Old 02-25-2014, 11:59 AM   #26
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:00 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by TheJAJ View Post
But, I still have my Bit Wallet.



Life wouldn't be worth living without stupid people to laugh at.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:05 PM   #28
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:07 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by TheJAJ View Post
It's like the Lord loves us sometimes.
I'm thinking of starting a new currency. JohnnyCoins.

Wanna buy some? I take PayPal.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:09 PM   #30
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:10 PM   #31
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Where would I store them for safe keeping?
On the internets. duh!
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:12 PM   #32
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:14 PM   #33
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http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2...fline/5801093/

two guys standing outside of a building = protestors gathering. i mean, yeah, it's technically true, but it's two dudes. c'mon, you fuckers.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:17 PM   #34
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:17 PM   #35
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Someone must have unplugged the computer.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:22 PM   #36
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Why the fuck can't I read? I thought that said botcon and got excited. I love me some botcon...
Well a few years ago this article came out and it mentions strippers. That'll keep it more exciting right?
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:47 PM   #37
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Bitcoin’s failure ruins future for all cryptocurrencies




I don’t want to say we saw this coming. But we did.

Bitcoin’s meltdown following the sudden disappearance of one of its largest exchanges is the clearest sign yet that the economy isn’t ready for this virtual currency – or any virtual currency.

Bitcoin’s value lost over 20 per cent of its value yesterday after the MtGox exchange went dark, a day after its CEO, Mark Karpeles, abruptly quit the Bitcoin Foundation board.

Most ominously, reports circulated that over 744,000 bitcoin -- worth US$365 million at current exchange rates and representing 6 per cent of the 12.4 million bitcoins in circulation globally -- has disappeared. An unpatched vulnerability that had been identified as early as 2011 is suspected as the weak link that allowed suspected hackers to break in.

The Tokyo-based exchange’s offices are empty, and all tweets have been removed from its Twitter feed. Its website, which had been unavailable since Tuesday, was updated Wednesday with messages from both Karpeles and the MtGox Team. Karpeles wrote despite speculation regarding MtGox and its future, he is “still in Japan, and working very hard with the support of different parties to find a solution to our recent issues.”

MtGox had already been on the ropes after announcing earlier this month that it would cease withdrawals because of persistent delays in converting bitcoin holders’ currency. U.S. federal authorities seized $5 million from the exchange last May, forcing MtGox to stop U.S. money transfers entirely.

More than a bitcoin problem

The bitcoin community blamed MtGox for the debacle, insisting the currency itself still has a bright future. Unfortunately bitcoin’s fundamental flaws transcend any one exchange, and casual observers – the mainstream consumers who could, in theory, represent bitcoin’s future – see it as yet another reason to remain on the sidelines.

As the mystery around MtGox’s difficulties deepens, it fails to mask the fact that bitcoin remains a highly-speculative instrument that lives well outside the traditional financial system’s world of asset-backed currencies and regulatory oversight. This may appeal to those who oppose the shackles of central bank-controlled finance – to seamlessly buy and sell things, or hide from the law – but it does little for typical businesses and consumers who simply want to pay and get paid in a consistent manner without worrying that the entire system will implode without warning. Balancing the budget is difficult enough without the risk of sudden devaluation, conversion delays or outright theft.

For now, a limited-availability currency subject to double-digit swings in valuation on the whims of speculative investors has little mainstream appeal. Bitcoin’s complete disconnection from monetary or fiscal policy dooms it to the fringe of an economy that still doesn’t know whether to classify it as a de facto currency or a somewhat promising new payment technology. Until the sharp edges of cryptocurrencies are filed down somewhat – and until governments figure out a way to bring it under some form of regulatory oversight without killing what makes virtual currency appealing in the first place – the space will remain the domain of risk-tolerant speculators.

Ignoring the greater need

The MtGox public-relations pickle unfortunately deflects attention away from why virtual currencies are needed in the first place. Technologically advanced currencies like bitcoin, litecoin, namecoin and others could – and should – drag the financial system into the 21st century.

Instead, mismanaged exchanges and opportunistic hackers are turning bitcoin, the cryptocurrency poster child, into a no-fly zone for anyone who doesn’t want to get burned. The MtGox flameout is damaging enough to bitcoin’s brand that virtual currency as a whole will take that much longer to become a factor in the broader economy.


http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/blogs/da...155727898.html


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Old 02-28-2014, 01:24 PM   #38
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Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox files for bankruptcy; finance minister says I told you so

Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox files for bankruptcy; finance minister says I told you so



TOKYO—The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange in Tokyo filed for bankruptcy protection Friday and its chief executive said 850,000 bitcoins, worth several hundred million dollars, are unaccounted for.


The exchange’s CEO Mark Karpeles appeared before Japanese TV news cameras, bowing deeply. He said a weakness in the exchange’s systems was behind a massive loss of the virtual currency involving 750,000 bitcoins from users and 100,000 of the company’s own bitcoins. That would amount to about $425 million at recent prices.


The online exchange’s unplugging earlier this week and accusations it had suffered a catastrophic theft have drawn renewed regulatory attention to a currency created in 2009 as a way to make transactions across borders without third parties such as banks.


It remains unclear if the missing bitcoins were stolen, voided by technological flaws or both.


“I am sorry for the troubles I have caused all the people,” Karpeles, a Frenchman, said in Japanese at a Tokyo court.


Karpeles had not made a public appearance since rumours of the exchange’s insolvency surfaced last month. He said in a Web post Wednesday that he was working to resolve Mt. Gox’s problems.


The loss is a giant setback to the currency’s image because its boosters have promoted bitcoin’s cryptography as protecting it from counterfeiting and theft.


