The mystery surrounding the nearly four-year-old Mt. Gox exchange heist is only intensifying with time.
It all began in 2014 when Mt. Gox came under a severe cyber attack that saw unknown perpetrators stealing 850,000 bitcoin in addition to $28 million in cash. The stolen bitcoin alone was worth approximately half-a-billion US dollar back then. Shortly after the heist, the exchange shut down and was eventually declared bankrupt in Feb 2014.
Mt. Gox eventually managed to recover as many as 200,000 of the stolen tokens in March. However, that has not stopped people familiar with the matter from raising questions about the suspicious circumstances that may have led to the death of at least one person.
A recent revelation by bitcoin entrepreneur William Mook has further added to the mystery of the biggest ever cyber heist on record. According to Mook, “powerful forces” are at play to prevent the truth from coming into the limelight.
Mook’s suspicion has a lot to do with the questionable circumstances under which virtual currency exchange First Meta’s chief executive Autumn Radtke was found dead. According to the police report, Radtke died after falling from her apartment building in Singapore. While some called it a suicide, others were more inclined to see it as a suspicious financial-sector death.
“Autumn Radtke and her team and others quietly found half the bitcoins that were supposedly stolen by Mt. Gox,” Mook said in a conversation with RT.
Mook further underlined that Radtke’s death took place shortly after a Japanese court was briefed about her findings regarding the Mt. Gox hack:
“Her team and others associated with the effort disappeared. Websites closed down. This is a frightening development. That person and that team, me included, were frightened off.”
It is worth noting that the price of bitcoin pummeled after Mt. Gox’s shutdown, causing a significant setback for the cryptocurrency’s investors. However, Mook still maintains that the nature of bitcoin or blockchain technology has not undergone any changes because of the heist. “It merely delays its adoption,” he added.
After the exchange’s bankruptcy, the Japanese government quickly stepped into action and laid out a new framework to deal with bitcoin. Local regulators were given the task to license cryptocurrency exchanges. Shortly after, Japan became the first country in the world to regulate virtual currency exchanges at the national level.
On a related note, a group of creditors previously involved with Mt. Gox has filed an appeal with a Tokyo court to allow the exchange to spring back into action considering it recovered a significant proportion of the bitcoin previously stolen. According to them, the recent surge in bitcoin’s price has made the reclaimed tokens worth more than $3 billion, which means the company’s assets are now far bigger than its liabilities.