The CEO of cratering Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox announced on Thursday that it had found 200,000 Bitcoins previously thought lost in a wallet, currently worth around $116 million. The number of missing bitcoins has now dropped from 850,000 to 650,000. But, a win’s a win.
According to the official announcement:
MtGox Co., Ltd. had certain old format wallets which were used in the past and which, MtGox thought, no longer held any bitcoins. Following the application for commencement of a civil rehabilitation proceeding, these wallets were rescanned and their balance researched. On March 7, 2014, MtGox Co., Ltd. confirmed that an old format wallet which was used prior to June 2011 held a balance of approximately 200,000 BTC (199,999.99 BTC).
The news is at once heartening and disheartening. Recovering almost a quarter of assets believed to have vanished forever is nothing to sneeze at, and it is possible, though not probable, that other bitcoins could be recovered as well.
On the other hand, the fact that the bitcoins were simply lost through mismanagement, and not stolen by hackers, does not bode well for Mt. Gox’s attempt to win back the trust of its users. The top comment on the news in Reddit’s highly speculative bitcoin subreddit reads: “Classic scam - claim everything is gone, then make people relieved when you give them back a small percentage of what they lost.”