Repeatedly hit by DDoS attacks while experiencing a surge in new accounts has made for a rough few weeks for the Bitcoin exchange. Mt. Gox is by far the largest Bitcoin/USD online exchange handling over 80% of trades. This heavy reliance on one entity does not make for a healthy Bitcoin economy and contributes to Bitcoin’s volatility.
DDoS attacks prevent access to the exchange’s website, delay orders and panic sellers leading to dramatic price dips.
In a recent press release Mt. Gox, stated that they are working to counter attacks and develop a new trade engine urging customers not to panic. The exchange does not know who is behind the attacks but believes the attacks are being carried out to “destabilize Bitcoin in general.” And with such a large market share, Mt. Gox is the obvious choice for a destabilization attempt.
The good news here is that Mt. Gox’s difficulties are encouraging the creation of new exchanges and the expansion of existing exchanges.
Financial commentator and Bitcoin supporter Max Keiser has stated that he is in the process of setting up a new London based BTC exchange.
If you’re planning on making any Bitcoin trades, now might be a good time to try out an alternative to Mt. Gox. BitStamp is a decent exchange or you can always find a local trader at Bitcoin-otc.com or LocalBitcoins.com.