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Depositors of #bitcoin Will Probably Not Be Made Whole From the Mt. Gox Meltdown

“NEW YORK (Reuters) – What can you do if you deposited bitcoins at Mt. Gox, which shuttered on Tuesday with little explanation? Probably not much.

Customers of the bitcoin exchange may have little chance of recovering their funds if they prove to be missing, legal and regulatory experts said.

Clients could file lawsuits, claiming negligence or breach of contract, but the virtual currency is subject to very little regulatory oversight and no government guarantees.

Japan-based Mt. Gox went dark on Tuesday, weeks after a spate of cyber attacks, leaving customers unable to access their accounts and underscoring the risks associated with bitcoins.

Bitcoins, which exist in electronic form, depend on a network of computers to solve complex mathematical problems in order to verify and record every transaction. Investors deposit their bitcoins in digital “wallets” at various exchanges; Mt. Gox had been the largest as recently as February 7, when it and other exchanges were forced to halt withdrawals following several cyber attacks.

Unlike bank accounts…”

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