Oops, trusting customers, we lost all of your bitcoins. Sorry. We think maybe hackers ripped them off. But, hey, we just dug up 200,000 of the vanished coins.
That’s the latest strange tune Mt. Gox is singing now, a month after crashing and burning following the loss of 750,000 of its customers’ BTC and 100,000 of its own.
Mark Karapeles, the former chief executive and now the “representative director” of the fallen cyrptocurrency exchange, announced the puzzling discovery of 200,000 “missing” bitcoins in a statement released on on Mt. Gox’s website yesterday.
According to exchange rates at press time, the “found” coins are worth about $114 million. The company was required by civil rehabilitation proceedings to inform the court and its bankruptcy counsels of the discovery.
Karapeles said the company discovered the “existence of” the missing virtual currency pieces on March 10 in a an "old format" digital wallet that Mt. Gox used previously, then transferred them to an offline site from March 14 to 15.
Why the bitcoins went missing in the first place is still a mystery, perhaps even to Mt. Gox itself. “Please note that the reasons for their disappearance and the exact number of Bitcoins which disappeared is still under investigation,” Karapeles’s statement read.
When the company filed for bankruptcy protection on Feb. 28, Karapeles blamed hackers for his company’s collapse, claiming they exploited a “weakness” in its system that enabled them to fraudulently withdraw almost half a billion U.S. dollars worth of the digital currency.
Whether or not the “found” bitcoins the first once mighty Bitcoin exchange lost back in February will land back in the hands of angry customers remains unknown. Several have joined together to file a class-action lawsuit in an attempt to freeze both Mt. Gox's and Karapeles's assets.
Earlier this month cyber criminals hijacked Karpeles’s personal blog, Tumblr and Reddit accounts, posting accusations that head of the defunct exchange knew the whereabouts of -- and was allegedly still in control of -- the vanished $500 million-plus bitcoins all along.