Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles is putting the domain name bitcoins.com up for auction, promising to use some of the proceeds to reimburse users of his failed virtual currency exchange.
Bitcoins.com - which currently provides a beginner's guide to the virtual currency - will hit the auction block on 24 July through Texas-based Heritage Auctions. The bidding will start at $185,000, with Heritage expecting the URL to fetch more than $750,000.
Says Karpeles: "We are hoping, with the sale of Bitcoins.com, to provide some relief to the people impacted by the Mt. Gox bankruptcy. And will be putting at least half of the sale amount toward that purpose."
However, any funds raised will make only the tiniest of dents in the losses Mt. Gox users have suffered. The exchange filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan in February and the US in March after losing 850,000 bitcoins - worth more than $500 million at current prices - thanks to a software bug which let hackers plunder accounts. 200,000 have since been found in an old digital wallet.
With bitcoin.com currently being used by wallet provider Blockchain.info, Heritage's Aron Meystedt says that bitcoins.com is "absolutely the best remaining, and available name for this new market," adding that "for the right investor this is a golden opportunity".