Good Riddance to Mt. Gox

piecebitcoinaction26 Feb 2014 / Slate – It is over. Mt. Gox, bitcoin’s oldest—and once its most popular—exchange, was taken offline Monday night, leaving behind angry customers and acrimonious debate about where the world’s first popular cryptocurrency goes next.

At one point in bitcoin’s short history, the Japan-based company reigned supreme, with 70 percent of bitcoin transactions occurring on the platform. That it was originally founded as a place to exchange trading cards (Mt. Gox is an acronym for “Magic: The Gathering Online eXchange”) was merely part of its charm in the raucous and optimistic bitcoin community.

Now, its death poses serious questions about how long advocates of the digital currency can resist regulation. But it  also offers a glimmer of hope that bitcoin’s reckless youth may finally be behind it.

Trouble began a few weeks ago, when Mt. Gox stopped allowing its customers, who used the site to trade bitcoin for ordinary currency, to withdraw their bitcoins.

For some time people had been complaining of long delays on withdrawals, and accusations flew that the company was insolvent. But like an aged heavyweight boxer who refuses to admit he’s not fit for the ring, Mt. Gox promised the measure was only temporary.

It blamed a widespread flaw in the bitcoin protocol, the core code that underpins the currency, that needed to be patched—but while other exchanges quickly fixed the flaw, known as transaction malleability, and resumed normal business, Mt. Gox remained shut….. Read more

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