The official announcement appeared on The Bitcoin Foundations blog:
Effective immediately, Mark Karpeles has submitted his resignation from the board of directors. We are grateful for his early and valuable contributions as a founding member in launching the Bitcoin Foundation. As CEO of MtGox Co. Ltd. (Japan), he held one of the three elected industry member seats. Further details, including election procedures, will be forthcoming.
As of this moment, no reason has been given. The WSJ reports, “A phone call to Mtgox’s offices in Tokyo rang unanswered.” However, unanswered calls are not uncommon at MtGox.
Charlie Shrem, who resigned from The Bitcoin Foundation‘s board after arrest for money laundering charges, had this to say via reddit:
This is actually good news. I applaud Mark and the MtGox team for making the right decision as I had to do the same. Speaking very lengthy to Mark and the team over the weekend, I see good news on the horizon for people who have funds stuck in MtGox (I also have funds in MtGox stuck)
The announcement resulted in a 50% drop in the exchange rate at MtGox in just under an hour.
Just under three hours after the resignation, all of MtGox’s tweets have been deleted.
We have highlighted here on CCN the criticism MtGox, and it’s CEO Mark Karpeles, has faced in the wake of the exchange ceasing Bitcoin withdrawals. As of this moment, Bitcoin withdrawals are still not enabled. Karpeles, when pressed about the solvency of MtGox, would only reply, “that is confidential.” The persistent questions from customers coupled with the lack of answers from MtGox resulted in a petition on Change.org with over 1700 supporters calling for his resignation from the Bitcoin Foundation.
The continued withdrawal issues, solvency questions, and poor public relations have caused many in the Bitcoin community, including CryptoCoinsNews, to call for a ban on using MtGox. I believe it is reasonable to assume that it was this negative attention, and Karpeles’ continued distraction with running MtGox that lead him to make this decision.
Hopefully the lessons learned in this episode will instruct other exchanges to operate in a more transparent and communicative manner.