The collapse of Mt.Gox still looms large in the bitcoin world. In a matter of weeks, the once-iconic Tokyo-based exchange crumbled amid vague and as-yet unsubstantiated claims of hacking. Not surprisingly, many have since come to suspect that there’s more to the Mt.Gox story than has been revealed. Without access to the company’s internal database, currently held under lock and key by Tokyo police, outside observers can only make informed guesses about what really happened at Mt.Gox, and how the 850,000 BTC the company claimed to have securely stored managed to disappear without a trace.
In the months since Mt.Gox imploded, Tokyo-based bitcoin security company Wiz Technologies has spent a significant amount of time gathering what pieces it can to create as clear a picture as possible. Speaking with CoinDesk, Wiz Technologies founder J. Maurice claims that his company has used public and leaked data to recreate many of the events leading up to the collapse, developing a working model of what went wrong. Now, the company is seeking to present their findings to Mt.Gox’s bankruptcy trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi in hopes of gaining access to the failed exchange’s internal data.
“We’re the only exclusively-bitcoin security consultancy working in Tokyo, so we’re the only ones really qualified to investigate this sort of case,” Maurice told CoinDesk. “We’re in the right place, with the right people and the right skills.”
At the center of the theory are two “bots” (automated trading programs) nicknamed Markus and Willy, who have been widely suspected to be major contributors to Mt.Gox’s downfall. Maurice claims his company’s findings suggest that Markus and Willy were created by users with access to Mt.Gox’s internal workings, specifically the ability to create user accounts and create fictitious account balances. In other words, the Mt.Gox theft could very well have been an inside job.
To confirm it, Wiz Technologies will need to see where those funds ultimately ended up. “We can see every trade that happened within the Mt Gox system, but once it left we can’t see where it went,” Maurice told CoinDesk. Given the high-profile nature of the Mt.Gox case and the ongoing investigation by Tokyo Police, Wiz Technologies may have to convincing to do before that happens.