Tokyo – Mt. Gox, the Japan-based global bitcoin platform which unexpectedly went offline on Feb. 25, 2014, has filed for bankruptcy and publicly stated that hackers may have stolen as much as $500 million worth of bitcoins from the company and its users.
Following a Feb. 28 bankruptcy petition in Tokyo District Court, Mt. Gox issued a public statement where it listed assets of about $38 million and liabilities of about $64 million. In the statement, Mt. Gox also said illegal access through a software bug in the bitcoin system that began in February 2014 likely resulted in the disappearance of about 750,000 bitcoins belonging to Mt. Gox users and 100,000 bitcoins belonging to Mt. Gox. Furthermore, Mt. Gox said it discovered a discrepancy of about $280 million between the amount of cash financial institutions are holding for Mt. Gox users and the amount of cash they deposited.
Mt. Gox also said it is asking the court to consider allowing it to restore its business to enable eventual repayment of customers and creditors. The current combined value of the lost bitcoins is around $500 million. The company has opened a customer support hotline.