A lawyer for Mt. Gox speaking at the Tokyo District Court on Friday said the exchange had outstanding debts of $63.6 million and that the company had filed for bankruptcy protection.
He also noted that the exchange had “lost” 850,000 Bitcoin, 750,000 of which belonged to customers. That’s a total “loss” of more than $467 million, according to exchange rates at the time of writing.
Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles issued an apology, saying that the money disappeared due to a weakness in the system. What exactly that means is unclear.
The exchange temporarily halted Bitcoin withdrawals early last month, blaming technical issues with transaction malleability. Then, a document leaked indicating far greater problems, and Mt. Gox went offline this past week.
That document, called the “Crisis Strategy Draft,” listed fiat assets of $32.43 million and liabilities of $55 million. Those assets included listings that read “5,000,000 USD held by CoinLab” and “5,500,000 held by DHS,” the latter referring to the US Department of Homeland Security’s seizure of money from US accounts in 2013. The US claimed Mt. Gox had not registered properly as a money transmitter.
Users from all around the world had complained for some time that their withdrawals were slow or nonexistent. Now, it appears their money could be lost altogether.
Tales have emerged across the Internet of customers who lost startup capital, college money and life savings in the Mt. Gox crash.
While there are speculative indications that some of the “lost” money is still sitting in a wallet somewhere, accessing that money would prove to be difficult, especially if private keys have been lost, seized or otherwise compromised.