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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mt. Gox problems could kill Bitcoin



It's not easy to start a new currency that's not backed by any government, and it gets harder when one of the major websites used to trade it suddenly vanishes from the Internet. The Associated Press reports that the same day the exchange's website was taken down, a blogger published a document purportedly leaked from Mt. Gox showing the exchange to be insolvent after a loss estimated to be worth around $888 million at bitcoins' peak value in December — reportedly around 6 percent of all the bitcoin in circulation. The New York Times reported the missing currency was stolen in a heist that went undetected for years.

So anyway, what's that mean to you? Unless you keep much of your money in bitcoin, probably not much. It might mean it's a while longer before a digital currency replaces the green stuff in your wallet, though. And it means that if you didn't already know what bitcoin was all about, you might be able to safely avoid knowing that all together if you wait a while longer. But if you're interested, the AP published a pretty good explainer today.

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 2:52pm]


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