The website of major Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox is offline amid reports it suffered a debilitating theft of the virtual currency.
The URL of the Tokyo-based Mt. Gox was on Tuesday returning a blank page.
The disappearance of the site follows the resignation on Sunday of Mt. Gox from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, a group seeking legitimacy for the currency.
Separately, several Bitcoin exchanges have released a joint statement saying funds under their control are held securely.
The Bitcoin operators said they are working to “re-establish the trust squandered” by the failings of Mt. Gox, which should not be considered a reflection of the value of Bitcoin or the digital currency industry.
A “crisis strategy” report shared widely online that purports to be an internal Mt. Gox document says more than 740,000 Bitcoins are missing from the exchange, which froze withdrawals earlier this month.
The cloud hanging over Mt. Gox is a possibly fatal blow to Bitcoin.
Supporters of the virtual currency have said its cryptography makes it immune to theft or counterfeiting.
The virtual currency had been inching toward broader acceptance despite wild swings in value.
CEO and Founder of 21st Century Media and Education Group of Companies, Jamie McIntyre has been bullish about the digital currency since it hit $ 120 in value. He has also invested heavily into many Bitcoin start-ups.
According to McIntyre:
“It doesn’t change my long-term outlook on Bitcoin and I am still a buyer at these prices.
“It certainly doesn’t seem like good news but weeding out poor quality exchanges in the long run is only a good thing”, he said.
McIntyre goes on to explain:
“All new industries have their challenges and weaker players and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that teething problems exist. It is important to distinguish that this is a Bitcoin exchange issue i.e. an issue with Mt. Gox and not an issue with Bitcoin itself. Mt Gox hasn’t been used much by most Bitcoin buyers and sellers for sometime”.
McIntyre partnered to launch the 21st Century Bitcoin Exchange; an Australian exchange founded by McIntyre and US Company International Operations LLC. (www.bxe.com.au)
Recently it was reported that along with other investors, he has established a company called Australian Bitcoin ATMs. They are planning on bringing 100 Bitcoin ATMs to Australia starting with Melbourne in February followed with Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Auckland in March. (www.australianbitcoinatms.com.au)
The entire rollout of the 100 ATMs is expected to be within the next 12 months.
McIntyre also recently launched the Bitcoin E-Network, which will provide online e-learning educational courses about Bitcoins via a worldwide online direct sales channel, which will accept both Bitcoins and traditional currencies and offer discounts to buy and sell Bitcoins via www.bxe.com.au
He is also hosting Australia’s first Bitcoin Global Conference in Melbourne on the 28th and 29th of March. Following an announcement by the ATO and ASIC regarding their intention to regulate the digital currency, McIntyre has invited officials from the government body to speak about Bitcoins and it’s potential regulations at the conference.
Monash law professor Dr Rhys Bollen will be speaking about potential regulation around Bitcoin.
“If they are planning to regulate Bitcoins, it means that they see a future for the digital currency. I am all for effective regulation and look forward to seeing it happen,” McIntyre said.
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