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Bitcoin exchange’s fall could doom new currency

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TOKYO — A major bitcoin exchange has gone bust after secretly racking up catastrophic losses, other virtual currency companies said today — a potentially fatal blow for the exotic new form of money.

The website of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox was returning a blank page today. The disappearance of the site follows the resignation Sunday of Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, a group seeking legitimacy for the currency, and a withdrawal ban imposed at the exchange earlier this month.

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