Failed bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox said it found 200,000 bitcoins on March 7 in a “forgotten” wallet the company thought no longer held bitcoin. Mt. Gox said in a statement the bitcoins were discovered in an “old-format” wallet used prior to 2011.
The company allegedly found the wallet one week after Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection because it allegedly lost bitcoin deposits worth $380 million.
According to Reuters, Mt. Gox acknowledged finding the bitcoins only after a U.S. judge in Chicago overseeing a class-action lawsuit against Mt. Gox allowed the exchange’s bitcoins to be tracked.
In an email to Reuters, the lawyer for the plaintiff in that case said he had been previously monitoring the bitcoins, and Mt. Gox decided to come forward only after realizing they had been tracked.
Today in court we got relief … specifically to track the 180,000 bitcoins, which we’ve been monitoring. Hours later, Mt. Gox claimed it “found” these bitcoins … it appears Mt. Gox realized we were close and decided to acknowledge that it owned these 180,000-200,000 bitcoins.
The sudden discovery of the forgotten bitcoins will likely provide only more questions than answers surrounding the collapse of Mt. Gox. It is still unclear how thieves stole 744,408 bitcoins—well, make that 544,708 bitcoins—and caused Mt. Gox to crumble.
Image courtesy of BTC Keychain on Flickr