back to article Bitcoin or bust: MtGox files for bankruptcy protection

Ailing Bitcoin exchange MtGox has filed for bankruptcy protection after admitting it did indeed "lose" 750,000 of its customers' Bitcoins along with 1000,000 of its own – together worth about £283m. Lawyers for the digital funny money dealer told Tokyo District Court that MtGox had debt of ¥6.5bn yen (£38.1m, $63.8m). MtGox …


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  1. JDX Gold badge

    1000,000 of their own

    One millionty?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 1000,000 of their own

      I saw a post somewhere that deconstructed the statements made by MtGox, and that made it look more like a blend of incompetence and scam. Given the tendency of a non-government managed currency to attract criminal funds it strikes me that those who were operating this are well advised to buy new identities...

    2. Adam 1

      Re: 1000,000 of their own

      Ten hundred thousand.

  2. Only me!


    I do not see a problem, just like a real bank, they loose all the money and then get bailed out by the government! Oh wait a sec I do see a bit of a problem!!!!

    1. P0l0nium

      Re: Opps

      All except the Icelandic banks where their Russian gangster customers didn't get bailed out.

      (Though the British savers did - despite chasing unreasonably high interest rates)

      Its always surprised me that Reykjavik harbour ISN'T full of dead bankers with "concrete shoes".

      I understand that Tokyo bay is very dark at night ....

    2. Tromos

      Re: Opps

      "I do not see a problem, just like a real bank, they loose all the money"...

      I think the question many want answered is: Did they loose* the money or did they lose the money?

      * As in 'make fast and loose with'.

      1. Oninoshiko

        Re: Opps

        considering that it was being held by MtGOX before, and now it's out on the interwebs running free, maybe both apply!

        Information wants to be free!

  3. Danny 14



  4. Ralph B

    "Amateur Hour is Over"

    Yeah, that's right. Better hand it over to the professionals at Lloyds, RBS and NatWest.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Amateur Hour is Over"

      Nah. More like HSBC. In my personal experience, they go out of their way to hand the money in your account to someone who isn't even on the mandate.

    2. Scroticus Canis

      Re: "Amateur Hour is Over"

      Well scamming £238m isn't too bad for an amateur but pros like Madoff got billions. Fools and their money etc... or in the case of the governments bailing out the banks - 'fools and our tax money'.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: "Amateur Hour is Over"

        Oh I dunno, now the amateurs are out, they can get the organised (crime) people in to do it all properly.

        I mean after all, they're already significant stakeholders aren't they? They'll want their safeguards, presumably in the form of baseball bats, hospital visits and long snoozes with underwater creatures.

  5. cyclical

    It's been a long time coming

    I've been watching this one for a while, and other interesting tidbits to come out over the last few days;

    * A guy claiming to have interviewed for a website UI position with them says that MtGOX up until recently had no development environment at all - all changes were made to the live site

    * A large sum of coins directly owned by MtGox have not moved since some time in 2011, yet are have been claimed to be 'hacked', 'lost' or 'inaccessible', opening up the possibility that this isn't a complete theft (although some level of theft is also probable), but involves losing the keys to the virtual safe in a stunning display of further ineptitude.

    I wonder if they can go back to trading Magic the Gathering: Online cards after this...

    1. Fibbles

      Re: It's been a long time coming

      I'll admit that my understanding of bitcoins is shaky at best but from what I understand, if a user loses access to their wallet then they've essentially lost the bitcoins since there's no longer any way to prove ownership. Is it not possible that MtGox has 'lost' the bitcoins simply by losing an array of hard-drives due to hardware failure? If this is indeed "amateur hour" it seems a bit much to expect any sort of robust backup mechanism.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's been a long time coming

      Who could ever trust them with something as valuable as Magic The Gathering cards, after this debacle?

  6. Scott Broukell

    News just in

    MtGox behaves just the same way as any other regular bank and looses tons of money for peeps, glad to hear that the banking system, digital or not, is getting on all right. Shouldn't we all now contribute to a whip-round or something to bail them out?

    1. cyclical

      Re: News just in

      When was the last time you heard of a bank giving away half their money because they didn't do proper accounting and only hired blind tellers who would give away £20s instead of £10 by accident, then lose the keys to the vault, effectively sealing away the rest? Then closes down the bank for withdrawals for months, while still accepting deposits, all the while saying 'just technical problems'.

      Insider trading, bad investments, insane payouts to bosses, mis-selling yes, but I'm willing to bet we've never seen ineptitude (or criminality) on this level.

      1. Jonathan 29

        Re: News just in

        Transaction malleability is not a million miles away from credit derivative swaps though is it? Take something, call it something else, sell it on and leave the original holder with the bad debt.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

          Re: News just in

          Banks giving away half their money?

          Don't they call it a bonus these days?

  7. shade82000

    Read about this hours ago on other sites after looking for it here first :(

    Shame on you.

    1. Cliff

      Other sites race to be first with dry headlines

      The Register is more analysis than dry headlines. Their value add is often filtering wheat from chaff and not just reprinting press releases and AP leaders.

      1. Adam 1

        Re: Other sites race to be first with dry headlines

        Plus, el reg provides forums where other bitcoin exchange operators can check whether they are doing it right. All part of the service here.

  8. Mike Flugennock

    "Amateur Hour is now over..."

    P'hah. Amateur Hour is never over, man.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All I can say is "Whew." Glad I got out of Dodge well before this all blew over.

    1. O RLY

      But did you get into Doge (coin) instead?

