Japan finance minister: Gathering facts on bitcoin, unsure whether crime involved

TOKYO Mon Mar 3, 2014 8:14pm EST

Kolin Burges, a self-styled cryptocurrency trader and former software engineer from London, holds a placard to protest against Mt. Gox, in front of the building where the digital marketplace operator was formerly housed in Tokyo February 26, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Kolin Burges, a self-styled cryptocurrency trader and former software engineer from London, holds a placard to protest against Mt. Gox, in front of the building where the digital marketplace operator was formerly housed in Tokyo February 26, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

Related Topics

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Tuesday that the government is still trying to figure out what has led to the collapse of the Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox and is not sure whether crime is involved.

"We still have not had a clear grasp of the situation," Aso said in response to a reporter's question after a cabinet meeting. "(We) don't know if it was a crime or just a bankruptcy."

Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan on Friday, saying it may have lost nearly half a billion dollars worth of the virtual currency due to hacking into its faulty computer system.

(Corrects quote in paragraph 2 to say "bankruptcy", not "theft")

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Dominic Lau)

FILED UNDER:
A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Find your dream retirement town

Florida? Hawaii? Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire.  Video | Full Article