In a move sure to unsettle its waiting customers, Mt. Gox has removed all posts from its official Twitter feed. Readers started noticing the missing tweets just a short time after CEO Mark Karpeles resigned his seat on the Bitcoin Foundation's Board of Directors.
The Twitter account has over 27,800 followers, making it one of the most followed in the bitcoin universe. According to Twittercounter, that total had increased from around 22,000 at the beginning of January. Although all past posts have been deleted, the account itself still exists.
Like the company itself, Mt. Gox's Twitter feed was somewhat reluctant to disseminate useful information or engage in two-way communication. Many user support queries received automated responses (usually beginning with "Dear Customer") and sometimes weeks later. It has been silent throughout the company's recent issues with bitcoin withdrawals.
There have not been any official updates on Mt. Gox's support page or News section since 20th February, making customers increasingly nervous about the fate of their bitcoin wealth there. Mt. Gox bitcoins, which are still being actively traded, fell from around $300 at the start of 24th February (Japan time) to a low of $155 in the afternoon.
With speculation already rampant that Mt. Gox is either insolvent or about to close its doors without reaching an acceptable solution, widespread skepticism met the deletions on forums like Reddit.
Some wondered if the company was preparing to rebrand itself in an attempt to regain trust, while others suggested removing public messages was for a small degree of legal protection in case customers decided to take action beyond office protests. A straw poll on the bitcointalk forum had 43% declaring Gox "dead in the water" and 23% expecting it to solve its problems and survive, with a minority of others expecting a major investor to step in and take over the company.
The notoriously secretive exchange may also just be following its long held pattern of falling silent in a crisis, due to legal concerns or what it regards as office security issues. It also announced it would be moving offices last week in response to recent events, without being clear as to why such action was necessary .
Until Mt. Gox makes another formal announcement or takes some other kind of definite action, however, all speculation must remain just that.
Twitter image via Shutterstock