Mt. Gox

Mt. Gox63 posts

Mt. Gox was one of the first Bitcoin exchanges, a place where customers could convert their local currencies into the virtual currency. The site was located in Japan and run by Mark Karpeles, a young French programmer. As Bitcoin increased in value the site experienced technical difficulties, hacking and public relations crises, culminating in the exchanges’ bankruptcy in February 2014, and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of users’ funds.

27 Aug, 2015
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Rolling Stone profile

Interview

Rolling Stone publishes a profile of Karpeles and Mt. Gox, titled The Rise and Fall of a Bitcoin Kingpin. On stealing Gameboys and mobile phones as a teenager by hacking shopping websites:

A lot of people respected me for that. I did feel more important, in a way. If I need something, I press a button and I get it.

On what he felt like when he realized $650 million in bitcoins were gone:

It really felt unreal. I don’t know how to describe that. When you get a hospital operation without any anesthetic, it hurts at first, but at some point the pain reaches a point where you don’t feel anything anymore.

18 Sep, 2014
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Karpeles interview

Interview

Karpeles is interviewed by Tokyo-based journalist, Nathalie Stucky. On whether the Japanese police have enough knowledge to investigate Mt. Gox:

I think that those who think that the Japanese police is “incapable” slightly underestimate them if they think that they are not advancing. I don’t have all the details, but I have more details than usual people. So I have seen things that others won’t ever see. And based on that, I think the Japanese police are quite efficient. But I totally support the idea that several people start their own investigations. It is generally a good idea to have different people having different way of seeing the same problem. The police does not report into details on what they are doing, that’s why it might seem like they are not doing anything but they are actually working on this. As for understanding the situation, I think I gave them enough training so that they can now go on. It is a recurrent fact that the Japanese police arrest innocents and make them confess that they did the thing. So, I simply hope that they won’t do anything insane. That is something that is not guaranteed though.

A question he wishes people would ask:

I wished that someone had asked me how I’m doing. I think everyone sees me as “Mr. Mt Gox,” and not enough like a human being, or just a person. Although I don’t always agree with what human beings think, or the way they react, it’s sometimes disappointing, everyone needs human interaction.

27 Jun, 2014
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Karpeles WSJ interview

Interview

The WSJ interviews Karpeles at his home on the top floor of a 33-story building in Tokyo’s Meguro neighborhood. It is first media interview since a news conference when Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy in February.

 All I can say is I am deeply sorry. But I did what I could, and I swear I haven’t been doing anything too luxurious.

On security:

We had some cases where a stranger sneaked in and took things away. We also have at least one former employee stealing the company’s data.

On what he had done wrong:

Management. I was too busy and couldn’t lay out an adequate corporate structure. I wish I had five of me, as I was too busy with meetings with banks, lawyers and business partners. That was all painful, I wish I had more time to do engineer-type of work. We tried [to hire experienced professionals] but we didn’t have money and also often they turned us down.

Asked when he found out the Bitcoins were gone:

I always worried about ‘What if all the bitcoins were gone?’ Since that actually happened, I have gone through many sleepless nights. Scared, frustrated and angry—-so many emotions were occupying my mind.

He wishes someone should buy the exchange and says that Bitcoin has the potential to change the world but is too easy to use for illegal activities.

May 2014
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McCaleb never met Karpeles, lost “around $50,000” in site collapse

Interview

The original founder of the site explains his relationship with Karpeles in an interview with Ars Technica.

I met [Karpeles] I think on bitcointalk.org. The Bitcoin community was very small at that time and I asked him to do some software development for me. He did that task and I was looking for someone else to run Mt. Gox so I could focus on other things. We discussed the possibility of him buying Mt. Gox from me and I ended up selling it to him in 2011.

I have not had any involvement with Mt. Gox other than as a minority shareholder since early 2011 when I sold it to Mark Karpeles, whom I have never even met in person,” he said. “It is my understanding that Mark also rewrote the entire codebase sometime in 2011 shortly after the sale and none of my code remained in use. Aside from the sale, I have never received any distributions or profits from Mark

McCaleb also tells Ars he lost around $50,000 (held in dollars, not bitcoins) when the exchange closed.

25 Feb, 2014
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Karpeles: We haven’t given up

Interview

In an IRC chat with Fox Business Karpeles says he hasn’t given up:

FB: Is that Crisis Strategy Draft even legit?
MK: more or less. as the name suggests it’s a draft and it’s a bunch of porposals to deal with the issue at hand, not things that are actually planned or done. This said document was not produced by MtGox.

FB: Are you stepping down as CEO and away from gox too? (if you can’t legally disclose, then just say so)
MK: can’t disclose that yet

FB: So you guys are still actively trying to save it though?
MK: we haven’t given up

FB: How much did you lose yourself?
MK: Well technically speaking it’s not “lost” just yet, just temporarily unavailable

23 Apr, 2013
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Reuters interview

Interview

Reuters interviews Karpeles, who while sitting on a big blue ball, explains that the currency needs more merchants to adopt it so it can grow,

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