The collapse of the Mt.Gox bitcoin exchange could ultimately strengthen the virtual currency industry by weeding out weaker operators and prompting more supervision, New York's banking regulator said on Monday.
Japan's government, however, said it was still trying to figure out how the Tokyo-based company, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, could lose nearly half a billion dollars worth of the virtual currency in a short period, and whether crime was involved.
"We still have not had a clear grasp of the situation," Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Tuesday after a cabinet meeting. "(We) don't know if it was a crime or just a bankruptcy."
(Read more: Bitcoin sheds Mt.Gox albatross, extends surge)
Mt.Gox filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan on Friday, saying it may have lost some 850,000 bitcoins due to hacking into its faulty computer system.
The collapse was another setback for the virtual currency, which started circulating in 2009 and is accepted by some online retailers.