Marginalizing Mt. Gox: “Bitcoin Is Becoming Serious; And Serious Means Accountability”

Marginalizing Mt. Gox: “Bitcoin Is Becoming Serious; And Serious Means Accountability”

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

I was going to start this article by stating: “Mt. Gox needs to get its shit together.”

But its too late for that. Much too late.

Mt.Gox has been the dominant Bitcoin exchange pretty much since the beginning. In its brief history, it has suffered several bad setbacks, with the one last spring an incident I am intimately familiar with. There were plenty of reasons to give them a pass in the past, and many of us did. It was early. It was a complete and total Wild West and all of us interested were learning this thing together. There were bound to be some major growing pains. Gox made some changes, came back up and a great deal was forgiven. Not this time.

Bitcoin is no longer in Phase 1 of its evolutionary cycle. I believe Phase 2 for Bitcoin began in earnest back in November 2013, when the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held its first hearings on the topic. Those hearings made it clear that, at least for the moment, no significant roadblocks would be put in place to prevent people from transacting with one another using the crypto-currency. Phase 2 also saw the largest Bitcoin investment to-date, a $25 million infusion led by Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, as well as acceptance by major U.S. retailers, with Overstock being the most significant.

Graph courtesy of Coindesk.

As you can see, Mt. Gox has already been in decline, and I expect that to accelerate going forward. In fact, the price on Mt. Gox usually trades at a significant premium to Bitstamp, but is right at this moment trading at a $40 discount. This is not good.

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 2.30.48 PM

Graph courtesy of Coindesk.

What I really want to see is Mt. Gox resolve this issue as soon as possible so that the Bitcoins tied down with them are released and can be freely moved around by their owners. If this happens soon, Bitcoin will rapidly emerge from this difficult moment much stronger and hopefully with some more important lessons learned.

For Mt. Gox though, I think it’s pretty much game over.

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