Entries with tag bitcoin exchanges.

US Court Approves Bitcoin Exchange’s Bankruptcy Proceedings

A US bankruptcy court has allowed Mt. Gox—which was once the world’s largest bitcoin exchange but which closed earlier this year amid confusion about missing money—to begin Chapter 15 bankruptcy proceedings in the United States. The company filed 9 March for Chapter 15 protection, which, for example, prevents US customers involved in a class action suit from seizing its assets. Mt. Gox shut down after it lost 850,000 bitcoins—750,000 belonging to customers—and subsequently found only 200,000 a digital wallet. The company is finalizing both a settlement with its US customers and the sale of its business. A federal court must approve the settlement, which would let US and Canadian customers divide the 200,000 bitcoins Mt. Gox found and share in a 16.5 percent stake in the company when and if it sells. In Japan, a court liquidated the company and appointed a trustee to investigate the missing bitcoin. The trustee says it is too early in the court proceedings to consider any offers. The US decision allows the Japanese trustee to examine witnesses, gather and review evidence, and oversee any US assets involved, such as computer servers. (Reuters)(Engadget)(CoinDesk)(Bloomberg)

Expedia Starts Accepting Bitcoins

Expedia has decided to take bitcoins for transactions. The travel website is accepting the virtual currency for US hotel bookings and may take it for other services in the future. Market watchers say this could be a significant step toward bitcoin’s mainstream acceptance. Emily Spaven, managing editor of bitcoin news site CoinDesk, told the BBC the move was “brilliant news” that “brings digital currency further into the consciousness of the mainstream.” Expedia plans to use bitcoin exchange Coinbase to process its transactions and will convert its bitcoins into US currency every 24 hours, according to Michael Gulmann, the travel company’s global vice president. This will help eliminate some problems associated with bitcoin’s exchange-rate volatility. (BBC)(Mashable)(Expedia)

Japanese Court Orders Liquidation of Mt. Gox Bitcoin Exchange

A Tokyo District Court has ordered the complete liquidation of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange. Once the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox initially filed for bankruptcy protection on 28 February, after reporting that a large number of bitcoins had been stolen and that money was missing from its accounts. Mt. Gox had asked for bankruptcy protection in Japan so that it could continue operating, but the court ordered the liquidation based on its finding that the company could not be rehabilitated. Under terms of the liquidation, the company’s remaining assets will be converted to cash for distribution to creditors. Mt. Gox also filed for bankruptcy protection in the US. The judge in the case ordered Mark Karpeles, the company’s chief executive, to appear in court April 17 to answer questions, but he did not travel to the US to do so. (Reuters)(CNET)

Japanese Court Rejects Bankruptcy Protection Petition of Troubled Bitcoin Exchange

Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, once the largest bitcoin exchange in the world, had its bankruptcy protection application rejected by a Japanese court. The company will likely be liquidated as a result. The Tokyo District Court found the company could not be rehabilitated. The remaining assets may be sold by an administrator, but it is unlikely that creditors will be paid. An administrator has yet to be named. Mark Karpeles, the failed company’s chief executive officer, will likely be investigated for liability in the business’s failure, according to a statement by Nobuaki Kobayashi, an attorney and the provisional administrator of the company, appearing 16 April on the Mt. Gox website. The exchange filed for bankruptcy protection 28 February after “losing” roughly 850,000 bitcoins worth about $425 million; 200,000 of them were later found. The company has also filed for protection in the US courts. Karpeles, who remains in Japan, says he will not comply with an order from the US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to attend an 18 April hearing in the US. Karpeles claims he is seeking legal representation before appearing in court in the US. (The Associated Press)(Reuters)(USA Today)(Forbes)(Mt. Gox)

