A crypto exchange for buying and selling Bitcoin that closed in 2014 after a major hack.
Mt. Gox was a cryptocurrency exchange that first launched in July 2010. It quickly became the world’s biggest platform for buying and selling Bitcoin — and estimates suggest that, within three years, more than 70% of BTC transactions were handled through this platform.
However, February 2014 saw Mt. Gox’s fate take a very dramatic turn. The company revealed that more than 850,000 BTC had been stolen by hackers — and of this, 750,000 BTC belonged to customers. At that time, the crypto haul would have been worth approximately $450 million. Fast forward to day, and it would be valued at many billions.
About a month after the website closed, approximately 200,000 BTC was discovered in an old wallet. Efforts to try and track down the remaining lost crypto have been unsuccessful. Estimates suggest that there have been more than 127,000 credits seeking to claim compensation.
A court in Japan has been tasked with reimbursing victims — but it is highly likely that they will only receive a small fraction of the sums they lost.
The Mt. Gox incident was significant in the cryptocurrency space because it meant that a substantial amount of Bitcoin’s total supply had vanished forever. It also led to far greater scrutiny of cryptocurrency exchanges — and fueled the rise of decentralized alternatives where investors keep hold of their assets at all times.
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