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Tokyo Bitcoin Exchange Files for Bankruptcy

The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange in Tokyo filed for bankruptcy protection, acknowledging that a significant amount of the virtual currency had gone missing.

 Shirts for sale are shown at the entrance of the Bitcoin Center NYC center
Shirts for sale are shown at the entrance of the Bitcoin Center NYC center (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The exchange’s CEO Mark Karpeles appeared before Japanese TV news cameras Friday, bowing deeply for several minutes.

He said a weakness in the exchange’s systems was behind the massive loss of the virtual currency.

Speaking in Japanese at a Tokyo court, he apologized for the troubles he had caused so many people.

Kyodo News said debts at Mt. Gox totaled more than 6.5 billion yen ($65 million), surpassing its assets.

The exchange’s unplugging this week drew renewed regulatory attention to a currency created in 2009 as a way to make transactions across borders without third parties such as banks.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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