Bitcoin proponents have insisted that Mt. Gox is an isolated case, caused by the company’s technological failures, and the potential of virtual currencies remains great.


Debts at Mt. Gox totalled more than 6.5 billion yen ($71 million), surpassing its assets, according to Teikoku Databank, which monitors bankruptcies.


Just hours before the bankruptcy filing, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso had scoffed that a collapse was only inevitable.


“No one recognizes them as a real currency,” he told reporters. “I expected such a thing to collapse.”


Japan’s financial regulators have been reluctant to intervene in the Mt. Gox situation, saying they don’t have jurisdiction over something that’s not a real currency.


They pointed to the Consumer Affairs Agency, which deals with product safety, as one possible place where disgruntled users may go for help.


The agency’s minister Masako Mori urged extreme caution about using or investing in bitcoins. The agency has been deluged with calls about bitcoins this year.


“We’re at a loss for how to help them,” said Yuko Otsuki, who works in the agency’s counselling department.


It’s hard to know how many people around the world own bitcoins, but the currency has attracted outsize media attention and the fascination of millions as an increasing number of large retailers such as Overstock.com begin to accept it.


Speculative investors have jumped into the bitcoin fray, too, sending the currency’s value fluctuating wildly in recent months. In December, the value of a single bitcoin hit an all-time high of $1,200. One bitcoin has cost about $500 lately.


Bitcoin explained: What the Mt. Gox breach means to the currency


Roger Ver, a Tokyo resident who has provided seed capital for bitcoin ventures such as Blockchain.info, a registry of bitcoin transactions, said he believes bitcoin will survive, possibly emerging with better technology that’s safer for users.


He said Mt. Gox people were likely sincere but had failed to run their business properly.


“Mt. Gox is a horrible tragedy. A lot of people lost a lot of money there, myself included,” he said ahead of the bankruptcy filing. “I hope we can use this as a learning experience.”


Some countries have reacted sternly to bitcoin’s emergence, but many people remain fans of its potential.


Vietnam’s communist government said Thursday that trading in bitcoin and other electronic currencies is illegal, and warned its citizens not to use or invest in them.


Late last year, China banned its banks and payment systems from handling bitcoin, although people still use them online. Thailand earlier put a blanket prohibition on using bitcoins and Russia has effectively banned them.


There was still considerable appetite for bitcoin in China, where it has become attractive as an investment since tightly-regulated state banks offer very low interest rates on deposits.


Even some with money tied up in Mt. Gox were undaunted.


Huang Zhaobin, a 21-year-old student in Chengdu, said he had lost 50,000 to 60,000 yuan ($9,050 to $10,865) from the Mt. Gox closure.


“Actually this money itself is the benefit from bitcoin investment,” said Huang, who plowed 10,000 yuan into bitcoins about three months ago.


“If it is legal, I will continue to invest for sure as it is the trend in the world.”


In Singapore, Tembusu Terminals, a joint venture specializing in crypto-currencies, announced Friday its first bitcoin ATM in the city-state and plans for many more. In Hong Kong, a group opened what it said was the world’s first bitcoin retail store.


Yang Weizhou, analyst at Mizuho Securities Co. in Tokyo, said laws to regulate virtual currencies may have to be created by countries including Japan.


She said lawsuits from those who lost money were likely, and any court rulings would chart unexplored territory and help define the reach of virtual money.


The trend toward such technology for peer-to-peer payments wouldn’t replace traditional money but was here to stay because of its convenience, she said.


“It is undeniable,” she said. “One must separate the Mt. Gox problem from the overall concept.”



http://www.thestar.com/business/2014...ld_you_so.html


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Old 03-04-2014, 08:37 PM   #39
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Bitcoin bank Flexcoin shuts down after $600,000 theft



A second online bitcoin bank has shut down after a security breach allowed thieves to steal a large quantity of bitcoins.

Flexcoin made the abrupt announcement on its website Tuesday, admitting that it had been robbed of 896 bitcoins after a thief or thieves managed to collect them from Flexcoins servers and transfer them to two bitcoin wallets — a unique string of numbers and letters that function similarly to an email address, and bitcoin's equivalent to individual bank accounts where customers store money.

At current market rates, the theft amounts to more than $600,000 US. The figure represents the bank's entire bitcoin holdings online, effectively wiping out any customers who held assets there.
■Mt. Gox shutdown a major blow for bitcoin
■Bitcoins aren't tax-exempt, Revenue Canada says

"As Flexcoin does not have the resources, assets, or otherwise to come back from this loss, we are closing our doors immediately," Flexcoin said in a statement.

The bank did say however, that any customers who had bitcoins held in so-called "cold storage" — not on the site online servers and therefore safe from digital attack — can still retrieve their funds free of charge.

Flexcoin also says it will work with law enforcement to decipher the source of the hack. The company said in a release the money was transferred to the following two bitcoin wallets:
■1NDkevapt4SWYFEmquCDBSf7DLMTNVggdu
■1QFcC5JitGwpFKqRDd9QNH3eGN56dCNgy6

Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency that isn't tied to any physical assets or controlled by any country's central bank. It's pitched as an alternative to the fiat money system and a way for users to do business online without detection or interference from governments or multinational corporations.

But it's been rocked by security concerns recently, especially after the world's largest bitcoin bank, Japanese-based Mt. Gox, announced that hackers had managed to steal several hundred million dollars from their reserves. Mt. Gox initially froze all accounts in the hopes of retrieving the money, but has subsequently begun bankruptcy proceedings.

In U.S. dollar terms, Flexcoin wasn't a major player in bitcoin, but a second security breach on the heels of Mt. Gox's demise will do little to assuage fears that bitcoin's existence outside government regulation leaves the currency open to criminal activities.

