Mt. Gox protesters still without bitcoin answers

Protesters mark seven-day demonstration in Tokyo amid withdrawal suspension

Bitcoin traders protest outside the Tokyo offices of Tibanne, operator of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange. Mt. Gox suspended bitcoin withdrawals to outside addresses, citing technical issues.

Bitcoin traders protest outside the Tokyo offices of Tibanne, operator of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange. Mt. Gox suspended bitcoin withdrawals to outside addresses, citing technical issues.

A small protest at Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox in Tokyo marked seven days on Thursday, with demonstrators saying they want to ensure their bitcoins are safe.

The protesters began their demonstration last Friday and are demanding answers about getting access to their bitcoins on the exchange.

Citing a technical issue with the Bitcoin protocol that could allow fraud, Mt. Gox on Feb. 7 suspended bitcoin transfers to external addresses, a move that was followed by a plunge in the value of the digital currency.

"There is a minor technical glitch with Bitcoin and it is not a major security flaw. It does not prevent the ability to transmit the bitcoins," said Aaron, a Tokyo resident who asked that his last name not be used.

Both Aaron and Kolin Burges, who flew to Japan from London to protest, said they have hundreds of bitcoins each in Mt. Gox and cannot get them back.

"A lot of my future is tied up in the money that's inside Mt. Gox," said Burges, a former software developer. "I was in a kind of semi-retired state, speculating on coins. If those coins disappear, I'll have to think more about bringing money in through other means. It wouldn't be very good for me."

A third man who joined the duo on Thursday afternoon sported a silver mask and yelled "Where is our bitcoin?" in Japanese.

The protesters were streaming live their curbside vigil outside the offices of Mt. Gox owner Tibanne in Tokyo's Shibuya district.

Tibanne, which is headed by CEO Mark Karpeles, did not respond to interview requests. Karpeles has told The Wall Street Journal that customer-related questions are confidential.

Meanwhile, a notice on the Mt. Gox support site said the exchange has moved to the 15th floor of Cerulean Tower, also in Shibuya.

The 15th floor is home to a company hosting "virtual offices." A woman who answered the phone there said the company cannot discuss its tenants.

On Monday, Mt. Gox said it is continuing to implement a solution to the technical issue, known as "transaction malleability," that will prevent any fraudulent exploitation of bitcoin transaction records.

It promised withdrawals would resume soon, and an update "by Thursday at the latest." None was posted at time of writing.

The situation has led to speculation on online forums that Mt. Gox will collapse.

The fears have been reflected in the value of the bitcoin trading on the exchange. It touched a low of US$134 on Thursday before recovering to around $180, far below around $600 on other exchanges, as cited by CoinDesk.com.

The protesters said Mt. Gox has refused to tell them whether it has all the bitcoins it's supposed to have.

"It does seem very clear that there needs to be more regulation of the bitcoin exchanges," said Aaron, "at least with respect to protecting people's funds and having transparency and ensuring that there's no insider trading."

He said he intends to maintain the protest until he gets convincing answers from Mt. Gox.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetInternet-based applications and servicesMt.Gox

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?