Second Bitcoin Exchange Halts OperationsNews Comes One Month After Mt.Gox Trading Site Shutdown
Vircurex, a Bitcoin-trading website, has announced it's stopping withdrawals and deposits for the time being, citing recent "large fund withdrawals" for the sudden halt in operations.
The news comes one month after Mt.Gox, one of the world's biggest Bitcoin exchanges, was abruptly taken offline, raising concerns about the viability of the online virtual currency (see: Bitcoin Trading Website Goes Dark).
In a statement, Vircurex notes: "As you may very well be aware, we had two incidents last year that led to a loss of a significant number of [Bitcoins and other virtual currencies]. We had communicated at that time that we will be covering those losses from our income, which we have done so far."
The exchange says it saw large fund withdrawals in the past few weeks that led to a complete depletion of its "cold wallet balance," funds used to upkeep the Vircurex platform and to cover Bitcoin losses. "We are now facing the option of either closing the site with significant unrecoverable losses for all or to work out a solution that allows the exchange to continue to operate and gradually pay back the losses."
Vircurex did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.
Mt.Gox has been in bankruptcy proceedings in Japanese courts since nearly 850,000 Bitcoins were stolen from the exchange by hackers in February, according to Forbes.
However, on March 20, Mt.Gox issued a statement saying it found 200,000 Bitcoins in an unused "wallet." A wallet is what allows for transactions with other Bitcoin users to occur, according to Bitcoin.org, which offers best practices and advice on the digital currency.