"While the MtGox closure is unfortunate, we at Flexcoin have not lost anything," Flexcoin said via their twitter account as recently as February 25th.



http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/bitc...heft-1.2559018


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Old 03-05-2014, 05:31 PM   #40
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First Meta CEO Autumn Ratdke found dead in her home in Singapore "under mysterious circumstances."
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Old 03-07-2014, 02:54 PM   #41
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From Salon:

Quote:
If the last two weeks have taught us anything, it’s that there is nothing magically transformative at all about Bitcoin. Mt. Gox’s woes impelled Japan’s financial authorities to announce that they will now start regulating Bitcoin. The founder of the online drug emporium Silk Road, once cited as proof that Bitcoin enabled resistance to the powers that be, is now in jail. The geeks and dreamers who founded the first Bitcoin institutions are being replaced by Silicon Valley start-ups. There is no room for libertarian utopia in this scenario.

The irony here, though, is that a good argument can be made that doomsayers are overstepping when they write Bitcoin off as a complete failure. Good programmers and successful start-ups learn from their mistakes — they iterate, to borrow a popular piece of Silicon Valley jargon. Serious investment is now at play in the Bitcoin world, and there is every reason to believe that the institutions that store and transfer and exchange Bitcoin will become more secure. Bitcoin’s true value may turn out not to rest in its potential to liberate mankind from central bankers and government autocrats, but in its ability to achieve the much more prosaic task of moving money around the world more cheaply than it is currently practical to do so. Think of Bitcoin as the 21st century version of a Western Union money order and you might not be far off. The model train importers of the future may end up revering Satoshi Nakamoto as their savior. No more big fees for international transfers.

But governments and bankers and Wall Street money men will still be around. Neither Satoshi Nakamoto nor Bitcoin ever stood any chance of operating outside the bounds of conventional society. There will be regulation, there will be consumer protection, there will be rules and taxes, and criminal prosecutions for those who break the law. Bitcoin isn’t cyberpunk fantasy and it isn’t a Thomas Pynchon novel. It’s dull. The thrill is gone. And that’s why people are so mad.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:46 PM   #42
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Nakamoto Named as Bitcoin Creator Denies Involvement

Nakamoto Named as Bitcoin Creator Denies Involvement


A 64-year-old physicist, identified by Newsweek magazine as Bitcoin’s creator, was chased by reporters through Los Angeles and denied any role in the digital currency, saying he first heard of it three weeks ago.

Hours after Newsweek published a profile of Dorian S. Nakamoto, the former defense industry and government employee emerged from his home in a Temple City neighborhood, briefly telling journalists “I’m not involved in Bitcoin.” The group trailed him in a multivehicle car chase yesterday as he fled to an Associated Press bureau. The AP later wrote that he insisted during a two-hour interview that he first heard of Bitcoin when a reporter contacted his son last month.

Journalists, bloggers and others have sought for years to identify the mysterious computer coder who wrote a paper on Bitcoin’s framework and created the software that serves as its backbone. The initial document carried the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, and since the author or authors otherwise chose to remain private and anonymous, it had been widely assumed the name was a pseudonym.

Publications such as the New Yorker have attempted to solve the mystery, examining possible Bitcoin founders that included a former cryptography student, a former programmer and economists.

Dorian S. Nakamoto exits his home surrounded by members of the media in Temple City, California.

The Nakamoto living in Temple City used to be named Satoshi and adopted the first name Dorian in 1973, Newsweek reported in its cover story. He was born in Japan, attended California State Polytechnic University, worked for defense contractors on classified military projects and eventually the Federal Aviation Administration, the magazine wrote.

‘Not Involved’

According to Newsweek reporter Leah McGrath Goodman, when Dorian Nakamoto was confronted at his home before publication and asked about Bitcoin, he responded, “I am no longer involved in that and cannot discuss it. It’s been turned over to other people.”

He told the AP that he was misunderstood.

“It sounded like I was involved before with Bitcoin and looked like I’m not involved now,” it quoted him as saying. “That’s not what I meant. I want to clarify that.”

Newsweek magazine defended Goodman’s reporting.

“Ms. Goodman’s research was conducted under the same high editorial and ethical standards that have guided Newsweek for more than 80 years,” the magazine said on its website today. “Newsweek stands strongly behind Ms. Goodman and her article.”

Seeking Lunch

Emerging from his home after the article was published, Dorian Nakamoto told reporters he would go to lunch with one of them. He picked an AP reporter, and they got in a blue Toyota Prius and headed for Mako Sushi in nearby Arcadia. Other reporters drove after them, and as Nakamoto saw he wasn’t going to be left alone at the restaurant, he bolted again.

He and the reporter got back into the car and headed to the AP bureau in downtown Los Angeles. By mid-afternoon, a gaggle of non-AP reporters were standing outside the office waiting for him to come out.

The episode followed a day in which Bitcoin enthusiasts reacted to Newsweek’s article with a mixture of resignation and disbelief, with some debating Dorian Nakamoto’s possible role or whether he should have been left alone.

“Fascinating,” Martti Malmi, a Finnish programmer who worked with Nakamoto on the Bitcoin code, wrote on Twitter. “Satoshi seems not much different than how I imagined him.”

Loose Group

Gavin Andresen, the chief scientist of the Bitcoin Foundation who had been one of the few people to communicate with Satoshi Nakamoto, didn’t immediately indicate whether he could identify Dorian Nakamoto as Bitcoin’s creator. Andresen said in a message on Twitter that he regrets talking to the magazine about Nakamoto. He said he was disappointed that Newsweek decided to “dox,” or document, the Nakamoto family.

