Mt. Gox Trading Halts as Bitcoin Businesses Move to Assure Investors

The Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has suddenly halted trading activity.

AccessTimeIconFeb 25, 2014 at 4:14 a.m. UTC
Updated Feb 21, 2023 at 3:30 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Hours after Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox suddenly halted trading activity, the company's website is now completely offline. Notably, the news follows other troubling signs that all is not right with the exchange, such as its sudden removal of its entire Twitter feed.

Bitcoincharts market section shows the last trade on Mt. Gox occurred at 01:59:06 UTC, which is 8:59 EST.

When users logged into the bitcoin exchange's website they were experiencing the following error message when trying to buy or sell bitcoins:

tradedisablemtgox
tradedisablemtgox

Not long after the suspension in trading activity and subsequent outage, leaders within the digital currency space joined together in a bid to restore confidence in bitcoin and distance themselves from the embattled exchange.

The US-based hosted wallet Coinbase published the statement first, which later appeared on other websites connected with the messaging. The post, titled "Joint Statement Regarding MtGox”, reads:

"The purpose of this document is to summarize a joint statement to the Bitcoin community regarding Mt.Gox.

This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt.Gox was the result of one company’s actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of bitcoin and the digital currency industry. There are hundreds of trustworthy and responsible companies involved in bitcoin.

We are confident, however, that strong Bitcoin companies, led by highly competent teams and backed by credible investors, will continue to thrive, and to fulfill the promise that bitcoin offers as the future of payment in the Internet age.

In order to re-establish the trust squandered by the failings of Mt. Gox, responsible bitcoin exchanges are working together and are committed to the future of bitcoin and the security of all customer funds. As part of the effort to re-assure customers, the following services will be coordinating efforts over the coming days to publicly reassure customers and the general public that all funds continue to be held in a safe and secure manner: Coinbase, Kraken, BitStamp, Circle, and BTC China.

We strongly believe in transparent, thoughtful, and comprehensive consumer protection measures. We pledge to lead the way.

Bitcoin operators, whether they be exchanges, wallet services or payment providers, play a critical custodial role over the bitcoin they hold as assets for their customers. Acting as a custodian should require a high-bar, including appropriate security safeguards that are independently audited and tested on a regular basis, adequate balance sheets and reserves as commercial entities, transparent and accountable customer disclosures, and clear policies to not use customer assets for proprietary trading or for margin loans in leveraged trading. It does not appear to any of us that MtGox followed any these essential requirements as a financial services provider."

The statement also names the following bitcoin industry veterans as supporting this position.

Fred Ehrsam — Co-founder of Coinbase

Jesse Powell — CEO of Kraken

Nejc Kodrič — CEO of Bitstamp.net

Bobby Lee — CEO of BTC China

Nicolas Cary — CEO of Blockchain.info

Jeremy Allaire — CEO of Circle

 on CoinDesk today.
on CoinDesk today.

The outage of Mt. Gox and the subsequent joint release of this statement follows unconfirmed reports about the future of Mt. Gox's viability as a bitcoin exchange.

CoinDesk is monitoring this developing story, and will post updates as they become known.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.