Mt Gox Bitcoin Exchange Liquidation Ordered
The failed Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox is to be liquidated after a Tokyo court ordered bankruptcy proceedings to proceed, it has been confirmed.
A court-appointed lawyer previously responsible for the cyber currency company announced the decision.
"(I) will implement the bankruptcy proceedings, in which the assets of the bankrupt entity will be managed and converted into cash," said a statement by bankruptcy trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi placed on Mt Gox's website.
"If funds for a distribution are secured, the liquidating distribution will be made."
A creditors' meeting has been set for July 23 but those owed money were warned of the potential of seeing no return.
"The actual amount and value of Bitcoins and cash of the company will be investigated by the bankruptcy trustee with the cooperation of certain experts," the statement added.
The Tokyo District Court ruling, which was widely expected, signals the death throes of the exchange.
At one point Mt Gox, run by American chief executive Mark Karples, was responsible for around 80% of global transactions of the virtual exchange.
Bitcoins are generated by complex chains of interactions among a huge network of computers around the planet and are not backed by any government or central bank.
Mt Gox plunged into trouble last February after withdrawals were prevented. It said a software bug had made it vulnerable to theft.
It filed for bankruptcy and said it had lost 850,000 coins - worth nearly $500m (£300m), and it also filed for protection in the United States.
Some 200,000 of the 'stolen' Bitcoins were later found in an electronic wallet.
Mr Kobayashi was named as provisional administrator last week, wrestling control from its embattled chief executive.
Mr Karples has reportedly refused to travel to the US, where he is wanted for questioning over the exchange's demise.
He remains the registered owner of the Mt Gox website.