A Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange called Mt. Gox went offline this week, according to Bloomberg.
Mt. Gox, which has been described as the one-time largest Bitcoin exchange, halted withdrawals earlier this month, and Bloomberg reported Tuesday that an internal document had surfaced online saying that thieves had stolen almost 750,000 Bitcoins from the exchange — an amount worth more than $350 million at current rates.
The document, which Bloomberg confirmed with an anonymous source “briefed on the situation at Mt. Gox,” states that the theft “went unnoticed for several years” and that the “reality is that Mt. Gox can go bankrupt at any moment, and certainly deserves to as a company.”
The Bitcoin Foundation, an advocacy group for the digital currency, said in a statement that it was “shocked to learn about Mt. Gox’s alleged insolvency.” Mt. Gox’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Karpeles, resigned from the foundation earlier this week.
According to The Guardian, Mt. Gox first existed as a site for selling Magic the Gathering trading cards, before moving into Bitcoins in 2010. In April 2013, it handled 70 percent of the world’s Bitcoin trades.
On Tuesday, the Mt. Gox website greeted visitors with the following message:
Dear MtGox Customers,
In the event 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.