The Mt Gox bitcoin exchange in Tokyo has filed for bankruptcy protection, acknowledging that a significant amount of the virtual currency had gone missing.
The exchange’s CEO Mark Karpeles appeared before Japanese TV news cameras today, bowing deeply for several minutes.
He said a weakness in the exchange’s systems was behind the massive loss of the virtual currency.
Speaking in Japanese at a Tokyo court, he apologised for the troubles he had caused so many people.
Debts at Mt Gox totalled more than 6.5 billion yen (€47m), surpassing its assets, said Kyodo news agency.
The exchange’s unplugging this week drew renewed regulatory attention to a currency created in 2009 as a way to make transactions across borders without third parties such as banks.