Defunct Bitcoin exchange MtGox has revealed a little more information about its problems, updating its sparse webpage with an “Application for commencement of a procedure of Civil Rehabilitation”.
The new statement (with MtGox's punctuation intact) says that “At the start of February 2014, illegal access through the abuse of a bug in the bitcoin system Resulted in an Increase in incomplete bitcoin Transfer transactions and we Discovered That There WAS a Possibility That Bitcoins had Illicitly Been Moved through the abuse of this bug.”
Those fears proved entirely founded as “we found a large That Amount of Bitcoins had Disappeared. Complete Although the extent IS not yet known, we found That Approximately 750,000 Bitcoins DEPOSITED by users and Approximately 100,000 Bitcoins Belonging to U.S. had Disappeared.” The statement goes on to say MtGox's operators are pretty sure they disappeared “as a result of an abuse of this bug” and have therefore “Asked an Expert to look at the Possibility of a Criminal complaint and undertook proper Procedures.”
Not long after that action, “we found out large Discrepancies Between the Amount of Cash Held in financial Institutions and the Amount DEPOSITED from Our users.” Tallies are out by “JPY 2.8 billion” ($US27m). “Since There Are probably a Variety of Causes INCLUDING Hacking by Third Parties, we need to Investigate a Huge Amount of Transaction Reports in order to ESTABLISH the Truth,” the statement continues, adding that once the discrepancies were detected the site pulled the plug on its operations.
To recover any currency of any sort, the outfit thinks it needs to be revived. Here's the explanation for that thinking: “ In order to increase repayments to our creditors, it is necessary to explore the possibility of having MtGox Co., Ltd. Continue its business. This is why the civil rehabilitation procedure has been chosen, Rebuilding MtGox Co., Ltd under the supervision of the Court in a Legally organized procedure while giving proper Explanations Will not BE for the Sole Benefit of the company but for the whole of That bitcoin Community.
All Efforts Will Now BE made to restore the business and recover Damages to Repay Debts to Creditors. We Hope for the understanding and cooperation of all.”
One small item of welcome news comes from the statement's assertion that MtGox has “3,841,866,163” in assets. We'll assume that's yen, in which case it has a few tens of millions of US dollars floating around it can use to try to get back on its feet. The bad news is that MtGox has also identified “6,501,119,371” total liabilities.
The statement also offers details of the court filings MtGox has made to the Tokyo District Court and names of the lawyers it has hired. Our search of the Court's site, like MtGOx's statement, yields no information about when matters will go before a judge.
Vulture South has again attempted to contact the call centre MtGox has set up to handle inquiries. Although calls are picked up instantly, subjecting us to some not-unpleasant Muzak, we've not received a response. The centre operates between 10:00 and 17:00, Tokyo time. ®