Mt. Gox files for bankruptcy protection with $63.6 million in debt

Embattled Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox is filing for bankruptcy protection with liabilities of ¥6.5 billion ($63.6 million), according to Japanese media reports. A lawyer for the exchange, which had suspended bitcoin withdrawals weeks ago, made the announcement at a press conference at the Tokyo District Court. CEO Mark Karpeles also apologized for the exchange’s collapse, according to media reports.

Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox said Friday it was filing for bankruptcy protection after losing almost 750,000 of its customers’ bitcoins, marking the collapse of a marketplace that once dominated trading in the virtual currency. The company said it also lost around 100,000 of its own bitcoins. Together, the lost bitcoins would be worth approximately $473 million at market prices charted by the CoinDesk bitcoin index, although the price of Mt. Gox bitcoin had fallen well below that index after it stopped bitcoin withdrawals in early February. Speaking to reporters at Tokyo District Court Friday after the bankruptcy filing, Mt. Gox owner Mark Karpelès said technical issues had opened the way for fraudulent withdrawals, and he apologized to customers.

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