After causing the exchange rate of Bitcoin to drop down to $400, MtGox has stopped all operations and would seem the exchange has simply vanished. Users interested for whatever reason to visit the exchange are greeted with a blank white page.
A leaked crisis strategy draft show large quantities of the cryptocurrency have gone missing:
“At this point 744,408 BTC are missing due to malleability-related theft which went unnoticed for several years. The cold storage has been wiped out due to a leak in the hot wallet. The reality is that MtGox can go bankrupt at any moment, and certainly deserves to as a company,” the leaked document posted by Bitcoin blogger Ryan Galt states.
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The malleability-related theft has been reported to have lasted over a year. The weakness in MtGox’s security hit its cold storage, leaving the accumulated Bitcoins vulnerable to attack.
“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. At the risk of appearing hyperbolic, this could be the end of Bitcoin, at least for most of the public.”
Sensing the blood in the water, other BTC exchanges such as Coinbase, BTC China, Kraken, Bitstamp, Bl.ockchain.info, and Circle issued a joint statement stating the problems at MtGox aren’t indicative of failures with Bitcoins and problems at their companies