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Japanese Bitcoin Exchange Files US Bankruptcy Case In Dallas

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A pile of Bitcoins are shown here after Software engineer Mike Caldwell minted them in his shop on April 26, 2013 in Sandy, Utah. Bitcoin is an experimental digital currency used over the Internet that is gaining in popularity worldwide. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

A pile of Bitcoins are shown here after Software engineer Mike Caldwell minted them in his shop on April 26, 2013 in Sandy, Utah. Bitcoin is an experimental digital currency used over the Internet that is gaining in popularity worldwide. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

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DALLAS, Texas (AP) – The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange that recently collapsed in Japan has filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection to shield itself from a lawsuit seeking to repay thousands of people whose digital currency is now missing.

The U.S. filing made in Dallas late Sunday supplements a bankruptcy petition that Mt. Gox submitted in Japan at the end of last month.

Mt. Gox was once the world’s largest exchange specializing in bitcoins, but now finds itself in a financial mess after losing about 850,000 bitcoins valued at $473 million, according to court documents.

Although it’s based in Tokyo, Mt. Gox is opening a bankruptcy case in the U.S. in an attempt to delay a recent federal lawsuit filed in Illinois on behalf of all U.S. residents burned by the exchange’s abrupt demise.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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