Satoshi Nakamoto has been thought to be a pseudonym for a programmer or group of programmers who wrote the paper and the initial source code for Bitcoin. The code has since been handed off to a loose group of experts affiliated with the foundation, a Seattle-based advocacy group.

The paper, first published in 2008, offered a proof of the basic concept of Bitcoin, which uses a public ledger and a network of voluntary computers, known as “miners,” to validate transactions that are signed with encrypted signatures. After the initial source code created the first batches of Bitcoin, it grew from an obsession of specialists into a global phenomenon.

Mt. Gox

Merchants around the world now accept Bitcoin for everything from kitchen appliances on Overstock.com to luxury goods listed on BitPremier, a website. It also trades for traditional currencies, and was priced at $651.14 at 4 p.m. Hong Kong time today, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index.

Bitcoin attracted media attention last week when Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, once the biggest exchange for the digital currency, filed for bankruptcy protection after coins valued at more than $500 million went missing. Following lawmaker calls for regulation, Japan’s government said today that Bitcoin isn’t a currency.

Some Bitcoin enthusiasts said they were skeptical that Newsweek had found the right person. Others said they were furious that the news media would try to violate his privacy.

“I would have thought every Satoshi Nakamoto on planet Earth had already been contacted and ruled out,” Stephen Pair, the chief technical officer at Atlanta-based BitPay, a payment processor. “If this person is the real Satoshi, it would be easy to for him to prove it if he wanted to.”

Jeff Garzik, one of the core developers on the Bitcoin software protocol and an employee of BitPay, said “the ‘real’ Satoshi” can prove his identity only through cryptography.

Digital Signatures

“We will know Satoshi by his digital signatures,” Garzik said in an e-mail, adding that the founder could either sign a message using his unique encryption key or make use of the Bitcoins that the creator is known to have kept.

Analysts who looked at the Bitcoin ledger have concluded that the creator of the system owns about 1 million coins, worth over $600 million at current prices, said Jered Kenna, a San Francisco Bitcoin investor. If the owner pledged never to sell or trade them, it would help add stability to what has been a volatile market, Kenna said.

Adam Draper, the chief executive officer of Boost, a San Mateo, California, company that incubates Bitcoin startups, called the Newsweek article “intrusive” and said he’s unconvinced.

“If Satoshi Nakamoto wanted to be anonymous the whole time, why would he use his real name on the paper?” Draper said. “He always used non-tracking e-mails and did everything he could to stay anonymous, so it’s difficult for me to understand why he would use his real name.”

Identifying Bitcoin’s founder won’t affect the current network, said Gregory Maxwell, one of the core developers on the project. The code is now out of Satoshi Nakamoto’s hands, and can’t be changed except by broad consensus among the users of the network.

“There has been extensive rewriting and reorganization since the time when the creator of the system ended his involvement,” Maxwell said in an e-mail.


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Old 03-11-2014, 02:34 AM   #43
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Bitcoin exchange files for bankruptcy in U.S. court

Bitcoin exchange files for bankruptcy in U.S. court


People angry with exposure of alleged creator set up fund for 64-year-old physicist

The collapse of Japan’s Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange has spilled into U.S. bankruptcy court as the company scrambles for legal cover after losing digital currency valued at $473 million (U.S.).

Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy filing in Dallas late Sunday supplements a similar petition made in Japan late last month following the exchange’s abrupt closure. The U.S. case is being brought under Chapter 15 of the country’s bankruptcy code, which provides a haven for foreign companies seeking to reorganize their finances.

A California man named Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto denies having anything to do with Bitcoin. He rejected Newsweek's 4,500-word cover story that claims he is Bitcoin's creator in an exclusive interview with AP. (March 7)

Mt. Gox’s downfall provided fresh ammunition for bitcoin skeptics who have questioned the security and staying power of a digital currency created six years ago as an alternative to government-controlled monetary systems that rely on banks to process most transactions.

Once the world’s largest exchange specializing in bitcoins, Mt. Gox is now mired in a financial mess. The exchange froze its users’ accounts last month and then shut down after acknowledging it couldn’t account for 850,000 bitcoins. Mt. Gox CEO Robert Karpeles blamed most of the losses on computer hackers who took advantage of the exchange’s flawed software.

The missing currency, valued at $473 million at the time of Mt. Gox’s Feb. 28 bankruptcy filing in Japan, represents about 7 per cent of all bitcoins in worldwide circulation, according to court documents.

Although it’s based in Tokyo, Mt. Gox is opening a U.S. bankruptcy case in an attempt to delay a recent federal lawsuit filed in the state of Illinois on behalf of all U.S. residents burned by the exchange’s demise.

The civil complaint brought against Mt. Gox by Illinois resident Gregory Greene alleges the exchange engaged in fraud and other misconduct. The suit is seeking to be certified as a class action that would represent all U.S. residents who had paid fees to Mt. Gox as part of a bitcoin trade or had their accounts frozen.

Steven Woodrow, a Denver attorney representing Greene, estimates hundreds of thousands of people could be represented in the case. In a Monday interview, Woodrow said he still intends to seek a federal court order that would freeze Mt. Gox’s computers and other assets in the U.S. A hearing on Woodrow’s request for the court order is scheduled for Tuesday in Chicago.

If the Illinois case proceeds, Mt. Gox attorneys contend that it will drain the company’s finances and divert management’s attention during a critical time.

Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy papers list liabilities of about $64 million and assets of $38 million.

Meanwhile, those who are still enthusiasts of the digital currency have donated about $28,000 to Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, a 64-year-old physicist who denied a report last week by Newsweek magazine that identified him as bitcoin’s creator.

A wallet address set up by Andreas Antonopoulos, chief security officer for Blockchain.info, received more than 1,800 payments, amounting to about 44 bitcoins, according to data on his company’s website. That compares with about 1 million coins that the founder of the system owns, worth over $1 billion when the price peaked in December, according to Jered Kenna, a San Francisco-based Bitcoin investor.

