When Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy in February, it claimed to have lost some 850,000 Bitcoins. Theft and poor accounting were blamed, and now there's a new wrinkle. Mt. Gox recently found 200,000 Bitcoins in a "forgotten" online wallet. Those Bitcoins are worth around $115 million at the current exchange rate, and the circumstances surrounding their discovery are a little unusual.
Mt. Gox says it found the lost Bitcoins on March 7 as part of an effort to check old wallets that were thought to be empty. According to an official statement (PDF), the exchange claims to have notified the court supervising its "rehabilitation proceedings" on March 10. The Bitcoins were subsequently moved to an offline wallet "for security reasons."
As Reuters points out, the public announcement of the discovery didn't come until yesterday—after the judge in charge of a class action suit targeting Mt. Gox gave the green light to track "some of the exchange's Bitcoin movements." The law firm backing the suit told Reuters it was already monitoring 180,000 Bitcoins related to the case, and that "it appears Mt. Gox realized we were close and decided to acknowledge that it owned [them]."
In related news, the software that manages Bitcoin transactions has been updated to fix a weakness that made Mt. Gox and other exchanges vulnerable to hackers. Version 0.9.0 of the software addresses "mutated transactions," reports Ars Technica, and it includes provisions to "report wallet transactions that conflict with each other or that contain incorrect balances for double-spent (or mutated) transactions."
Despite the Mt.Gox debacle, Bitcoin's price hasn't plummeted. In fact, the cryptocurrency is worth more today than before the bankruptcy was announced. At this point, though, I'd probably feel safer putting my money in GameStop.
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