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Mt. Gox Bitcoin Theft Began in 2011, WizSec Report Claims

Avatar Yashu Gola 5 years ago

Tokyo-based independent Mt. Gox investigator WizSec released yet another report on the ill-fated Bitcoin exchange that went into the dust last year after suffering a 850,000 BTC theft.

In its latest findings, the firm revealed that Mt. Gox’s Bitcoins were stolen long before its actual collapse, adding yet another game-changing event to the unsolved case. According to the lead independent investigator Kim Nilsson, the Bitcoins stored in the exchange’s hot wallet started leaking out in 2011, three years before the actual reported theft. “As a result,” he added, “MtGox operated at fractional reserve for years (knowingly or not), and was practically depleted of bitcoins by 2013.”

The report further listed a series of charts centered around an assumption that Mt. Gox was indeed entering genuine deposit and withdrawal data. The first listed chart, plotted between the expected and actual Mt. Gox holdings, shows a dramatic difference between the two, indicating that the Japanese exchange started leaking out money somewhere in the middle of 2011.

Here is a snapshot, also including the special note from the author Kim Nilsson:

Mt Gox Bitcoin theft chart

It was meanwhile impossible for even Nilsson to lay an eye on the documents that reveals the actual figure held by the Mt. Gox throughout the last few years. If such information were available by the trustees, the above attached chart could have been more accurate than speculative.

Nevertheless, Nilsson derived his data from an extensive study of leaked withdrawal and deposit transactions, while matching them up with the publicly available Bitcoin blockchain to eventually flag 2 million Mt. Gox addresses at the end of the day.

Thus, the chart above indeed raises eyebrows if one assumes the lies that might have been served by the Mt. Gox authorities till date. During the 2013 session, there were practically no Bitcoin left in the Mt. Gox wallet, justifying that the funds were depleting long before the actual reported theft. This report further ruled out the possibility of Mt. Gox indulging in fake deposits, as the Bitcoin transferred over the internal network were real, though the withdrawals were obviously invalid.

Yashu Gola

Yashu Gola is a Mumbai-based finance journalist. He is profoundly active in the bitcoin space since 2014 – and has contributed to several cryptocurrency media outlets, including NewsBTC, FxDailyReport, Bitcoinist, and CCN...

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