Bitcoin exchange website MtGox goes offline

Peer digital currency exchanges distance themselves from Tokyo-based marketplace

The website of Mt Gox appears to be taken down, shortly after six major Bitcoin exchanges released a joint statement distancing themselves from the troubled Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange.

Mt. Gox’s homepage was not loading, although no error message appeared. Bitcoin exchanges allow their users to trade bitcoins for US dollars and other currencies.

“This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt Gox was the result of one company’s actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of bitcoin and the digital currency industry,” the companies - Coinbase, Kraken, Bitstamp, BTC China, Blockchain and Circle - said in the statement.

“As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we are seeing today. Mt Gox has confirmed its issues in private discussions with other members of the bitcoin community,” the companies said.

Earlier in February, Mt Gox, the best-known digital marketplace operator, said it was halting withdrawals indefinitely after it detected “unusual activity.”

On Sunday, Mark Karpeles, chief executive of Mt Gox, resigned from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, in a blow to the digital currency. Mt Gox had once been the largest exchange handling bitcoins.

The resignation followed a number of technical issues, including a massive cyber attack from unknown sources that has been spamming bitcoin exchanges.

Tokyo-based Mt Gox was a founding member and one of the three elected industry representatives on the board of the Bitcoin Foundation.

Alabama’s securities regulator said he will issue an alert today, cautioning consumers and investors to stop trading on bitcoin exchanges or adding to their accounts if they are having trouble redeeming the digital currency or cashing out.

“There are hundreds of trustworthy and responsible companies involved in bitcoin. These companies will continue to build the future of money by making bitcoin more secure and easy to use for consumers and merchants,” the six Bitcoin exchanges said in the joint statement.