Yesterday, February 24th, MtGox halted transactions on their bitcoin exchange, triggering The Bitcoin Six to publish a joint-statement about the exchange’s apparent demise. Shortly thereafter MtGox went entirely blank—not offline, but documents once served by the web server deleted. All of this followed Sunday’s announcement that MtGox CEO Mark Karpeles had resigned from the Bitcoin Foundation’s board of directors.
All of this activity seems in line with reports published by SiliconANGLE citing a document leaked by Ryan Selkis about a MtGox “Crisis Draft” playbook. The draft included a loss of approximately 750k BTC by MtGox, confirmed by sources to SiliconANGLE; and a rebranding and relaunch of MtGox as Gox, confirmed by the purchase of Gox.com by MtGox’s parent company and the total deletion of MtGox’s Twitter account.
Following these events Kyt Dotson and Mark Hopkins reported accurately and swiftly, before other media, about these revelations and updated a running status of the news as it happened.
If events continue to follow the directions of the Ryan Selkis-leaked playbook, an acquisition may be in the works.
Since then, MtGox’s front page has been replaced by an extremely vague announcement:
Dear MtGox Customers,
In light of recent news reports and the potential repercussions on MtGox’s operations and the market, a decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react accordingly.
MtGox dead or ‘at a turning point’?
Speaking to Reuters via e-mail, Karpeles told the news service that MtGox is “at a turning point.”
Although the fog of confusion surrounding the sudden halt of trading, the takedown of the site, and the otherwise total lack of press and public relations has left many reeling.
In response to Reuter’s questions about the current status of MtGox being potentially “dead”, Karpeles continued to be vague:
“We should have an official announcement ready soon-ish. We are currently at a turning point for the business. I can’t tell much more for now as this also involves other parties.”
Following the Selkis-leaked playbook mentioned above, the confirmations on its predictions and other news, the “turning point” spoken of by Karpeles may in fact be the acquisition of MtGox.
We will continue to update our coverage as more news emerges about MtGox, CEO Mark Karpeles, or anything else related to this story.
UPDATE Feb 25, 8:57pm: According to the Wall Street Journal, MtGox has just become the recipient of a federal subpoena. Mt. Gox Receives Subpoena From Federal Prosecutor: Source, “Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has received a subpoena from federal prosecutors in New York, according to a person familiar with the matter, dealing another blow to the embattled marketplace for buyers and sellers of the virtual currency.”
UPDATE Feb 26, 11:47am: Ryan Selkis explains the leaked documents to CNN, “The leaked documents came from a reliable source who is well connected in the industry, and they supported a ton of circumstantial evidence that I had been gathering over the weekend.”