The $350 Million Bitcoin Heist May Have Been An Inside Job

As you might remember, last month the Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox completely imploded and filed for bankruptcy. Since that happened, the people who lost $350 million are understandably a wee bit upset and would like to know how, exactly, millions of dollars evaporated. Turns out, it might have been an inside job.

Hackers broke into both the personal blog and the Reddit account of Mark Karpeles, the CEO of Mt. Gox, to decry Mt. Gox’s complete silence on the issue, right about the time a whole bunch of data dropped about what’s on Mt. Gox’s servers. Turns out, something hinky may be in the works, according to CNET:

The data dump claims that 951,116.21905382 bitcoins were deposited into Mt. Gox. The embattled exchange filed for bankruptcy last month, saying that Mt. Gox lost nearly 750,000 customer bitcoins, as well as 100,000 of the exchange’s own bitcoins.

CNET could not independently confirm the veracity of the claims, but some Reddit users said they were able to confirm that their personal account balances matched the data in the posting, which was posted in the form of an Excel spreadsheet.

If true, that means there are 100,000 Bitcoins, currently valued at more than $600 million, that are unaccounted for and that Mt. Gox might be covering something up. This has to be tempered with the acknowledgement that this is an anonymous data dump, and the Bitcoin community is no more immune to trolling than any other subculture on the Internet. Also, Karpeles is not the most popular of people right now, for obvious reasons.

That said, it certainly raises a few questions. Hopefully these questions will be addressed, especially as Mt. Gox tries to shut down; it just filed for bankruptcy in the US as well.