What really happened that brought Mt Gox down?

Mark Karpeles bows deeply

How the mighty have fallen. It finally happened, Mt Gox closed its doors officially this week. Whatever you had, Bitcoin or fiat currency at Mt Gox, it’s now gone. I feel for the people who lost, especially anyone who made this list. But did Mt Gox get hacked, or was it something else that brought about their fate? And where are the millions that Mt Gox supposedly had?

I had cleared out my account a few weeks ago, so I ended up only losing pennies compared to others. I was lucky, because just a few months ago I started my Bitcoin presence by depositing into Mt Gox. If my timing was a little different, it would have gone bad and I would have undoubtedly given up on Bitcoin. But Mt Gox going under isn’t scaring me away from Bitcoin. Mark Karpeles was quoted saying, “We have lost Bitcoins due to weaknesses in the system.” That statement I believe is very misleading, and the beginning of a facade to scam customers. Mark may be referring to a bug that recently disrupted the Bitcoin network. Mt Gox would have you believe the biggest Bitcoin exchange in the world is infallible, and it’s Bitcoin’s flimsy codebase at the root of this mess. But after spending a few months in the Bitcoin ecosystem I can tell you, that is simply wrong. Mt Gox had problems way before 2014 and they’ve used this opportunity to make a quick exit.


My experience with Mt Gox and Bitcoin

At first in 2013, I had an OK experience with Mt Gox. I made a small International wire transfer to them to see if they were legit, then sent two additional transfers as the price of Bitcoin started heating up. I was frustrated my deposits took on the long side of their estimates (~10 business days), which is an eternity when watching Bitcoin prices rise. Because of the delay, I had missed out on some appreciation opportunity. I used their customer support which was also OK, albeit slow and disjoined. I remember receiving an email out of the blue from them following up on a ticket I considered closed weeks before. I never tried withdrawing money from Mt Gox because everything I read talked about lengthy delays. Besides Coinbase is US based and in my opinion much more reliable for US residents.

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