Top bitcoin exchange shuts down after thefts worth $300m

One of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges has gone offline after it spotted “unusual activity”.

MtGox said users had found a loophole that could be used to fool the transaction process into sending double the correct number of bitcoins.

Over the years the site has been running, it’s alleged 744,408 BTC are missing due to theft. They total around $300m at current prices.

Other bitcoin exchanges, such as Coinbase and BTC China put out a statement to distance themselves from MtGox.

“This tragic violation of the trust of users of MtGox was the result of one company’s actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of Bitcoin and the digital currency industry,” the exchanges said.

“As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we are seeing today.

“We are confident, however, that strong Bitcoin companies, led by highly competent teams and backed by credible investors, will continue to thrive, and to fulfil the promise that Bitcoin offers as the future of payment in the internet age.”

Withdrawals from MtGox, which is changing its name to Gox, will be limited to avoid a bank run, it said.

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