Mt. Gox has issued yet another brief statement and this time it is coming straight from CEO Mark Karpeles. The troubled exchange issued a very short statement late yesterday, saying that it decided to “close all transactions” for the time being in order to “protect the site” and its users.
The latest statement won’t do much to reassure customers, either. Here is what Karpeles had to say:
February 26th 2014
Dear MtGox Customers,
As there is a lot of speculation regarding Mt. Gox and its future, I would like to use this opportunity to reassure everyone that I am still in Japan, and working very hard with the support of different parties to find a solution to our recent issues.
Furthermore I would like to kindly ask that people refrain from asking questions to our staff: they have been instructed not to give any response or information. Please visit this page for further announcements and updates.
It should be noted that Karpeles is still nowhere to be found. Mt. Gox moved to new offices and Karpeles isn’t talking to the media (apart from a short statement made to Reuters). This appears to be his only formal statement since the exchange was closed a few days ago.
Serious questions persist
The fact that Karpeles and the rest of the Mt. Gox team have been so secretive ever since the exchange suspended bitcoin withdrawals is just adding insult to injury. A leaked document indicates that the exchange is insolvent, quite spectacularly so.
An online chat conversation published by Fox Business last night reportedly shows Karpeles telling a consultant that he is not giving up on Mt. Gox. In the chat, Karpeles says the leaked document was not produced by Mt. Gox, but he admits that there is some truth to it.
Even before Mt. Gox closed its doors and abandoned its offices, it was in a world of trouble. It suspended bitcoin withdrawals citing technical issues, namely transaction malleability.
Shortly thereafter, members of the bitcoin community started organising protests in front of the Mt. Gox headquarters in Tokyo. For days the offices were picketed by customers demanding their cash or bitcoins back, but eventually the company simply vanished.
Two days ago Karpeles resigned from the Bitcoin Foundation’s Board of Directors. The foundation announced that Karpeles submitted his resignation and that it was effective immediately.
Now we know that Karpeles is still in Japan and that something is happening behind the scenes. The question is – what?