Bitcoin derivatives market BTC suspends trade after Mt. Gox goes dark

NEW YORK Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:39am IST

Kolin Burges (C), a self-styled cryptocurrency trader and former software engineer from London, holds a placard to protest against Mt. Gox, as photographers take photos of him in front of the building where the digital marketplace operator was formerly housed in Tokyo February 26, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Kolin Burges (C), a self-styled cryptocurrency trader and former software engineer from London, holds a placard to protest against Mt. Gox, as photographers take photos of him in front of the building where the digital marketplace operator was formerly housed in Tokyo February 26, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The bitcoin derivatives market BTC.sx has suspended trading after its key bitcoin exchange partner, Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, went dark this week following weeks of turmoil, the company's chief operating officer George Samman said.

Prior to the suspension, BTC offered derivatives on Mt. Gox prices.

"We are in the process of integrating other exchanges at the moment and will be back up and running as soon as possible," Samman, based in Sydney, Australia, told Reuters late Tuesday.

Samman said he hoped to resume trading bitcoin derivatives, a sector that has shown tremendous promise, by the end of next week. He said customer deposits on BTC were safe and clients could withdraw at any time.

If Mt. Gox's troubles do any damage, it would be short-lived, he said. BTC has some exposure in Mt. Gox because the company trades on the site.

"But we are well able to take a hit if that is in case the fact."

"Mt. Gox ceased being an efficient exchange a while ago and has lacked trust from the community. The best-case scenario is that MT Gox reopens under new management and of course is able to return all BTC and fiat to its rightful owners," he said.

"While we, like most other people, aren't sure of the details, we hope for the sake of the bitcoin community Mt. Gox sorts its problems out."

BTC, which started operating in May 2013, has monthly volume of about $5 million in a business that has seen interest in United States, Europe, Australia, and Russia.

The U.S., Samman said, is BTC's biggest customer base.

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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