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Mt. Gox exchange says it found 200,000 missing bitcoins

Mt. Gox exchange says it found 200,000 missing bitcoins
Mt. Gox, the bitcoin exchange that filed for bankruptcy last month, said it found 200,000 of 850,000 missing bitcoins. Above, Mt. Gox Chief Executive Mark Karpeles. (Kyodo News/Associated Press)

Mt. Gox, the online bitcoin exchange that has filed for bankruptcy, said Thursday it had found 200,000 missing bitcoins during a search of its systems.

The Tokyo-based company said that the missing coins were found March 7 during a search of its old format "wallets" and that the coins have since been moved offline for security reasons. The Japanese court that is overseeing its bankruptcy proceedings has been notified, the company said in a statement on its website.

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The recovered bitcoins are valued at about $115 million at current prices.

When it filed for bankruptcy late last month, Mt. Gox had reported that 850,000 bitcoins had gone missing and said it was likely they were stolen. There are still 650,000 bitcoins unaccounted for, but the number could change as the company is still investigating.

Bitcoin is a currency that exists only online. Its value is based on an algorithm. Investors buy bitcoins with dollars, euros and other real currency. A purchase with bitcoins typically involves transferring an amount from the buyer's bitcoin "digital wallet" to the seller's wallet on the Internet.

Created in 2009 by a programmer using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin is based on a software standard that runs across a wide number of servers around the world for regulating the creation and trading of bitcoins. It is not controlled by any nation, governing body or business.

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