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Infamous Mt. Gox Villain Mark Karpeles Launches New Blockchain Venture

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:34 PM
Ben Brown
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:34 PM

By CCN.com: Mark Karpeles, disgraced CEO of the infamous Mt. Gox crypto exchange, has revealed new plans in the blockchain space. According to Associated Press , he will launch a new venture with a view to making Japan a “global leader in blockchain.”

Karpeles was found guilty  for manipulating data at Mt. Gox and handed a suspended sentence earlier this year. Now, he’s looking to dip his toes back in the water with a new blockchain business venture.

Mark Karpeles: $450 million lost on his watch

Karpeles shot to infamy in the crypto space when hackers stole 850,000 BTC from Mt. Gox, the largest crypto exchange in the world at the time. Under Karpeles’ leadership, the exchange collapsed into bankruptcy.

Mt. Gox victims protest
Mt. Gox victim protests outside Mark karpeles’ offices in Japan after $450 million hack. | Source: AP

Prosecutors went after Karpeles for embezzlement and fraud, claiming he siphoned $3 million from client accounts prior to the hack. Karpeles was cleared of these charges, avoiding a ten-year prison sentence.

The judge did, however, find evidence of record tampering in the weeks leading up to the loss of funds:

“The charge of electronic record tampering is true and deserves punishment.”

In other words, Karpeles manipulated and falsified bitcoin trading data on the exchange. Karpeles was handed a two year, six-month sentence, suspended for four years. He is currently appealing the charge.

New bitcoin business for Mt. Gox villain?

Details are sparse on Karpeles’ new venture, but he aims to make Japan a “global leader in blockchain.”

Karpeles has also written a book, published in May, called Cryptocurrency 3.0. The publishers refer to Karpeles as a “genius” who was proved “clean.”

“This book is the definitive guide written for the first time by a man who is the best in the world in virtual currency… The first book of a genius programmer who proved “clean.” (Translated from Japanese).

The claim is disingenuous at best since Karpeles was found guilty on charges of record tampering. 

Mark Karpeles book Cryptocurrency 3.0
  Mark Karpeles publishes new book Cryptocurrency 3.0

Karpeles himself doubled down on the claim of innocence in the book’s blurb. According to his Twitter feed, he appears at regular blockchain and cryptocurrency events in Japan:

“As a result of the trial, my innocence was proved, but it was a really painful experience.Because I only know both the wonder and the fear of virtual currency, I can tell you all.” (Translated from Japanese)

Would you trust your money with Karpeles?

The idea of Mark Karpeles starting a new blockchain or bitcoin business will strike fear into the hearts of many. While Karpeles plans his next move, Mt. Gox victims are still desperately struggling to get their money back.

Mt. Gox victim tweet
  Mt. Gox victim battles to reclaim her lost bitcoins five years after the hack.

Former Mt. Gox customers are battling through the excruciating process of proving their holdings. More than $450 million was stolen in the hack.