Monthly Archives: February 2014

Mt. Gox shuts down

mtgox-whiteMt. Gox has been offline since late yesterday evening, just a few hours after I wrote that something like this was probably imminent. Most are interpreting the unavailability of Mt. Gox’s website as a sign that they’ve shut down for good, and unfortunately that’s probably a safe bet.

CNBC posted a good write-up of the events leading up to Gox’s demise this morning. Ars Technica published a short article about the shut down as well.

Hopefully none of you had any money trapped in Gox. This should serve as yet another reminder that cryptocurrency exchanges aren’t banks and should never be treated as such. When exchanges fail—and an absurdly high percentage of them do—you’ll likely be left without recourse, so don’t trust a third party to hold your money any longer than necessary. Store the majority of your cryptocurrency in secure offline wallets, and transfer to exchanges only long enough to execute your trades.

This news will likely have a negative impact on cryptocurrency prices. BTC is down about 20% this morning already, and you can expect it to continue to drop throughout the week as the news makes it way through mainstream media outlets. For the more speculatively-minded folks among us, the next few weeks may present an excellent opportunity to pick up some bitcoins at heavily discounted prices.

Edit: Erik Voorhees posted some eloquent thoughts about the situation over on reddit.

More signs of trouble at Mt. Gox

mtgox-whiteLast night, Mark Karpeles (Mt. Gox’s CEO) resigned his position from the board of the Bitcoin foundation. Earlier today, Mt. Gox completely deleted all of their past tweets from their Twitter feed.

Karpeles stepping down wasn’t exactly a surprise, as many in the Bitcoin community have been calling for his removal for months. However, his action may signify a lack of confidence in his ability to correct the downward spiral of Gox.

Scrubbing their own Twitter feed isn’t exactly a confidence-inspiring move, either.

If you have any money trapped in Mt. Gox, it’s probably a good idea to make sure that you have screenshots of your account balance, records of your transaction history, and logs of any communication with them. Hopefully they’re able to turn themselves around, but if not it’s best to gather as much information as possible before it’s potentially too late.

Edit 10PM EST: Mt. Gox reportedly just disabled trading entirely.

TechCrunch: Is Bitcoin the new Paypal?

TechCrunch posted an article today comparing Bitcoin to the early Paypal days—when fraud, theft, and technical issues ran rampant. TechCrunch’s headline would probably be a bit more accurate if “Mt. Gox” were substituted in place of “Bitcoin” (and to be fair, the body of the article mostly focuses on the current problems plaguing Gox when drawing comparisons to Paypal’s early days), but the write-up is interesting nonetheless.

I do remember a time when Paypal was regarded in much the same way that Bitcoin is today. Back then, trusting a fledgling internet company to “send money across the web” was something that crazy people did. Times have certainly changed, and it’ll be interesting to see where the public perception of cryptocurrency is in five or ten years.

In related news, Mt. Gox issued a short update today apologizing for the continued delays while they work through their issues. What’s up with the “security problems” that Gox claims forced them to relocate? Rumor has it that they’re referring to the three-person protest currently taking place outside their headquarters.

Apologies for the lack of updates

Just a quick note that I’ve been dealing with the death of somebody close to me over the past several weeks, and updates to the site have suffered as a result. I should be able to get back into a semi-regular schedule starting next week. If you’ve sent me a message at any point in the new year, chances are that I haven’t responded to you yet—I’ll do my best to start catching up on email as well.

I have a couple purpose-built custom mining cases here that I’m hoping to get reviews up of soon, for those of you that want something that’s more flexible (and aesthetically appealing!) than a plastic milk crate.

An update to my mining guide for the R9 series of GPUs is still on the horizon as well—I’m still having trouble getting my hands on the more desirable manufacturer brands at prices that don’t sicken me.

Finally, today I updated the cryptocurrency ticker that’s running on my site to pull the BTC quote from Coinbase, given the issues that Mt. Gox has been having. If you’re running a WordPress site and would like the utilize the ticker, you can grab it from the official repository. As of today the ticker also supports displaying quote prices in Euros, in case you’re from across the pond.

Edit: Thanks for the kind words, everyone—they’re much appreciated!