TOKYO — Mt. Gox, the Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange that declared bankruptcy last month, announced today that it has asked Japanese police for advice on what do about the 750,000 bitcoins — worth roughly half a billion dollars — that they claim were stolen by hackers.
Although Mt. Gox posted a statement (in Japanese) on its website that it has discussed the situation with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, and provided them with necessary electronic records and other materials need to launch a formal investigation, it remains unclear whether the police will actually do so.
According to the New York Times, very few of Mt. Gox’s investors at the time of its collapse were Japanese. There is also suspicion amongst investors, in Tokyo and elsewhere, that Mt. Gox may be guilty of fraud. The once-leading exchange is currently embroiled in a class-action lawsuit in the U.S., conceived by investors convinced of Mt. Gox’s culpability.
Helmed by CEO Mark Karpeles, Mt. Gox suddenly shuttered last month, claiming it had lost 750,000 of its customers’ bitcoins, along with 100,000 of its own, amounting to hundreds and millions of dollars. Nothing in the market foreshadowed the collapse, and at the time bitcoin seemed to be gaining traction as a legitimate form of currency in some countries, including the U.S.
Adult companies gravitated towards the anonymity that the cryptocurrency afforded, and the roster of companies that set up a bitcoin payment gateway was long and respectable, including Playboy Plus, MOFOs, Naughty America, Wicked Pictures, Porn.com, Grooby.com, DominicFord.com, ClassyCams.com and MetArt.com and Internet payment service provider Verotel, among others.