The naming of Dorian Nakamoto drew media attention that resulted in the former defence industry and government employee being chased by reporters through Los Angeles. Bitcoin supporters expressed outrage at what they saw as a violation of his privacy and further evidence of news media bias against the nascent digital currency that last month suffered the collapse of one of its largest exchanges.

“If this person is not Satoshi, then these funds will serve as a ‘sorry for what happened to you’,” Antonopoulos wrote in a post on the Reddit social media website on Saturday.

Bitcoin’s cryptographic origins resulted in anonymity being built into the payment protocol and a community that prizes privacy. These same features prompted regulators worldwide to express concern the digital currency may be used for money-laundering and illicit sales, such as the online Silk Road website where customers used coins to buy and sell drugs.

Satoshi Nakamoto has been thought to be a pseudonym for a programmer or group of programmers who wrote the paper and the initial source code for Bitcoin. The code has since been handed off to a loose group of experts affiliated with the Bitcoin Foundation, a Seattle-based advocacy group.


http://www.thestar.com/business/2014..._currency.html



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Old 03-14-2014, 10:13 PM   #44
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Suit seeks $500 million over missing bitcoins

Suit seeks $500 million over missing bitcoins


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



TORONTO - A proposed class action will seek $500 million in compensation for Canadians with deposits in what was once the largest bitcoin digital-currency exchange in the world, according to a court notice filed Friday.

The lawsuit targets Mt. Gox and its two owners, Mark Karpeles and Jed McCaleb, as well as one of the largest banks in Japan, according to the notice of action to Ontario Superior Court.

Among other things, the action alleges negligence, breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation — none of which has been proven in any court.

Toronto litigation lawyer Ted Charney said Mt. Gox held an estimated US$465 million in trust for its clients and millions of dollars belonged to Canadian users.

The company has offered no accounting for how much non-bitcoin currency it held or what happened to money that was supposed to have been kept in trust, he said.

"We're never going to find out what's going on unless we start a lawsuit because it's the only way we're going to get access to the records," Charney said in an interview.

"It's really the only way to get the thing going."

The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange halted all withdrawals early last month, then abruptly shut down. Earlier this week, it filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States.

The online exchange had already filed for bankruptcy in Japan, saying it may have lost bitcoins belonging to 750,000 of its customers.

Karpeles has said computer hackers took advantage of the exchange's flawed software, a security breach critics said may have persisted for years.

"After this news broke, the price of bitcoins plummeted, creating a disruptive ripple effect that has nearly shut down the industry," said Friday's notice of action.

The notice, which provides a summary of the case, gives lawyers a month to file a substantive statement of claim.

Proposed as class representatives are David Joyce, of Toronto, Sancho McCann, of Vancouver, Alexandre Pepin, of Montreal, and Paul Collin, of Calgary. Each claims to be owed various amounts, either in bitcoins or, in Joyce's case, as much as $24,500 in cash.

The Canadian action also names Mizuho Bank on the grounds that the Japanese financial institution held an account with non-bitcoin currency that was transferred from the personal bank accounts of users to the Mt. Gox exchange.

Charney said his firm is working together with the U.S. lawyers who are pressing a class action south of the border.

According to the Canadian suit, Mt. Gox had contracted to hold all money and digital currency deposits in user accounts.

The national class action seeks to represent Canadians who paid Mt. Gox a fee to trade bitcoins or who had the digital or other currency stored on the exchange when it went offline.

In Dallas on Monday, Mt. Gox lawyers said it needed bankruptcy protection to avoid irreparable damage from a proposed class action filed in Chicago federal court and a suit alleging breach of contract in Seattle.

U.S. lawyers complain the case involves "massive fraud."
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:38 AM   #45
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From Salon:

Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014 09:25 AM EDT

Game over: How libertarians lost the battle for Bitcoin’s soul

The news that bitcoins can be taxed as property was the last straw: The cryptocurrency is not the future of money

Aaron Sankin, The Daily Dot


If there was one message that people professionally in the Bitcoin business wanted to get across during the South by Southwest Interactive conference held earlier this month, it’s this: Bitcoin is not a currency, and anyone who thinks of it as such is missing out on its true potential.

Bitcoin, they argued, is primarily a payments mechanism—a way to transfer value from Point A to Point B in a way that’s simple, verifiable, and most importantly, extremely cheap. Yes, technically, Bitcoin also functions as a cryptocurrency, but its evangelists in Austin, Texas, seemed far less excited about the possibility of Bitcoin replacing the U.S. dollar or the Chinese yuan than they were about taking down Visa, MasterCard, or Western Union.

This attempt to reframe the debate is neither rhetorical nor an attempt to quell the fears of government regulators; instead, it’s part of a larger attempt to shed many of the potentially negative ideological and criminal associations that initially accompanied Bitcoin in the mind of the public at large in favor of comparatively neutral instrument of commerce.

That could be highly lucrative, especially considering that 76 percent of Americans (and beyond) have no idea what Bitcoin. But the process has potential to also discard the very aspects of the currency that so many of its early adopters found so attractive in the first place.

The third wave

Speaking at a SXSW panel, Bitcoin fanatic Jeremy Liew, managing director at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, divided the history of Bitcoin into three distinct eras.

Liew explained that the first wave of Bitcoin users were radical libertarians and cryptography enthusiasts who liked the idea that Bitcoin doesn’t have a central authority with the ability to run the printing presses whenever it wanted, thereby theoretically devaluing the funds sitting in their bank accounts. This initial support got Bitcoin to a total market cap of about $50 million U.S. The second wave of adopters, who helped push Bitcoin over $5 billion mark, are people who largely appreciated Bitcoin for its pseudonymous nature. They could use Bitcoin to make online transactions without having to reveal their true identities, which made it an ideal vehicle for individuals engaged in illegal activities.

