Mt. Gox was once the biggest cryptocurrency exchange facilitating bitcoin exchanges globally before a major and historic security breach. The website served as a facilitator of up to 80% of global cryptocurrency exchanges between 2010 when it was established, and 2014, when it underwent bankruptcy proceedings.
During its time, Mt. Gox was the largest facilitator of bitcoin transactions globally. Then 28-year-old Karpeles Mark was the Chief executive at the time of the company’s bankruptcy filing. The legal action that ensued afterwards saw Mark sentenced by a Tokyo district court to a suspended sentence in 2019.
850,000 BTC Lost
The news of the bankruptcy sent a shock wave across the entire bitcoin community and digital currency industry as it marked the end of the world’s largest bitcoin exchange. A total of 850,000 bitcoins were lost in the incident. As of 2014, the total market price was estimated to be worth hundreds of millions in US dollars (around $450 million), or billions in today’s prices. As of the time of writing, only about 200,000 bitcoins have been found in an old digital wallet, the rest is missing to this day.
Following the incident, a bankruptcy trustee was set up in Japan to help outspoken creditors and venture capitalists to recoup a fraction of their capital losses and personal bankruptcy. The US Department of homeland security was able to trace the cyberattack on Mt Gox to a group of Russian hackers, spearheaded by Alexander Vinnik. Vinnik is currently serving a five-year sentence in France.