Reputable Bitcoin Leaders Assure Faithful as Mt. Gox Virtually Disappears

Reputable Bitcoin Leaders Assure Faithful as Mt. Gox Virtually DisappearsWhile it once stood over the bitcoin world as the top exchange, Mt. Gox has virtually disappeared, at least for now.
The bitcoin ecosystem, and that of other cryptocurrencies, will no doubt emerge stronger in the longer run.
Nonetheless, many questions remain unanswered as to what is happening to the Tokyo exchange, its chief Mark Karpeles, and a reportedly missing $350 million in bitcoins.
 
Here’s the rundown as of this writing:
1. Mt. Gox went offline as of yesterday.  The site came back online late morning (U.S. EST). But all the site shows is this statement:
“Dear MtGox Customers,
In the event of recent news reports and the potential repercussions on MtGox’s operations and the market, a decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react accordingly.
Best regards,
MtGox Team”
It has been two weeks since the exchange halted withdrawals, claiming software issues in bitcoin’s wallet protocol — a claim mostly debunked by the bitcoin community.
2. The leaders of major bitcoin organizations issued a statement of unity and assurance. “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 and the digital currency industry,” the statement says. Here is the full statement.
3. Before Mt. Gox went offline, Japan’s finance and banking regulators essentially said they would not intervene in the Mt. Gox issue, claiming no jurisdiction over bitcoin.
4. According to a leaked document available here, Mt. Gox has lost close to 744,408 bitcoins, or $350 million at current prices, and faces an unconfirmed additional $55 million in liabilities.
Says the document: “The reality is that MtGox can go bankrupt at any moment, and certainly deserves to as a company. However, with Bitcoin/crypto just recently gaining acceptance in the public eye, the likely damage in public perception to this class of technology could put it back 5~10 years, and cause governments to react swiftly and harshly.”
5. Meanwhile, bitcoin’s price has taken a hit over the Mt. Gox collapse, but has not outright crashed. Prices on the major remaining exchanges were in the $500 to $550 range at press time. Prices were above $600 last week.

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