The website of Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has been taken down amid rumours of a hack or security breach resulting in the theft of Bitcoins, while six major Bitcoin exchanges have released a statement distancing themselves from the troubled Tokyo-based exchange.
HumanIPO reported earlier this month a number of Bitcoin exchanges – including Mt.Gox – temporarily suspended operations after a series of denial of service (DoS) attacks taking advantage of Bitcoin’s transaction malleability and relaying mutated versions of transactions.
In a statement on its website, Mt. Gox has now said: “In light of recent news reports and the potential repercussions on Mt. Gox’s operations and the market, a decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react accordingly.”
Mark Karpeles, Mt. Gox’s chief executive, on Sunday resigned from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation following the technical issues.
In the statement, Bitcoin exchanges Coinbase, Kraken, Bitstamp, BTC China, Blockchain and Circle said: “This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt Gox was the result of one company’s actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of bitcoin and the digital currency industry.
“As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we are seeing today. Mt. Gox has confirmed its issues in private discussions with other members of the bitcoin community.
“There are hundreds of trustworthy and responsible companies involved in Bitcoin. These companies will continue to build the future of money by making Bitcoin more secure and easy to use for consumers and merchants.”
Meanwhile, Japanese authorities are looking into the closure of the site, according to a government spokesman.
“At this stage the relevant financial authorities, the police, the Finance Ministry and others are gathering information on the case,” chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told his regular news conference.