Mt. Gox says it has managed to locate 200,000 bitcoins it thought were lost (eye roll). This comes after the exchange filed for bankruptcy protection in both Japan and the U.S. As MarketWatch‘s Takashi Mochizuki and Eleanor Warnock note, it’s now worth questioning whether the rest of those bitcoins will magically turn up.
Mt. Gox announces bitcoin find
Mark KKarpeles, CEO of Mt. Gox, released a document Thursday saying that they had located 200,000 bitcoins in one of their wallets. The exchange said that it had no longer been using that particular digital wallet. However, even with those located bitcoins, Mt. Gox has still lost between 650,000 and 850,000, depending on which documents you look at.
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According to Karpeles, when they announced that they had lost their clients’ bitcoins and then filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 28, they didn’t think they had any of the digital currency still stored in old wallets. They continued to believe this through March 7. The exchange first filed for bankruptcy in Japan and then in the U.S. on March 10 in an attempt to avoid a number of lawsuits.
It was believed that hackers broke in and looted all of the exchange’s digital currency, but now, it’s unclear just how many bitcoins they got away with, if any. Apparently it’s possible to “misplace” bitcoins.
Mt. Gox cited technical issues
And it’s worth noting that Mt. Gox itself never actually said how big of a role hackers may have played in the disappearance of the coins. The exchange had been saying for some time before it admitted to losing the coins that a technical glitch in the crypt-currency itself was causing issues which made it possible for users to make fraudulent withdrawals.
At the time, the 850,000 missing bitcoins were about 7% of all the bitcoins in existence and had a value of over $470 million. Today, using the $575 trading price on Coinbase, those coins are worth nearly $489 million. The 200,000 coins which were found carry a value of $115 million and would take a chunk out of what the exchange said in its bankruptcy filings that it owns to clients and creditors.