The third wave, Liew predicted, will be merchants sick and tired of giving Visa a 3 percent cut of every sale they make.

‟The market size of radical libertarians is pretty small,” Liew explained. ‟People who want to conduct illicit business is bigger, but it’s still not enormous. The market size of everyone who could use it as a payment mechanism is virtually everyone who uses money.”

Speaking at another panel later in the festival, Fred Ehrsam, cofounder of the high-profile Bitcoin wallet service Coinbase, echoed Liew’s sentiments. ‟Right now where Bitcoin adoption is kicking up now is with traditional tech early adopters—basically nerds,” he said.

Ehrsam pushed the idea that services like Coinbase could provide the infrastructure for making incredibly cheap transactions online. For example, let’s say you wanted to buy a $50 pair of jeans from an online retailer. Normally, you’d enter in your credit card information and the payment would be processed though the credit card company and its affiliated bank. In exchange for this service, the credit card company charges the retailer a fee of a few percent. On the other hand, you could take that $50, convert it into Bitcoin, and then send those bitcoins to the merchant, who would immediately convert it back into dollars. Ehrsam insisted that the combined cost of conducting both of those currency swaps, as well as the small tip required to transact through the Bitcoin network, is typically much smaller than what’s charged by the credit card companies.

The reason for this reduced fee is that much of what Visa and Mastercard require merchants to pay for—assuming the risk that the consumer will actually pay for the stuff he or she just purchased—is automatically handled by the Bitcoin protocol. The blockchain, a giant ledger containing the official record of every Bitcoin transaction ever conducted, essentially eliminates this problem because every computer connected to the network effectively knows the location of every Bitcoin in existence and can instantly check if the payment being sent is legitimate. Additionally, by buying and selling the bitcoins as close as possible to either side of the transaction, both parties eliminate the problem of extreme volatility in the price of Bitcoin that’s made many people skeptical about the currency. It doesn’t matter if the price of Bitcoin drops by $100 in the span of a few hours if you’re only actually holding the currency for a couple minutes at the most.

As a result, it’s easy to image merchants passing those savings on to consumers, who could, in turn, receive a discount on products purchased using Bitcoin. This discount wouldn’t come as a result of a merchant’s ideological or political desire to spread the gospel of Bitcoin, but rather as a simple business decision to gain a competitive advantage by cutting prices as costs decrease.

The call for transparency

It was after explaining where he sees Bitcoin’s coming role in the global financial system that Ehrsam made a comment likely to make some of the currency’s early, anti-government adopters’ heads explode. ‟This is a good avenue for government regulation of Bitcoin,” he said. “If you’re moving bitcoins on behalf of others, it’s probably a good idea that somebody sees what you’re doing and [makes sure you] have reasonable security measures [in place].”

Constance Choi, general counsel for the San Francisco-based Bitcoin exchange Kraken, boasted that her company is working closely with government officials proactively enact many of the best practices will be likely be required by regulators at some point. The end goal of this regulatory accommodation seems less about fears of a looming government crackdown than convincing a skeptical public that financial institutions dealing in Bitcoin are really no different than those dealing in dollars and cents.

Choi told the Daily Dot that Kraken is licensed as a money transmitter in Europe and is in the process of getting licensed in the U.S. on a state-by-state basis. The company has also been subjecting itself to an independent, third-party audit of its financials. Kracken mandates all of its customers provide extensive documentation of their real-life identities—ranging from scans of driver’s licenses to bank account info—before they’re allowed to conduct trades on the company’s platform.

Even a recently as the beginning of 2013, when now-defunct organizations like Mt. Gox and the Silk Road were the biggest names in Bitcoin, requirements that Bitcoin users divulge this sort of information were few and far between. Now, they’re quickly becoming the norm.

In a conversation with Ehrsam, Wall Street Journal technology reporter Rolfe Winkler told a story that deftly illustrates how this new conception of how Bitcoin could be used can put it at odds with its original core of supporters.

While hanging around Austin a few days prior to the start of the festival, Winkler attended a meetup of Texas libertarians. He recounted being a little shocked when a handful of people walked in carrying semi-automatic rifles—Austin may be a liberal oasis, but it’s still in Texas after all. Winkler mentioned chatting with a group of middle-aged women who called themselves ‟Moms for Bitcoin.”

‟They saw Bitcoin as a tool to escape from the authority of the government. … [The other benefits of Bitcoin] were almost an afterthought to them,” Winkler said. ‟[They want to] transact without being monitored. They use it as a way to get off the grid.”

These two conceptions of Bitcoin couldn’t be more different. On one hand, there are institutions like Kraken and Coinbase looking to do everything they can to connect Bitcoin into the traditional financial system, while ‟Moms for Bitcoin” are using the currency in an attempt to actively withdraw from that very system.

The path forward

The best indicator that the Krakens and Coinbases of the world are likely to see their visions vindicated came during a session near the tail-end of SXSW. Tucked into a small conference room in a hotel in downtown Austin, a few dozen people gathered for a meetup hosted by the Bitcoin-focused venture capital group BitAngels.

The session drew a lot of people working on startups in the cryptocurrency space or people from companies in the financial sector interested in taking the first cursory steps toward integrating Bitcoin into their businesses models.

