kyle Johnson,

One of the major players in Bitcoin, Mt. Gox, suddenly shutdown on Monday, leaving the website dead except for a message posted Tuesday about halted transactions of the digital currency.

The website shut down and currently only displays the message that a decision was made after "recent news reports and the potential repercussions on MtGox's operations and the market" to temporarily end transactions in an effort "to protect the site and our users."

According to Forbes, the site's closure comes after potential coding problems relating to "transaction malleability" and the news that the site was potentially hacked.

A blog post by Bitcoin blogger Ryan Selkis included a document that claims the site shutdown came after discovering the theft of 744,000 Bitcoins, which is currently valued at about $380 million, that had been going on for a few years. The theft accounts for 6 percent of all Bitcoins currently available.

Reuters notes that transactions on Mt. Gox had been suspended after they noticed "unusual activity."

Forbes adds that other Bitcoin company CEOs met through Skype on Monday over the issue and released a statement noting that Mt. Gox was simply a "bad actor that need[ed] to be weeded out." They felt that overall Bitcoin was safe and many companies involved are "trustworthy and responsible."

A chief financial regulator in New York, Benjamin M. Lawsky, noted that the Mt. Gox's problems might lead to virtual currencies needing some sort of oversight.

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons



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