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Almost a quarter of Mt. Gox’s loss was just mysteriously found

If you've ever checked your couch cushions for change and won the lottery, you'll understand.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Posted on Mar 21, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 2:40 pm CDT

Mt. Gox, the Bitcoin exchange that famously went bust last month after reportedly losing 850,000 bitcoins worth $450 million to theft, has some good news that anyone who has lost change in a couch cushion can relate to.

Earlier this month, Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles says he stumbled upon an old bitcoin wallet from 2011 containing 199,999.99 bitcoins worth roughly $116 million earlier this month in a wallet he previously believed was empty and useless.

The find adds up to about 23 percent of total funds lost, bringing the tally down to about 650,000 bitcoins or about $400 million, the vast majority of which are the customer’s dollars.

The rediscovered bitcoins, which were worth as much as $6.4 million even in June 2011, were moved to an offline wallet soon after being found this month so that they couldn’t be targeted by hackers.

How does one lose a wallet worth millions of dollars for three years? Good question. Possible answers include gross incompetence and criminality, but no one outside of Mt. Gox is quite sure how it happened just yet.

I think I still have a few bucks worth of Bitcoins in a wallet somewhere. Excuse me while I frantically search to see if there’s actually a few hundred million bucks in there.

 H/T CNET | Photo via Antana/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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*First Published: Mar 21, 2014, 9:40 am CDT