Tag Archives: mtgox

Alexander Vinnik arrested; possibly responsible for Mt. Gox hack

Reports are popping up that Alexander Vinnik, head of the popular cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, has been arrested. So far, the charges of bitcoin-related laundering are vague, but some believe that Vinnik/BTC-e is responsible for the hack and bitcoin theft that caused the demise of Mt. Gox in 2014.

BTC-e has been offline for “maintenance” since yesterday.

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.

Mt. Gox resumes USD withdrawal service

Mt. Gox logoMt. Gox has announced that they’ve resumed processing USD withdrawals, via a new transaction backend. There is apparently a backlog for them to work through, so withdrawal requests might still take some time.

Mt. Gox temporarily suspends cash withdrawls

Mt. Gox logoMt. Gox today announced that they’re temporarily suspending USD cash withdrawals, due to their existing processes being unable to adequately accommodate increasing activity. Mt. Gox expects withdrawals to be unavailable for about 2 weeks, during which time they’ll be working to increase capacity. Deposits, transfers, and withdrawal requests for currency other than USD are not affected.

Update 6/21: Mt. Gox has posted some comments about the news on their Facebook page, along with a hint about Litecoin finally hitting their exchange next month (see point #6).

Beware of fake Mt. Gox phishing sites

BTCRecently, a host of phishing sites that spoof the look of Mt. Gox have been showing up in ads from major advertising providers. The operators of these scam sites aim to trick visitors into downloading malware which enables them to steal your Mt. Gox login credentials, so they can then pilfer your account.

Nelp Net Security has some more information, including this snippet:

The fake pages were set up on domains that resembled Mt. Gox’s legitimate one (mtgox.com), such as mtgox.org, mtgox.co.uk, mtgox.net, and others. Also, the criminals have done a good job promoting the phishing site via ads (“New Century Gold: BITCOIN Protect your money – Buy Bitcoin”) served by several major online advertising services.

As always, whenever you visit a financial site (or any website dealing in sensitive information), make certain that the URL in your browser bar matches the one that you intended to visit.

Department of Homeland Security orders Dwolla to stop processing payments from Mt. Gox

Users on Reddit and the bitcointalk.org forums are reporting receiving emails from Dwolla stating that they are no longer allowed to process payments associated with Mt. Gox, due to a court order from the US Department of Homeland security. The Mt. Gox / Dwolla combination has been the most convenient (and cheapest) way for most people to convert bitcoins into cash.

The full text of the email from Dwolla reportedly looks like this:

You’re receiving this notice because our systems have indicated that you’ve processed and completed a real-time Dwolla-to-Dwolla payment to Mutum Sigillum LLC (“Mt. Gox”) within the last 24 hours.

Due to recent court orders received from the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Dwolla is no longer legally able to service Mutum Sigillum LLC’s account.

This is a courtesy email encouraging you to follow up on any uncompleted orders with Mutum Sigillum LLC as Dwolla is now unable to move money to and from Mutum Sigillum LLC’s Dwolla account.

Dwolla is not party to this matter nor does it have any information or further insight into the situation. We strongly encourages those with questions to contact Mutum Sigillum LLC

Note: Dwolla requires a court order before honoring requests such as seizing funds or revoking access to an account.

On behalf of Dwolla, we apologize for this inconvenience.

I haven’t seen anything official from either Gox or Dwolla yet, so it’s possible that this is a coordinated hoax in an attempt to manipulate market prices, I suppose. The prices of both BTC and LTC are already down quite a bit on the news.

Update: Mt. Gox has posted a short statement on their site regarding the order.

Update 2: CNET is reporting that they were able to confirm the validity of the story. Not a hoax.

Update 3 (5/15): Ars Technica has the reason for the DHS action.

Coinlab sues Mt. Gox for $75 million

If you’re wondering what’s going on with the price of digital currencies over the past day or so, this lawsuit between two of the biggest players in the bitcoin arena is likely to blame.

From the Gawker article:

The Coinlab-Mt. Gox juggernaut was supposed to bring a new level of service, along with the legitimacy that came with the Silicon Valley Bank’s backing, to Mt. Gox and the economy as a whole. The partnership was considered so important to the growth of Bitcoin that some observers credited it with sparking a massive 40% surge in Bitcoin prices past $250 when it was first announced, during which some big Bitcoin hold probably made millions. (At least until the price crashed back down again.) Now the biggest hope of Bitcoin has devolved into the biggest lawsuit.

Mt. Gox adding support for Litecoin “soon”

Mt. Gox logoMt. Gox, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, released a statement today regarding their handling of the recent DDoS attack that caused their site to be unavailable for several hours.

Buried in the “Recent Frequently Asked Questions” portion of the release is this interesting tidbit: “When will you be adding Litecoin (LTC) to Mt. Gox?” :

Soon. We were planning on doing so two weeks ago, but events derailed that plan. Right
now we are focused on overall stability of the exchange, and will launch LTC when we are
ready. Otherwise we could be further complicating things.

Rumors and informal talk about litecoin support at Mt. Gox have been circulating for weeks, but this is the first time I’ve seen them put out an official statement confirming it. It’ll be interesting to watch the litecoin price over the next few days.