In a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès says that what was once the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange should probably have hired more security, revealing that there were physical break-ins at the firm’s Tokyo office.
Those would be in addition to the online hack that drained the company of hundreds of thousands of Bitcoin.
“If anyone wants to start a Bitcoin exchange, I would say, ‘Be sure to have 24-hour security guards,'” Karpelès says.
Security of digital currency holdings remains a major stumbling block toward Bitcoin adoption — over $US600 million-worth of Bitcoins have been stolen over the cryptocurrency’s lifetime, and there continue to be seemingly monthly reports of hacks and thefts of other alternative digital currencies. While many of these are the result of the assets being held in “hot” or online, and thus hackable, wallets, Karpelès admissions shows that the safety of cold wallets cannot be guaranteed.
Karpelès also tells the Journal he is concerned by a proposal from Sunlot Holdings, a firm run by Bitcoin investor and former child actors Brock Pierce, about using customer funds to restart the exchange.
“Remaining customer money should not be touched,” he said.
We wrote about that plan earlier this year.