Financial News

  • 23 March 2014, 11:18

Mt Gox Finds 200,000 'Stolen' Bitcoins

One of the largest bitcoin exchanges says it has found 200,000 bitcoins which were thought to have been stolen by hackers.

Tokyo-based Mt Gox, which filed for bankruptcy last month, said in a statement the bitcoins were identified on March 7 after "old format" wallets were searched as part of its bankruptcy proceedings.

The company has not specified the type of "wallets", but they can include USB sticks and paper documents.

Another 650,000 bitcoins remain unaccounted for, the company added.

The online exchange for the virtual currency was switched off in February as rumours of impending insolvency surfaced.

It then filed for bankruptcy protection and claimed nearly all of its 850,000 bitcoins were missing. It blamed cyberattacks for the theft.

British bitcoin investor Kolin Burges, who initially invested $250,000 (150,000) in 311 bitcoins, told Sky News: "The company are keeping very quiet and not saying what is going on.

"We may get a quarter to a third back but the worry is they will use this money to keep themselves going rather than paying it back to creditors and then shut down."

At current prices, the rediscovered bitcoins are worth around $120m (73m).

The problems with Mt Gox have added to concerns over the viability of bitcoins.

The virtual currency has grown in popularity since it was created in 2009 as a way to make transactions without involving third parties such as banks.