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Mt. Gox Files For Bankruptcy, Blames Hackers For Losses

posted 28 Feb 2014, 05:52 by Mpelembe   [ updated 28 Feb 2014, 05:52 ]

Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles says 'sorry' for possibly losing all of its investors' virtual coins due to hacking into its faulty computer system as the company files for bankruptcy protection.

TOKYO, JAPAN (FEBRUARY 28, 2014) (REUTERS) - Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday (February 28), saying it may have lost all of its investors' virtual coins due to hacking into its faulty computer system.

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Chief executive Mark Karpeles apologised at a news conference for the company's collapse, blaming "a weakness in our system."

"We are working on it and, anyway, in the meantime, we are sorry for troubles caused by this," Karpeles said.

Angry investors have been seeking answers for what happened to their holdings of cash and bitcoins, an unregulated crypto-currency, on the Tokyo-based exchange.

"So, we had a problem with the system that caused a loss in bitcoins to our customers. We identified the problem and we are working on this," said Karpeles.

The collapse of the company has shaken the virtual currency world.

Mt. Gox deleted its website on Tuesday (February 25) after freezing withdrawals earlier this month in the wake of a series of technical difficulties.

The exchange had liquid liabilities of 6.5 billion yen, dwarfing its total assets of 3.84 billion yen, the company said. It had 127,000 creditors in bankruptcy, just over 1,000 of whom are Japanese.

The company and Karpeles have said little in the days before the filing, which is similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States, except that they were working with others to resolve their problems.

"In principle, we don't believe that by having the CEO remain in his position that it is possible to regain trust. As such, at the appropriate time, by having him depart, we hope to look for new sponsors," said lawyer Akio Shinomiya.

Karpeles told the news conference that Mt. Gox wanted to file a criminal complaint against what he said was a hacking attack, but had no specific means of doing so.