4

I understand bitcoin superficially, and the concept of the blockchain.

When I heard about Mt. Gox, I assumed that they had lost their own money. But apparently, they lost their customer's money.

If one can only give away their bitcoins by providing their private key, I would have assumed that hacking Mt. Gox would not have aided the hackers with any raid on Mt. Gox customers money.

Am I missing something?

8

OK, first a correction:

If one can only give away their bitcoins by providing their private key,

No. You send bitcoins to another party by signing a transaction that transfers the bitcoins from your address (controlled by your private key) to another address (controlled by the other party's private key). Actual private keys should never be exchanged, ever.

What happened with MtGox is that their customers willfully transferred bitcoins to them in order to trade/exchange on their platform. By doing this they essentially gave MtGox full control of the bitcoins, and MtGox lost them.

So yes, MtGox lost their customers' funds.

  • thanks, i know you don't give away your private key and expressed it rather clumsily. but this answers my question. i didn't realise they were handling that many transactions... – misterelliot Oct 23 '16 at 15:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.