For anyone following the Mt. Gox debacle in recent years, the person at the center – Mark Karpeles – represented by an oddball character perfect for some future Hollywood film called, “The Bitcoin Exchange,” which highlights the sometimes Wall-Streetian, and oft naive, story of Bitcoin.
Mark Karpeles, the long embattled and now-incarcerated CEO of Mt. Gox, was well-known for his appreciation of a fine double latte with caramel and extra whipped cream. He is better known for having lost millions worth of bitcoins through his exchange Mt. Gox. Many claim the Mt. Gox CEO, amid crisis, continued to spend customer funds for his own enjoyment.
In July 2010, the Magic The Gathering website turned to Bitcoin. By November 2010, the bitcoin price would go to 50 cents USD. Soon, the tide would start to change for the bitcoin exchange. In July 2013, Mt. Gox temporarily suspended withdrawals. In August 2013, the US government seized more than $5 million from Mt. Gox’s US accounts. In March 2014, Mt. Gox filed for a $6.3 million bankruptcy. Last week, Mark Karpeles was arrested in Japan. So who is Mark Karpeles?
First of all, there is one thing everyone must know about Karpeles: the man loved cats.
That’s his cat Tibanne. MtGox’s shell corporation was called Tibanne Ltd. Mark also loved sitting comfortably, even in interviews with mainstream press:
In the following tweet, we see Mark’s acknowledgement that he is chic. At this point, in February 2011, Bitcoin had increased in price to $1.
In March 2011, the original owner of Mt. Gox sold the exchange to Mark Karpeles. But God nearly stopped the Mt. Gox fiasco:
Mark the Hero.
There is no corresponding tweet from Mark about his volunteer work, despite the situation apparently making it impossible for him to work:
Mark fosters delusions of grandeur:
Early on in the MtGox experiment, Karpeles was not too concerned with US authorities.
He did, however, feel compelled to lecture on Internet security. This despite Karpeles apparently having kept 430,000 BTC in hot wallet, which only he controlled. There was no backup plan. In other words, if Mark died, all bitcoins were gone.
Mark believes Mt. Gox did the best they could do, despite having lost all the money held at the exchange.