Russell Castagnaro, for example, is the president of the Hawaii Information Consortium—a private firm that handles online payments and other Web services for Hawaii’s state government. He attended the meetup to judge the viability of letting Hawaii residents to eventually use Bitcoin to pay their taxes and other government fees. Castagnaro told the Daily Dot that Bitcoin has myriad advantages over other online payment methods:

Let’s say somebody wants to pay their taxes online using a credit card. If they have $1,000 liability they’re going to have to add that two percent on there because the state’s certainly not going to absorb it. [With credit cards] you also have the possibility of chargebacks, which can happen up to 90 days later—that’s a big risk . … It’s [also] a huge outlay just to do something like secure your systems. Using something like Bitcoin, that’s by definition secure. … It’s better than any payment method other than cash.

To even consider using Bitcoin for direct government payments, any company facilitating those payments is necessarily going to have to jump through just the sort of regulatory hoops many of the currency’s original boosters took up Bitcoin to specifically avoid.

The ecosystem of Bitcoin companies is adapting to a world where dealing with the strict government regulation of cryptocurrencies will likely become unavoidable. When one budding Bitcoin entrepreneur said he was planning on fighting government attempts to regulate his business under money transmitter laws, BitAngels cofounder David Johnson recommended partnering with an established institution to handle all of the financial back end, along with its attendant regulatory heavy lifting, while exclusively focusing on directly interfacing with customers.

Johnson also pointed to CoinComply, a company that helps Bitcoin startups deal with anti-money laundering rules, as an excellent resource for young organizations.

This sort of bottom line-minded thinking was pervasive during Bitcoin events throughout the conference, and it was striking for its lack of ideological furor. In stark contrast to the tenor of influential online forums like Reddit’s r/bitcoin community, there was virtually no railing against the Federal Reserve and there was barely a mention of government snooping on your financial activity.

If free-market libertarianism was spoken of at all, it was mentioned as a way to mark the distance between where Bitcoin started and where it’s ultimately going.
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:39 PM   #46
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Price of Bitcoin Tumbles

Price of Bitcoin Tumbles
October 5, 2014 4:38 pm



The price of Bitcoin fell nearly 20 percent this weekend to its lowest level of the year, prompting worries of a crash.

“As the price is going down, some of us are under immense psychological stress,” one user posted on Reddit on Sunday. “Please share how you cope with it.”

On Sunday afternoon, Bitcoin was trading at about $300, up from a low of $286, according to CoinDesk, a virtual currency website.

Some contend that Bitcoin’s price is irrelevant and that it does not reflect the virtual currency’s true value. Bitcoin is still most popular among speculators and technology enthusiasts and has yet to find a general use that will push it into the mainstream and help stabilize its price, they say.

Credit
Bitcoin’s recent price decline can appear jarring, but it is nothing new. Indeed, some say the wild price swings have hindered the virtual currency’s widespread adoption.

Since it was introduced in 2009 by an anonymous programmer, or group of programmers, the price of Bitcoin has fluctuated unpredictably. After reaching its peak of about $1,150 late last year, the price has been in a prolonged slide. In August, a flash crash briefly set the currency world on edge, as the price dipped on one exchange to just over $300 from nearly $500. Bitcoin ended that day down about 12 percent.

“For anyone complaining about the current price of Bitcoin, remember it has more than doubled over the last 12 months,” Roger Ver, a Bitcoin enthusiast and investor, said in a Twitter message on Sunday.

But even those most confident in Bitcoin are having trouble explaining the recent decline.

One reason for the drop could be uncertainty over potential regulations. In July, New York became the first state to propose regulations for Bitcoin companies. The comment period for the regulations, which were introduced by the Department of Financial Services, is set to end on Oct. 21.

Bitcoin has attracted the attention of a number of other regulatory agencies in the United States, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.

The increase in the number of merchants now accepting Bitcoin could also be affecting the price. These merchants, including Overstock and Dell, use third-party payment processors like Coinbase to immediately convert Bitcoin to dollars. This means there are more Bitcoins in circulation, which could be helping to drive down the price.

Some say simply that the market has been distracted with other events, including the Alibaba Group’s initial public offering and the recent surge in the United States dollar.

Against this backdrop, there have been questions about whether Bitcoin can become more than a commodity. For that to happen, however, developers must find a way to harness its underlying technology to enable tasks that were previously difficult, expensive or impossible. These include cross-border transfers like remittances, which under the current financial system can be subject to high fees and long delays. Once Bitcoin finds a general use, the price is likely to stabilize, they say.

“Right now, Bitcoin is in this transition stage where it’s a commodity trying to become a currency,” said Rafael Corrales, a partner at the venture capital firm Charles River Ventures who has followed Bitcoin. “When Bitcoin becomes a currency, it realizes its potential.”


http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/10/...ofinance&_r=1&
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:44 PM   #47
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Invest (speculate) in Dutch tulip bulbs. At least with them you get a pretty flower for a short time.
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:52 PM   #48
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I'm not sure that Bitcoin or Litecoin will be able to recover from this, but I've followed both a bit in the past year, and the concept is definitely something that will resurface... much like friendster or myspace, bitcoin will probably be forgotten in a few years, but I'd bet (and put money on) there will be something that will take it's place that will be successful.
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:05 PM   #49
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A lot can happen in 365 days.

A year ago, 1 BTC was worth $770, governments around the world were either terrified of bitcoin or laughed it off as a passing fad and it was a lot harder to find a place to spend your bitcoins.

Today, you can buy a bitcoin for $316, governments and financial institutions are starting to understand the disruptive potential of the bitcoin protocol and digital currencies, and bitcoin shopping options are no longer limited to alpaca socks.

In the spirit of making resolutions for the new year, members of the bitcoin community should look at 2015 with a fresh perspective. Surely we've all gone through the phases of first learning about bitcoin, becoming enamored with the idea of digital currencies and then perhaps even a bit jaded at times.

