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Failed MtGox finds 200,000 Bitcoins

TOKYO--Failed Bitcoin exchange MtGox says it has found 200,000 coins worth US$116 million in an old “digital wallet,” after it collapsed in February admitting it had lost half a billion dollars in a possible theft.

The Tokyo-based digital currency exchange filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan last month, saying it had lost 850,000 coins worth nearly US$500 million at present prices.

But 200,000 Bitcoins were left in a “wallet” used before June 2011, the company said in a statement on its website Thursday.

Bitcoin wallets are used for online transactions between currency holders.

The new find would be worth US$116 million, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin price index. The discovery has been reported to the court overseeing the case, the statement said.

MtGox, which at one time reportedly processed 80 percent of global Bitcoin transactions, said that the 200,000 Bitcoins — discovered on March 7 — had been moved to an offline wallet.

“Taking into account the existence of the 200,000 BTC, the total number of Bitcoins which have disappeared is therefore estimated to be approximately 650,000 BTC,” the statement said.

The company filed for protection under U.S. bankruptcy law earlier this month, 10 days after doing the same in Japan after a huge loss of the digital currency.

MtGox's lawyer said 750,000 Bitcoins belonging to customers had gone, along with MtGox's own store of the currency, which she said was around 100,000 units.

Japanese officials have said they are closely monitoring MtGox's bankruptcy proceedings, as they try to get a handle on how and why the exchange imploded.

“The reasons for their disappearance and the exact number of Bitcoins which disappeared is still under investigation,” MtGox said.

Hacker Attack

The global virtual currency community was shaken by the shuttering of MtGox, which froze withdrawals in early February because of what the firm said was a bug in the software underpinning Bitcoin that allowed hackers to pilfer them.

According to Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, MtGox suffered a massive assault by hackers, coming under some 150,000 distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks per second for several days ahead of its spectacular failure.

Under DDoS attacks, hackers hijack multiple computers to send a flood of data to the target, crippling its computer system.

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This photo illustration shows a man looking at the Bitcoin exchange website of MtGox in Tokyo on Feb. 25. Failed Bitcoin exchange MtGox says it has found 200,000 coins worth US$116 million in an old “digital wallet,” after it collapsed in February admitting it had lost half a billion U.S. dollars in a possible theft.

(AFP)

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