Bitcoin Price Hits $135 on Mt. Gox Following Office Move and Verification Demand
Published on February 20, 2014 at 12:02 BST
Updates and rumors related to Mt. Gox this week include: a possible company relocation, a requirement for users to hold verified accounts to withdraw bitcoins and a fall in Gox's listed price of bitcoin.
A user contacted CoinDesk to tell of the verification requirement this morning, saying it "suddenly appeared" on the site. There hasn't been an announcement of any change on Mt. Gox's website, however, and other sources said the condition had been there for a while now.
The "Verifying Your Account" section of the website says: "All MtGox user accounts are required to be verified in order to perform any deposits or withdrawals."
Verification has always been a requirement for depositing and withdrawing fiat currencies. The process involves supplying photo ID and proof of residence, similar to that of other exchanges. Some Mt. Gox customers have reported waits of several months to become verified.
Earlier this week, Mt. Gox also posted a notice on their user support page under the title "MtGox Co., Ltd Location and Address Change – February 19" with the one-line message "MtGox Co., Ltd. (Japan) has moved to the address below".
The address supplied is in the same neighborhood, but is possibly a virtual office space only. As yet, there has been no other indication the company has moved staff or equipment there.
The owner of Mt Gox's office building is said to be annoyed at the attention the company has been getting lately, especially with protestors near the front door and various images of the building appearing on the web. This is not surprising in real-estate conscious and superstitious Tokyo, where even the most premium office space can attract a bad reputation that sticks for years.
Another statement was issued by the company today, which read:
"Thank you for your patience this week while we are working on re-initiating bitcoin withdrawals. In addition to the technical issue, this week we have experienced some security problems, and as a result we had to relocate MtGox to our previous ofﬁce building in Shibuya (details can be found here https://support.mtgox.com/home). The move, combined with some other security and technical challenges, pushed back our progress.
As much as we didn’t want to only provide an 'update on an update', this is the current status. We are committed to solving this issue and will provide more information as soon as possible to keep everyone in the loop.
We are very sorry for the delays and deeply appreciate your kind understanding and continuous support."
Looking at the building's floor guide in reception, it has few tenants other than Mt. Gox and its parent company, Tibanne.
Protestors, their friends and reporters for various financial media were asked several times by staff and security to step off the building's premises, and stand only on the public street.
The attention began long before the current protest, with Wired sending a team there for the original unsuccessful doorstop interview attempt last November, and posting pictures of the building.
Also on the ground floor of Mt. Gox's Shibuya headquarters is the 'Bitcoin Cafe', which Wired reported to be a Mt. Gox project due to open in December last year. Since Wired's visit, some signage (covered) has been installed and several vans stopped to make deliveries during the day on Monday.
The price on Mt. Gox last night and early this morning (GMT) hovered around $250 but started to decrease swiftly at around 06:45, falling to $135 by 08:00.
At the time of writing, the price on Gox is just under $150, while the CoinDesk BPI is much higher at $587.
The last time the price of bitcoin on Mt. Gox was this low was back in early October, shortly after black marketplace Silk Road was shut down.
What do you think will happen to the price of bitcoin on Mt. Gox over the next few days? Let us know in the comments.
Co-authored by Emily Spaven and Jon Southurst.
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