A post on the Bitcoin Money blog (@BitcoinMoney) describes the developing story from Bitcoinica following the May 11th security incident which has shuttered the service and prevented customers from accessing their funds. Excerpts:
“Revealed today was something that many traders had begun to suspect — Bitcoinica kept no ‘off-site backups’”.
“Without the customer and transaction databases though, the service will have a hard time verifying customer claims. The claims form asks for customers for their USD and BTC balances and to choose the qualifier ‘Exact’, ‘Approximate’ or ‘Guess’.”
“Most individual traders do not keep this type of information to be able to provide an accurate claim.”
“The service reported that it had about 5,000 accounts.”
“Many of these accounts were opened with no more information than an e-mail address.”
[Update: A later reply by Zhou Tong in that forum thread does reference “all kinds of records” and specifically describe a set of older records being available which can help in the account reconstruction process. The as-of date for that set of records is purposely not being shared for obvious reasons.]