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Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox halts withdrawals temporarily; bitcoin drops

Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox halts withdrawals temporarily; bitcoin drops
Mt. Gox, an online bitcoin exchange, has closed indefinitely, causing a plunge in bitcoin's value. Above are bitcoin tokens shown in Tokyo last year. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg)

Mt. Gox, a major online bitcoin exchange, on Friday halted all withdrawals indefinitely, causing another slide in the value of the unregulated digital currency.

In a statement, Mt. Gox blamed technical problems and said a pause of withdrawals is necessary to "obtain a clear technical view of the current processes."

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The online exchange said it would provide an update on Monday on its operations. Mt. Gox, however, said trading will continue.

Bitcoin's value was down 4.7% to $746.71, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, which averages prices from various exchanges. It hit a low Friday of $658.83.

The Tokyo-based exchange has experienced previous problems, partly due to growing pains attributed to the rising popularity of the online currency. It suspended U.S. dollar trading last summer for two weeks.

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