A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday temporarily froze the U.S. assets of Mt.Gox chief Mark Karpeles and allowed alleged victims of the shuttered bitcoin exchange to demand evidence of what they claim is a massive fraud.
The market for the digital currency was rocked last month when Mt.Gox, once the world's largest bitcoin exchange, ceased operations, and soon after filed for bankruptcy. Mt.Gox said it may have lost 750,000 bitcoins, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, in a hacking attack.
(Read more: Mt.Gox enters bankruptcy, opponents call it a ruse)
The freeze on Karpeles' assets, issued by Judge Gary Feinerman in Chicago, also applies to Mt.Gox's U.S. affiliate and the Japanese parent company, Tibanne, according to Christopher Dore, an Edelson attorney who represents U.S. customers of the bitcoin exchange.
The judge's order did not apply to the Tokyo-based Mt.Gox KK, which was shielded from litigation after it filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and the United States.