Japan Considers Taxing Bitcoin, Canadian Exchange Folds Following Hack

There's never a dull moment in the Bitcoin realm. Here's a quick rundown of the latest twists in the digital currency's rollercoaster drama.

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By Kim Lachance Shandrow

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Bitcoin can't get a breather.

First Mt. Gox imploded. Now, Flexcoin has flatlined. The Alberta, Canada-based Bitcoin exchange says its closing down after cyber thieves made off with about $600,000 worth of the digital currency.

Thanks to a "front-end flaw" in Flexcoin's software code, hackers ripped off all 896 of the small trading post's modest supply of bitcoins. Flexcoin launched in June 2011 on an invite-only beta basis and officially went live on Aug. 4 later that same year. The company announced its closure on its website yesterday. Today the company posted a detailed explanation on exactly how hackers caused its collapse, along with a clear admission of failure.

"Having this be the demise of our small company, after the endless hours of work we've put in, was never our intent," the statement reads. "We've failed our customers, our business, and ultimately the Bitcoin community."

Related: 6 Bitcoin Basics for Beginners

As of 2:51 p.m. ET today, the currency was trading at $654.75, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index.

The news of Flexcoin's fall made headlines across the globe as authorities in Japan took steps toward regulating the controversial cryptocurrency, which most Bitcoin users are drawn to due to its liberating lack of regulation.

Japanese government officials are drafting regulation that encompasses a tax on transactions and bars banks and securities firms from dealing with Bitcoin as part of their core business.

The guidelines, which come on the heels of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox's fall from grace last week, appear to categorize the virtual currency as a commodity, like gold, according to Reuters. Japanese officials will reportedly decide how to treat Bitcoin under current laws by this Friday.

Related: 50 Insane Facts About Bitcoin (Infographic)

Meanwhile, the tragic news of the death of Autumn Radtke, 28, the American CEO of First Meta Exchange, made international headlines today. Her body was discovered in her apartment in Singapore last week. Authorities are investigating whether suicide was a factor in her death and are not ruling out foul play.

Kim Lachance Shandrow

Former West Coast Editor

Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here

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