SCMP’s Bitcoin Daily Report: Mt Gox’s never-ending image problem
The price paid on the Japanese Mt Gox exchange has crashed through the floor to US$220 a coin over the weekend. By far the worst performing index, it hardly does justice to say it has slumped to its lowest level since November last year as prices skyrocketed in 2013.
Once a darling of bitcoin users, Mt Gox's depressed price has runaway with itself, with a more than US$350 price difference between them and other leading exchanges.
Before now, it could boast that it was one of the top, if not the top, trading platforms for Bitcoin. But in reality coin hoarders usually paid a 10 per cent (or more) premium to use the platform because it was deemed risky as many customers reported problems withdrawing money from time to time.
It certainly has come to a head with one angry Mt Gox customer taking action, as we saw last week.
Kolin Burges seized the opportunity and booked a last-minute ticket to fly to Tokyo from London to protest outside the Bitcoin trading exchange’s Toyko headquarters. Burges, unhappy with the lack of information regarding Mt Gox’s withdrawal problems, attempted to confront Tibanne chief executive Mark Karpeles, which runs the beleaguered trading platform.
VIDEO IN FRIDAY BLOG
A poll of 3,000 Coindesk readers suggested 68 per cent of Mt Gox customers, like Burges, are waiting for their withdrawal requests to be processed. Customers have waited months to get their money back and there is little light at the end of the tunnel.Daniel Smith, from Stoke-on-Trent, England, told Coindesk that after opening several customer service tickets spanning dozens of messages, his tickets were eventually merged and closed. At a loss, Smith made a statement to Staffordshire police that he said was being passed on to the “fraud division” to deal with the “theft” of his Bitcoin.
With no consumer protection – people have traded Bitcoin at their own risk at the behest of regulators and governments.
Mt Gox was unavailable for comment whjen SCMP contacted the exchange,
Latest Bitcoin price: US$613.46 at 10.03am on Monday based on prices from BTC-e and Bitstamp