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As the search for missing virtual currency which contributed to the demise of MtGox continues, will co-operation with police unearch missing Bitcoins?
Failed Bitcoin exchange MtGox has today announced via its website that it intends to work alongside the Police in relation to the disappearance of $490 million worth of Bitcoins.
MtGox’s website which has been maintained in order to produce announcements post demise, contains a statement with today’s date detailing that the exchange had submitted records and documents to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police as part of its civil rehabilitation application.
When attempting to investigate this further, Reuters contacted the Police, with a spokesman declining to comment, but stating to Reuters that no announcements were planned.
Reuters today stated that it was not immediately clear if the police investigation was looking into those missing funds. A representative on a helpline for Mt. Gox creditors told Reuters that the exchange had been working with the police as of “two days ago.” Lawyers for Mt. Gox were not immediately available to comment.
The search for the missing Bitcoins has become a police matter due to the statement by MtGox at the time of its insolvency that the exchange had lost almost 750,000 of its customers’ bitcoins, and around 100,000 of its own bitcoins, totaling around 7% of all bitcoins, and worth around $473 million near the time of the bankruptcy filing in February this year.
At that time, MtGox released a statement saying “The company believes there is a high possibility that the Bitcoins were stolen” which prompted the beginning a search for the missing money. MtGox CEO Mark Karpelès, said technical issues opened up the way for fraudulent withdrawals. Even subsequent to its demise, MtGox continues to face lawsuits from its customers.
Some degree of certainty surfaced recently, with Mr. Karpeles having stated publicly that a number of Bitcoins which were considered lost had been stored on offline hard drives, therefore maintaining their existence.
A major difficulty remains insofar as that it is proving something of a challenge to locate a virtual currency, held on a peer-to-peer exchange, over which no jurisdiction has any legislature.