Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox is offline 'in light of recent news reports'

One of the largest Bitcoin exchanges that exists, Mt. Gox, is currently offline. It is not entirely clear what the full story behind the disappearance of the site is, as the situation is still evolving. There have been rumors of Bitcoin theft, but nothing has yet been verified. Mt. Gox vanished off the face of the internet, and initially visitors saw nothing more than a blank page but a statement has since been added to the site.

Pay a visit to the Mt. Gox website now and you'll be greeted by a message explaining that the site is currently not operational:

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 Twitter feed for the Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange site is now devoid of tweets, although the account remains active and currently has over 28,000 followers.

A document purporting to be a "crisis strategy" paper from the company has been circulating online, although its authenticity has yet to be confirmed. The document refers to almost 750,000 missing Bitcoins and suggests that a rebranding to may be on the cards. Over the weekend Mt. Gox resigned from the board of directors at the Bitcoin Foundation, but it is unclear whether this is related to what else is happening at the moment.

In a statement emailed to Reuters, Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles said: "We should have an official announcement ready soon-ish. We are currently at a turning point for the business. I can't tell much more for now as this also involves other parties".

As and when further details emerge, we'll update this post.

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