The largest Bitcoin exchange, MtGox, has announced that they are resuming USD withdrawals around the world, putting an end to two weeks of hiatus. A long backlog of withdrawal requests had been accumulated over the period, so it will take over a month before processing times finally return to normal, but MtGox expects that the main disruptions are now over. “Mt. Gox has now formed relationships with several new banking partners both in Japan and around the world,” the press release reads, “and we are still in the process of finalizing even more. This means that we will have increased stability and ability to transmit withdrawals going forward.”
The price collapsed suddenly following the reopening of withdrawals, sinking to a bottom of $72 on MtGox itself and $70.06 on BitStamp; just how much of this drop was caused by people seizing the opportunity to sell BTC and withdraw USD on MtGox and how much was simply an existing downward slide reaching its conclusion is impossible to tell; the second conclusion has strong support, as the volume of the last two days was not particularly higher than before. The price has since recovered to about $80 at the time of this writing, and will continue to change as time progresses. The disparity between MtGox and BitStamp, which had reached as high as ten percent during the hiatus, appears to have now cleared.
MtGox itself has seen its market share according to Bitcoinity holding steady at 64 over the course of the past two weeks, and is continuing to oscillate day-by-day between 55 and 75. If MtGox succeeds in forging new banking relationships and opening up convenient and effective deposit and withdrawal options, its market share may well recover somewhat from the drop. Alternatively, it may continue to drop as exchanges like Tradehill continue to pick up speed and a whole host of new ones come online over the next few months. The future of Bitcoin exchange is proving to be a surprisingly interesting one.
Vitalik Buterin is a co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine who has been involved in the Bitcoin community since 2011, and has contributed to Bitcoin both as a writer and the developer of a fork of bitcoinjs-lib, pybitcointools and multisig.info, as well as one of the developers behind Egora. Now, Vitalik's primary job is as the main developer of Ethereum, a project which intends to create a next-generation smart contract and decentralized application platform that allows people to create any kind of decentralized application on top of a blockchain that can be imagined.