Mt. Gox, the embattled Bitcoin exchange, has filed for bankruptcy protection after falling into a state of disarray earlier this month in the wake of a security lapse that led to fraudulent withdrawals.
The exchange’s CEO, Mark Karpeles, announced the news in Tokyo on Friday, saying that Mt. Gox lost nearly 750,000 customer bitcoins, as well as 100,000 of the exchange’s own bitcoins. The total number of lost bitcoins translates to nearly $500 million at the current exchange rate, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
At the Tokyo press conference, Karpeles expressed contrition about Mt. Gox’s crash, and sought to separate that development from the larger Bitcoin movement. “First of all, I’m very sorry,” he said, according to Reuters. “The bitcoin industry is healthy and it is growing. It will continue, and reducing the impact is the most important point.” More