Judge Orders Bitcoin Exchange CEO to Appear at Bankruptcy Hearing

A United States federal judge has ordered Mark Karpeles, CEO of failed bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, to answer questions related to the company’s US bankruptcy case. The exchange closed and filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and the US after the company lost $400 million in customers’ bitcoins. Mt. Gox claims hackers stole the digital currency. This week, US Bankruptcy Judge Stacey Jernigan ordered Karpeles—who is currently in Japan—to appear 17 April at his Dallas attorney’s offices. Karpeles has asked a Dallas court to grant Mt. Gox Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection, which would temporarily stop US creditors. Jernigan said Karpeles must agree to appear in her court because his testimony is critical to his request for Chapter 15 protection. Should Karpeles fail to appear, he faces several potential consequences, including the court’s dismissal of his case. His attorneys say he should not have to be questioned in the US; they did not respond to requests for comment on this point. Concurrently with this legal proceeding, the Tokyo District Court continues its investigation. (Reuters)(PC World)

Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Updates Website, Letting Users Verify Balances

Mt. Gox, the troubled Japanese bitcoin exchange that was once the largest in the world, reportedly has updated its website, enabling users to check their account balances. The website, offline for about three weeks, is now posting the last data available from the exchange servers before they were taken offline 25 February. The company reportedly lost 850,000 bitcoins, currently valued at about $520 million, to hackers. Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy in Japan and the US earlier this year, On the company’s homepage, there is now a message in English and Japanese: “Please be aware that confirming the balance on this site does not constitute a filing of rehabilitation claims under the civil rehabilitation procedure and note that the balance amounts shown on this site should also not be considered an acknowledgment by Mt. Gox of the amount of any rehabilitation claims of users.” Some users have said they think the reactivation may be a ruse perpetrated by hackers attempting to secure account-holder information since a database with user information was previously leaked. (Reuters)(Reddit)(PC World)

Mt. Gox Bitcoin Exchange Files for Bankruptcy in US

Mt. Gox, the Japanese-based bitcoin exchange that was once the world’s largest, has filed for bankruptcy in the US. The company filed for bankruptcy in Japan in February. The US Chapter 15 bankruptcy proceedings, which apply to cases involving parties located in more than one country, let foreign debtors and other parties use the US bankruptcy system for their proceedings in these cases. The company closed its doors under mysterious circumstances. It reportedly lost its customers’ holdings to theft by hackers, but some observers lay the blame on poor management. A class-action lawsuit against Mt. Gox has been filed in the federal court in Chicago. (ZD Net)(MarketWatch)(Reuters) 

Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Closes amid Allegations of Missing Funds

The Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange that was once the largest in the world abruptly closed on 25 February. Its website is offline and its headquarters are empty. The only activity is outside its offices, where protesters are picketing after losing money on their bitcoin investment. Wired.com reports that the closure is the result of Mt. Gox “losing hundreds of millions of dollars due to a years-long hacking effort that went unnoticed by the company.” The exchange, open since 2010, reportedly lost 744,408 bitcoin, valued at roughly $425 million based on current exchange rates. Mt. Gox’s closure follows a series of events that began 23 February when CEO Mark Karpeles resigned from the Bitcoin Foundation board. The company abruptly suspended trading today citing “unusual activity.” The website was taken down in the following hours. Six other bitcoin exchanges—Coinbase, Kraken, Bitstamp, BTC China, Blockchain and Circle—issued a statement that read in part, “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.” (Reuters)(Associated Press @ San Francisco Chronicle)(WIRED)

US Blocks Some Major Bitcoin Exchange Transactions

The US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has taken  legal action to stop the Dwolla online payment service from processing bitcoin virtual-currency transactions. Dwolla can now no longer send funds to Mt. Gox, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange. Some Bitcoin exchanges let users buy bitcoins with money transferred via Dwolla and then sell bitcoins with the proceeds transferred to them via Dwolla. In a warrant, DHS accused Mt. Gox of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. In its investigation, DHS said, it used an undercover informant who bought bitcoins using Dwolla and subsequently had them converted to dollars. In a statement posted on its Google+ account, Mt. Gox said “we have not been provided with a copy of the court order and/or warrant, and do not know its scope and/or the reasons for its issuance. Mt. Gox is investigating and will provide further reports when additional information becomes known.” (CNET)(Ars Technica)(The New York Post)(Mt. Gox)

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