After concerns arose yesterday, it now appears that the bitcoin exchange Mt Gox has gone offline entirely — taking the bitcoin in its possession with it. Now, a joint statement issued by several organisations from the bitcoin community has distanced themselves from the company.
Speaking to to Re/code, a spokesperson for the joint group explained that "Mt Gox has confirmed it will file bankruptcy in private discussions with other members of the bitcoin community." Oh dear. If you have (had?) bitcoin with Mt Gox, you probably are now screwed.
There's an unverified document online purporting to show Mt Gox's "crisis strategy" moving ahead, and it claims that the company lost over 744,000 bitcoins in a theft dating back several years. According to that same document, the bug that allowed that theft is the same as the one that also gave rise to a pause in withdrawal earlier in February. It's worth pointing out that both those facts are yet to be verified, but if that's true, then it's pretty bad.
It certainly looks like Mt Gox is gone. Now, it's just a case seeing whether anyone manage to claw back any of their assets, and that doesn't look too hopeful either. Indeed, the Wall Street Journal reports that Japan's financial authorities have politely declined to step in and help out.