Mt. Gox has issued an official statement saying it has found a workaround for its bitcoin transaction malleability problems, which will see bitcoin withdrawals resume “soon”. This comes after the team worked over the weekend to begin implementation of a new transaction system.
It said the workaround was “thanks to our friends at Blockchain.info“, with Blockchain’s Andreas Antonopoulos and Ben Reeves “working like crazy” over the past week to help the company get things stabilized again. While some might regard the two as Mt. Gox’s rivals, it is another example of different interests within the bitcoin economy teaming up for the good of the cause.
As expected, when withdrawals recommence they will do so “at a moderated pace and with new daily/monthly limits in place” to prevent a run that could put too much strain on the company’s resources.
The statement said:
“We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the recent suspension of external bitcoin transfers. Fortunately, as we announced on Saturday we have now implemented a solution that should enable withdrawals and mitigate any issues caused by transaction malleability (please see our previous statements for details on this issue.
Thanks to our friends at Blockchain.info, MtGox now has a workaround that will use a unique identiﬁer created by Blockchain to show whether transactions have been modiﬁed or not. This will prevent any fraudulent use of the malleability issue and protect the assets of our customers.”
Implementing the workaround involved re-indexing the entire bitcoin block chain with its 32 million entries, fully deploying the new NTX ID, and implementing a new bitcoin withdrawal queue that would need to be tested before withdrawals could begin. Mt. Gox also implemented new security measures, including email notification for users after logging in.
The latest statement is a little different in tone to previous Mt. Gox statements, apologizing for delays and promising a new update “by Thursday at the latest”, suggesting the company has realized the importance of clear communication with its users.
Bitstamp, another of the ‘Big Three’ bitcoin exchanges, has already allowed withdrawals to begin again after experiencing problems due to the transaction malleability issue.
The small but determined protest outside Mt. Gox’s Tokyo office continued over the weekend and into Monday, with visitors reportedly dropping by from different parts of the world to join in.
Original protestor Kolin Burges claimed he had spoken to a Mt. Gox representative but was still not 100% satisfied the dispute could be resolved to his satisfaction, unless all withdrawals could begin again without holdup. Local trader and bitcoin entrepreneur ‘Aaron’ said he hoped for a meaningful solution, but had personal doubts Mt. Gox could actually deliver all the bitcoins its users supposedly held in their wallets.
So far, there has been no proof or official indication that Mt. Gox does not control all the bitcoins it claims to, and the company maintains its withdrawal suspension is due to technical problems caused by the bitcoin protocol’s transaction malleability bug, an issue that was first documented in 2011.