  10. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    And thus there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth

    I imagine that a great many of us, who were lamenting that we had missed riding the virtual escalator to riches beyond our wildest dreams, are somewhat relieved that, while we may have missed the bubble, we also avoided the inevitable 'pop'.

    I think it was the expectation of something like this which had many of us hold our nerves and not jump on board the bandwagon. It's all well and good saying it's no worse than brick and mortar banking, pointing to other bank disasters, but we know deep down it's not really like that at all.

    Let's face it - It was about as safe as giving a drug addict your wage packet to go score some gear. All promises and guarantees are as virtual as the currency.

  11. Bill Gates

    Ya know what the real interesting thing is, and what scares governments and bankers?

    The fact that even all of this.....people are STILL WILLING to go with bitcoin because the huge positives about being able to get out from under their control are worth even more risk than this.

    The ability to not be slaves and subservient to the masters with your wealth is worth a HUGE amount of potential risk of not being 'regulated'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bill, take your Guy Fawkes mask off and eat your dinner. It's getting cold.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: Bill Gates

      "....people are STILL WILLING to go with bitcoin because the huge positives about being able to get out from under their control are worth even more risk than this...." I take it Billy has some Bitcoins he wants to sell on.

    3. Mike Flugennock

      apparently, "John Galt" approves...?

      "Ya know what the real interesting thing is, and what scares governments and bankers?

      The fact that even all of this.....people are STILL WILLING to go with bitcoin..."

      I'm sure the governments and bankers are feeling something about all this, but I don't think it's necessarily fear.

      "...The ability to not be slaves and subservient to the masters with your wealth is worth a HUGE amount of potential risk of not being 'regulated'..."

      The ability not to be slaves and subservient to the masters by trusting my money to a bunch of hucksters who might, at any time, fold up and disappear with my money, and... oh, Christ, my brain hurts. Where the hell do you start with balloon juice like this...?

  12. Herby

    Maybe the crypto locker people lost money as well.


    Any currency (or language, i.e. Esperanto) without an army behind it is doomed to failure.

    Of course, I haven't seen the Mafia try its hand on a currency, but they might given their vested interest. Stranger things have happened.

    1. Blue eyed boy

      @ Any currency (or language, i.e. Esperanto) without an army behind it is doomed to failure.

      Mi parolas Esperanton kiel naciano, sed mi ne komprenas vin sur lingvo sen militaro.

  13. Anonymous Coward 101


    Over the last couple of years, any story about Bitcoin features the price of one. So, what does a Bitcoin go for these days after all this news? I'm being serious.

    1. Oninoshiko

      Re: Strange...

      It was always kind of laughable to include it, as the volatility of them was always so high. It's worse then most commodities, let alone a real currency.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Strange...

        According to Coinbase, which is one of the more legitimate sites with proper accounting, bank ties, and legal paperwork filed, as of the time of this message, about $560 per.

    2. squigbobble

      Re: Strange...

      The most stable price seems to be on localbitcoins-

      It wibbles by around £30 each way.

  14. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Given how dodgy Bitcoin is it was probably an inside job. Pay a few dodgy hacker types to magic the money into thin air then wind up the company.

    The owner will be relaxing in his new luxury home soon.

    1. Master Rod

      MtGox goes to hell.

      As an IT Specialist, all I can say is they stole the money. You don't handle millions of dollars of other peoples money with a shitty computer infrastructure. With no internet security! This was done on purpose. Don't you see? It was a hellova scam since the beginning. We will now have a good black market for these coins. OK Russians, hand over the coins.

      Master Rod

  15. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    It was'nt

    rich people's money, nor was it a sum of money large enough to destabilize a small country's economy, therefore the bit coins are gone

    Now if 1 of the 2 conditions above were met... we'd all be paying an extra 10% income tax to help bail them out while being told it was for our own good and yes, we are part of a capitalist economy.....


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

















    Knew this would happen and fuck those idiots that thought this was a safe bet.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: AC Re: Ahahahahahahah

      Yeah, but the REALLY funny bit was how the dupes ignored all warnings and refused to see that there could possibly be any problems with their get-rich-quick scheme. Ah well, fools and their (funny) money....

    2. Master Rod

      Re: Ahahahahahahah

      Beautifully said! Good Show! Bravo!

      Master Rod

  17. Zot

    If those keys, err coins, resurface again...

    ...would they be worth anything?

    1. bex

      Re: If those keys, err coins, resurface again...

      The way bitcoin works if you have the keys to the coins they are yours with nothing to trace them back to mtgox so yes they are worth something, Scan computers will build you a kick as PC with them for one thing.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they really _are_ lost

    I mean like really, really lost. As in not existing in this universe. Real money leaves traces or shreds of paper or ash or smoke or something behind it. With strong encryption it's possible to really lose digital stuff without a trace. Destroy the key by accident and it's gone forever. (Okay, not taking into account possible future quantum computer breakthroughs)

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Maybe they really _are_ lost

      So paper money can't be incinerated into invisible particulate matter and coinage can't be melted down into a useless amalgamation of base metals? You may still have stuff left afterward, yes, but whatever the heck it IS, the one thing it certainly ISN'T is money. Besides, by law, there has to be a way to retire old money so that fresh currency can take its place.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No, it isn't the beginning of the end for Bitcoin. But it might just be the end of the beginning.

  20. Master Rod

    Bitcoin Scam

    Ha! I new this was comming. Ever since bitcoins inception, I new it was nothing but another wallstreet money grab. Only fools trust other people with their money.

    Master Rod

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