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The Bitcoin Bugle: Nothing Is F*cked

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The sudden disappearance of what was once the world's largest bitcoin exchange—and all of the bitcoins "contained" therein—is apparently not a good reason to stop speculating in fake currencies.

Bitcoin rose 7.3% to $573.53 Wednesday from Tuesday’s close on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, which takes into account prices on the Bitstamp and BTC-e bitcoin exchanges. The CoinDesk bitcoin price index was in the $400s early Tuesday after it became apparent that trading on Mt. Gox had been halted.

About that: Japanese authorities are of twominds about whether they are moved by the plight of two white guys who flew to Tokyo to protest in front of the building that did/does house Mt. Gox headquarters.

"At this stage the relevant financial authorities, the police, the Finance Ministry and others are gathering information on the case," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference when asked about Tuesday's shutdown of the Tokyo-based exchange….

Japan's Financial Services Agency and Finance Ministry told Reuters on Tuesday that they do not have jurisdiction over Mt. Gox after the exchange's website went down and efforts to reach company officials failed. The Bank of Japan said it had nothing to add to a comment by Governor Haruhiko Kuroda that the central bank was "very interested" in bitcoin.

Aren't unregulated, unrecognized, unsupported, intangible "currencies" great? In any event, if the Japanese get a little curious about what's going on—and there are signs they are—they can just give Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles a call. He, of course, won't say anything, but it will at the very least confirm that he has not run off to Tahiti with a "pile" of other people's bitcoins.

"I would like to use this opportunity to reassure everyone that I am still in Japan," he said. "Furthermore I would like to kindly ask that people refrain from asking questions to our staff: they have been instructed not to give any response or information."

This is not likely to make Preet Bharara—who apparently had an inkling something was afoot in crypto-currency-land—very happy.

Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has received a subpoena from federal prosecutors in New York, according to a person familiar with the matter, dealing another blow to the embattled marketplace for buyers and sellers of the virtual currency.

Mt. Gox, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges, shut down on Tuesday, underscoring the risks of bitcoin, the virtual currency that has seen a meteoric rise in the past year. The subpoena was sent this month and asked Mt. Gox to preserve certain documents among other things, the person said.

Bitcoin prices recover; Mt. Gox says leave us alone [MarketWatch]
Japan authorities looking into closure of Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange [Reuters]
Japan's Authorities Decline to Step In on Bitcoin [WSJ]
Japanese Regulators Take Closer Look at Bitcoin [WSJ]
Mt. Gox CEO: 'I'm still in Japan' [CNBC]
Mt. Gox Receives Subpoena From Federal Prosecutors [WSJ]