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Mt. Gox says it will close all Bitcoin transactions...for now

The exchange's Web site is back online, but only with a statement that it's closing all transactions for the time being.

Beleagured Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has finally resurfaced with a message aimed at its users.

Mt. Gox's Web site vanished Monday night amid reports that the exchange was insolvent after losing hundreds of millions of dollars. A look at the HTML code behind Mt. Gox's blank site on Monday revealed the following text: "put announce for mtgox acq here," a sign that Mt. Gox could be an acquisition candidate. Now that formerly blank Web site displays the following message:

Dear MtGox Customers,

In the event of recent news reports and the potential repercussions on MtGox's operations and the market, a decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react accordingly.

Best regards,
MtGox Team

Mt. Gox triggered fears in the Bitcoin community earlier this month after it halted all withdrawals, a move it blamed on a technical bug. The exchange then claimed that the bug affects all Bitcoin transactions, a claim disputed by the Bitcoin Foundation, which laid the blame solely at Mt. Gox's customized implementation of the virtual currency.

Seeking to calm anxious Bitcoin users, a group of Bitcoin companies issued a statement on Monday distancing itself from Mt. Gox. That statement opened with the following language:

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

Initially entitled "Joint Statement Regarding the Insolvency of Mt.Gox," the statement was later renamed to simply "Joint Statement Regarding MtGox." But a spokesman for the group told Recode that "Mt Gox has confirmed it will file bankruptcy in private discussions with other members of the Bitcoin community."