With that in mind, here are 10 bitcoin resolutions for the new year:

1. Remember why you got into bitcoin in the first place

It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day happenings in the industry and forget about the big picture. This could be demotivating and frustrating at times, but at the end of the day we have to remind ourselves that we're dedicating our time and energy towards one of the most exciting inventions of our time, and believe it or not, we're all (still) early adopters.

2. Don't measure bitcoin by its price

Of course the price of bitcoin is fundamental to its value, but it's not the only thing that makes bitcoin valuable. Regardless of its price, remember that bitcoin allows you to send money anywhere for next to nothing. Remember that millions of unbanked people around the world have the ability to manage their finances in a stable and secure way for the first time with bitcoin.

3. Try not to get caught up in the media hype – good or bad

Staying up-to-date with the latest in the industry is essential (and I wouldn't have a job if you didn't - so please do), but it's important to remember that while stories like Mt Gox imploding or Microsoft accepting bitcoin do have an effect on the industry, the most important thing with bitcoin is that its core technology stays secure and that people keep using the digital currency.

4. Keep doing your best work for the industry

Whether you work at a bitcoin startup, are building something on the blockchain in your down time or actively spread awareness of bitcoin, stay diligent about consistently doing your best work. This will benefit both you personally and the broader industry, and productivity pays off!

5. Learn more about how bitcoin works

Part of doing your best work for the industry involves being an expert on bitcoin and how it fits into the real world. Maybe you're a development expert but could devote more time to learning about finance and economics. Or perhaps you know everything about the legal system and how regulation works but ought to better understand how bitcoin works 'under the hood'. Either way, honing your expertise in bitcoin will behoove you.

6. Perfect your elevator pitch

It's important to be able to explain what bitcoin is and how it works in a (somewhat) brief amount of time. Friends, family and strangers will all be curious about this mystical digital currency and will have plenty of questions, so being prepared with a concise and understandable explanation will help you spread awareness in a productive way.

7. Convince others to get involved

Bitcoin is still a grassroots community. Many bitcoiners (myself included) are eager to spread the word about bitcoin to friends and family, and if you've followed resolution number six, you'll have the perfect pitch to spark your audience's interest.

8. Attend at least one bitcoin conference or meet-up

If you're not fortunate enough to have friends or family who love bitcoin as much as you, going to a conference or meet-up is a great way to meet others with the same passion as you and to network with people in the industry. Oftentimes meet-ups are a great place to share ideas with fellow entrepreneurs, so if you've got a business idea and are looking for co-founders, there's opportunity to be had.

9. Make an effort to spend bitcoin whenever possible

With daily transaction volume at or near its peak, spending bitcoin wherever possible will only help expand its economy, and paying with bitcoin helps reassure and support merchants who support the industry. It doesn't have to be a completely selfless action, though – there are plenty of times when paying with bitcoin is just easier than the alternatives.

10. Go outside your comfort zone

However it happens, we should all embrace change – especially considering the amount of change that bitcoin could bring. Whether you've always dreamed of leaving your job to get involved with bitcoin full-time or you've been hoping to connect with a VC or startup company, avoid complacency in your life. Make smart and well-informed decisions about everything you do, but still take risks if you feel it's worth it, and go forth with your best foot forward
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:55 PM   #50
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Police Are Investigating Whether A $730 Million Bitcoin Heist Was Actually An Inside Job


REUTERS/Mike Blake

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/po...224152441.html


Japanese police are reportedly investigating whether people connected to the Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange were behind the loss of hundreds of thousands of Bitcoin.

Pando is reporting that Japanese newspaper the Yomiuri Shimbun has published an update on the police investigation into the theft of vast amounts of Bitcoin from online exchange Mt. Gox.

Mt. Gox was a central part of the global Bitcoin-trading world. At its peak in 2013 the site was handling over 70% of Bitcoin transactions, serving as the backbone for the cryptocurrency industry.

The wildly successful Bitcoin exchange was based in Japan, with a team of contractors working under enigmatic CEO Mark Karpelès. As Pando reports, the site's owner only employed contractors, and kept important parts of the site's encryption to himself. Despite the secrecy, though, the company thrived.

It was a far cry from the origins of the site, which started life as a website for people to exchange Magic The Gathering trading cards. In its news form, Mt. Gox was handling billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin transactions.

But everything came crashing down for Mt. Gox in February 2014 when the site suddenly halted all withdrawals. That alarmed customers, who bombarded it with queries. No solid information was forthcoming, with the site blaming a problem in the core code behind Bitcoin for the loss of a vast amount of the digital currency. At its peak value, the amount lost was over $730 million.

By March 2014, Mt. Gox had filed for bankruptcy and Karpelès resigned from Bitcoin's board. The majority of the missing Bitcoin was never found, however. 200,000 bitcoin was found in one of Mt. Gox's old accounts, but most customers still lost out. Karpelès has refused to travel to the US to face charges, meaning that the Japanese police investigation could be the last hope for Mt. Gox customers.

Now, it looks like the police investigation is turning its focus onto people involved with Mt. Gox, not vulnerabilities in Bitcoin or hackers from outside the company. The Japanese newspaper report cites sources close to the investigation who claim that someone involved with Mt. Gox may have transferred Bitcoin around the exchange, repeating the process and earning a profit margin.

If the Mt. Gox bitcoin was stolen by routing the money through the online exchange, that could be related to "Willy" and "Markus" — two of Mt. Gox's automated trading accounts which conducted suspicious transfers.

Sources close to the police investigators claim that only 1% of the Bitcoin ever left Mt. Gox as a result of a hack, with an overwhelming amount staying inside the company.

Despite what seems to be a significant advancement in the police investigation, there's still little hope that Mt. Gox's customers will see their cryptocurrency again.
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