updated 03:42 pm EDT, Fri June 21, 2013
Increased number of transactions forces exchange to upgrade systems
The world's largest Bitcoin exchange has suspended withdrawls in US dollars for a two-week period, following hefty delays in transactions. Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based exchange for the virtual currency, is preventing withdrawls while it performs upgrades to its systems, due to the increased volume of transactions it performs for its users.
A statement released by the exchange states that Mt. Gox has "experienced rising volumes of deposits and withdrawls from established and upcoming markets interested in Bitcoin." The higher volumes are hitting a bottleneck in the Mt. Gox system, which in turn delays processing of payments, "especially so for those in the United States who are requesting wire transfer withdrawls from their accounts."
Though withdrawls are being suspended, Mt. Gox states that deposits and transfers in US dollars remain unaffected, while withdrawls and deposits in other currencies continue to operate normally. It also hopes to debut "a dramatically improved trading engine" soon, but it is not clear if this will be part of the upgrade or a different, future change.
Mt. Gox has endured a turbulent year so far. It lost access to payment service Dwolla after interference by the Department of Homeland Security, is being sued for $75 million by CoinLab for various alleged contract breaches, and continually subjected to denial of service attacks of varying strength.