Bitcoin values at troubled Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange plunged below $250 today, well under the $620 average seen on most other exchanges this morning. Given the rough week that Mt.Gox has had, the exact cause behind the latest price drop is difficult to pinpoint.
One strong candidate, however, is the growing rumor that Mt.Gox itself was hacked late last night, with reports flooding into the Bitcoin subreddit that many users had gotten automated emails claiming their accounts had been activated from IP addresses in China.
Mt.Gox has yet to address these rumors. Given the rough week the exchange has already had, it wouldn’t be surprising if they were a little slow to answer. They’ve been declared “dead” or “dying” by much of the Bitcoin press. Their decision to freeze withdrawals has prompted very public protests in front of their offices. They are the highest-profile “victim” of the transaction malleability bug, and have yet to restore service even though the same glitch only halted trades on BitStamp for a brief time.
At each step along the way, trading at Mt.Gox has fallen further out of step with prices at other exchanges. For a brief window today, Mt.Gox-held Bitcoins were trading nearly $400 less than anywhere else.
More on the situation as it develops.