Mar 09 2014
I’ve never owned a bitcoin, I’ve never mined a bitcoin, in fact I’ve never really talked to anyone who’s used them extensively. I have kept half an eye on the larger bitcoin stories though, and the recent disclosures that bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was victim of hackers who stole the entire of the content in their vault, worth hundreds of millions of dollars (or pounds) have kept my interest. I know I’m not the only one who’s smelled something more than a little off about the whole story and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Apparently a hacker, or hackers, who also felt something wasn’t right on the mountain decided to do something about it: they doxed* Mt. Gox and it’s CEO, Mark Karpeles.
We don’t know yet if the files that hackers exposed to the internet were actually legitimate files from Mt. Gox and Mr. Karpeles yet, but this isn’t the only disclosure the company is potentially facing. Another hacker has claimed to have about 20Gigs of information about the company, their users and plenty of interesting documents. Between the two, if even a little of the data is valid, it’ll spell out a lot of trouble for Mt. Gox and it’s users. If I were a prosecutor who had any remote possiblity of being involved in this case, I’d be collecting every piece of information and disclosed file I could, with big plans for using them in court at a later date.
In any case, I occasionally read articles that say the Mt. Gox experience shows that bitcoins are an unusable and ultimately doomed form of currency because they’re a digital only medium and that they’ll always be open to fraud and theft because of it. I laugh at those people. Have they looked at our modern banking system and realized that 99% of the money in the world now only exists in digital format somewhere, sometimes with hard copy, but generally not? Yes, we’ve had more time to figure out how to secure the banking systems, but they’re still mostly digital. And eventually someone will do the same to a bank as was done to Mt. Gox.
*Doxed: to have your personal information discovered or stolen and published on the Internet.