Bitcoin Drama

Search for Owners of MyBitcoin Loses Steam

bitcoin530 Search for Owners of MyBitcoin Loses Steamtrans Search for Owners of MyBitcoin Loses SteamEnergy has flagged in the hunt for the people behind MyBitcoin.com, the popular e-wallet service that disappeared with, according to them, 154,406 Bitcoins back in early August. After days of silence, a spokesman emerged for the site and a claims process was initiated to refund users 49 percent of their deposits, which in today’s prices shakes out to $861,755.

But that still leaves 78,747 BTC ($896,929 USD at today’s prices), which MyBitcoin’s spokesman says were taken by hackers, unaccounted for.

The community effort to find the people responsible for MyBitcoin–or the hackers who broke into it, if that explanation is true–seems to have lost verve due to the pacifying effect of MyBitcoin’s 49 percent refund, which many users reported receiving quickly (although there are some who say they have not gotten it yet) and the lack of actionable information. The spokesman for MyBitcoin, “Tom Williams,” has been missing in action since about two weeks ago when he appeared in the #bitcoin-police IRC channel.

#Bitcoin-police was a fast-moving information hub at the time of the MyBitcoin incident, but has been dead of late. “Police is quiet because there’s no new info coming in. The internet side seems to have been ‘mined out,'” a user told Betabeat, referring to the detective work–looking up hosting providers, examining server set-ups, hunting for personal information on the people suspected of being involved–performed by members of the community. “Now it remains for someone who lost enough BTC to spend effort to actually file a report with real actual authorities,” he said.

Vocal Bitcoin evangelist Bruce Wagner, who lost 25,000 BTC in the incident, is a likely candidate. He’s told Bitcoiners to file complaints with the FBI in the past, as he believes there was foul play involved, but could not confirm whether there is an active investigation. “They stole (denied access) to EVERYONE’s money,” Mr. Wagner said over Gchat. “They later–after MUCH COMMUNITY INVESTIGATION AND FBI INVOLVEMENT — suddenly re-appeared. NO ONE who understands ANYTHING about bitcoin believes their lies about … being hacked.”

Mr. Wagner plans to produce four episodes of his Bitcoin web show today where he will talk about MyBitcoin.

In other BTC news, the exchange Mt. Gox took over Bitomat.pl, an exchange that lost 17,000 BTC in what the owner is claiming was a technical mistake, combining the users of the first-largest and third-largest Bitcoin exchanges to solidify Mt. Gox’s position as the dominant exchange.

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com

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