Detailed extensively by Reuters today, Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has halted all trading and the owners have replaced the site with a splash page. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Bitcoin exchanges like Mt. Gox, the structure somewhat resembles how a traditional bank operates. People that purchase Bitcoins can deposit the digital currency at exchanges and convert it into the currency of other countries like U.S. dollars for instance.
Mt. Gox, once the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange, abruptly stopped trading on Tuesday and its chief executive said the business was at “a turning point,” sparking concerns about the future of the unregulated virtual currency. Several other digital currency exchanges and prominent early-stage investors in bitcoin responded with forceful statements in an attempt to reassure investors of both bitcoin’s viability and their own security protocols. The website of Mt. Gox suddenly went dark on Tuesday with no explanation, and the company’s Tokyo office was empty – the only activity was outside, where a handful of protesters said they had lost money investing in the virtual currency.