Where is Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles?
Major Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox is dead. Long live Mt. Gox? In a weird development, its Webmaster appears to have leaked plans for the exchange to be acquired. Or perhaps it's just an elaborate ruse.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers scratch their heads.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
A cast of thousands brought us the news. Well, seven, at least. Here are Ruairidh Villar, Sophie Knight, Chris Peters, Cheng Herng Shinn, Stanley White, Noriyuki Hirata, and William Mallard:
Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, looked to have essentially disappeared [with] its founder unaccounted for. ... Critics - from rival exchanges to burned investors - said Mt. Gox had long been lax over its security...while angry investors questioned whether it was still solvent.
...Six leading bitcoin exchanges - which allow users to trade bitcoins for [fiat] currencies - distanced themselves from the Tokyo-based exchange. ... Japan's financial regulators, by contrast, have largely given bitcoin a shrug. "Bitcoin is not a currency; it is an alternative to currencies, like gold," said a spokesman. ... "Therefore bitcoin is not subject to our regulatory oversight." MORE
Neil McAllister speaks of "murky dealings":
MtGox...provoked uproar in the Bitcoin community earlier this month when it suspended all withdrawals of Bitcoins. ... Shortly thereafter, the trading price of a Bitcoin on MtGox plummeted to well below that quoted by other exchanges. ... Many on public forums have voiced fears that the company may already be insolvent.
...That hasn't pleased many MtGox customers, some of whom have reportedly been protesting outside the company's offices. ... MtGox has made no further public statements since then. ... In fact, it has done rather the opposite. ... MtGox's official Twitter feed [has] been scrubbed clean of all tweets. MORE
The founders and CEOs of six other exchanges call for calm. Here are Fred Ehrsam, Brian Armstrong, Jesse Powell, Nejc Kodrič, Bobby Lee, Nicolas Cary, and Jeremy Allaire:
This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt.Gox was the result of one company’s actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of bitcoin. ... As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we are seeing today.
...We are confident, however, that strong Bitcoin companies, led by highly competent teams and backed by credible investors, will continue to thrive. ... In order to re-establish the trust squandered by the failings of Mt. Gox, responsible bitcoin exchanges are working together. ... We strongly believe in transparent, thoughtful, and comprehensive consumer protection measures...including appropriate security safeguards...adequate balance sheets and reserves...transparent and accountable customer disclosures, and clear policies. MORE
So Jeff John Roberts wonders if this is the end for Bitcoin:
The Bitcoin community is on edge as a leaked document...shows that the Mt. Gox exchange...is missing hundreds of millions of dollars...and is heading for bankruptcy. ... The events represent an existential crisis for Bitcoin at a time when the virtual currency is starting to get mainstream consumer adoption, and governments are granting it cautious approval
...As the leaked...crisis management guide for Mt. Gox, noted:.."This could be the end of Bitcoin,"...a source has confirmed.
...[We need] proper governance from the Bitcoin Foundation and other self-styled leaders. ... They better hurry before this thing gets even worse. MORE
Meanwhile, mtgox.com's Webmaster spills the "acquisition" beans a little too early (use the sauce, Luke):
<!-- put announce for mtgox acq here --> MORE
Subscribe now to the Blogs Newsletter for a daily summary of the most recent and relevant blog posts at Computerworld.