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Bitcoin heist worth $350M takes down major exchange

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Bitcoin heist worth about $350 million took down a major exchange today. Mt. Gox, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in the world, has left their customers in limbo. According to Wired on Feb. 25, the future is quite uncertain. Mt. Gox has the following message up on their website.

Dear MtGox Customers,

In light of recent news reports and the potential repercussions on MtGox's operations and the market, a decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react accordingly.

Best regards,
MtGox Team

The bitcoin heist as the result of a multi-year hacking attack which yeilded nearly 750,000 bitcoins worth $350 million. Leading bitcoin wallet providers, Coinbase and Blockchain, were quick to put out a joint press release about the situation late last night. They called the Mt. Gox situation "tragic" while doing their best to calm investors fears and keep faith in the industry.

The hacking attack is detailed in a leaked 'crisis strategy draft' plan, apparently created by Gox and published Monday by Ryan Selkis, a bitcoin entrepreneur and blogger.

No one has verified the authenticity of the leaked document, but the exchange is curently down nonetheless. This bitcoin heist is the latest blow to the nascent alternative currency which has been grabbing headlines since last year. Most recently in "Bitcoin crash: Customer withdrawals resumed on Bitstamp" and last fall in "Silk Road shut down: Mastermind behind 'eBay of drugs' made rookie mistake."

Mt Gox has been in trouble for some time according to the experts. Recently bitcoin advocate Roger Ver said, "Gox is the worst-run business in the history of the world." Strong words from someone who knows more than most about the currency.

What do you think about the bitcoin heist story? Please drop in your comments below.

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