Mt. Gox to Open Call Center for Disappearing Bitcoin Questions
Mt. Gox has about 400 million dollars worth of clients’ questions to answer, and it will attempt to do so by opening a call center.
The company said the call center would open Monday at 10 a.m. Japan time (Sunday at 8 p.m. ET) in an update posted its website Sunday morning. Once the world’s premier Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox closed its digital doors last week and later filed for bankruptcy after information leaked that it had lost about 750,000 bitcoins — worth about $420 million by current exchange rates — belonging to customers and another 100,000 of its own bitcoins.
In addition to announcing the call center, Mt. Gox promised an update on its attempt to file for bankruptcy under Japan’s, which allows a company to restructure in attempt to rebuild similarly to U.S. chapter 11 bankruptcy.
It’s not clear what, if any, answers Mt. Gox will be able to provide regarding the lost bitcoins. The company blamed a vulnerability to the Bitcoin system known as “transaction malleability” for the disappearance. There’s widespread consensus in speculation from Bitcoin community that the funds were stolen and are gone for good, rather than in some kind of digital purgatory waiting to be reclaimed.
Mashable has been in contact with a Miami resident in his late 20s who said he lost more than $600,000 worth of bitcoins in the Mt. Gox collapse. He provided this screenshot of his Mt. Gox account dashboard as proof. The Bitcoin entrepreneur, who asked to remain anonymous, said he plans to call the hotline, but that he has “no idea what that will entail.”
Others who lost money are already pursuing action against Mt. Gox. Chicago-based law firm Edelson PC filed a class action suit against Mt. Gox on behalf of all U.S. residents who lost money. Edelson will attempt to prove that Mt. Gox defrauded its customers, which could leave the company legally culpable for its clients’ losses even if it does receive bankruptcy protection.
Another group of investors has toyed with the idea of taking over Mt. Gox and running it as a new exchange in attempt to recoup losses.
With no relief in sight for these investors, the million-Bitcoin question may be: For whom should we feel worse, the investors who lost their bitcoins or the call center employees who will be answering the investors’ phone calls?
BONUS: What Are Bitcoins and How Do They Work?