Mark Marie Robert Karpelès is born in Chenove, in the Burgundy region of France. His mother is Anne Karpelès, a geologist turned realtor.
He writes his first computer program aged 10, the same year he is sent to Collège Prieuré de Binson, a Catholic boarding school two hours north of Dijon.
Karlpeles moves to Israel, hoping to get closer to his Catholic faith while working for internet company Fotovista. In a blog post he argues that Hebrew is as important to Christians as it is to religious Jews. He only worked at this job for a few months before he once again began to feel depressed and “empty” according to one blog. In addition to his work at Fotovista he works on his own site, Ookoo.org. However, due to power outages and service disruptions he loses most of his customers and returns to France.
Karpeles arrives in his Japan with his cat Tiban and some hard drives. Karpeles first visited Japan for a month in 2007, and posted a blog entry in Japanese saying he was a ‘geek’.
Karpeles Blog: I do computer-related work (a programmer); my goal is world domination.
After meeting with Karpeles, Ver makes a video statement:
Today I’m at the Mtgox world headquarters in Tokyo Japan. I had a nice chat with MTGOX CEO, Mark Karpeles, about their current situation. He showed me multiple bank statements, as well as letters from banks and lawyers. I’m sure that all the current withdrawal problems at MTGOX are being caused by the traditional banking system, not because of a lack of liquidity at MTGOX.
Karpeles resigns as one of the industry representatives on the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, which advocates for the virtual currency.
A statement is issued by the founders of other Bitcoin exchanges, distancing themselves from Mt. Gox:
This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt.Gox was the result of one company’s actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of bitcoin and the digital currency industry. There are hundreds of trustworthy and responsible companies involved in bitcoin. These companies will continue to build the future of money by making bitcoin more secure and easy to use for consumers and merchants. As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we are seeing today.
Karpeles appears before Japanese TV news cameras in Tokyo, bowing deeply for several minutes.
Karpeles agrees to an interview with PC World on the condition that he will not discuss other than in general terms what happened at the company, the police investigation into it and other litigation involving him. He says Tibanne now has 13 employees and still does Web and server hosting as well as Web and mobile application development. Tibanne’s graphics editing software subsidiary, Shade3D, has about 10 staff.
I’ve been trying to keep Tibanne and Shade3D running well so we can maybe assist with the Mt. Gox bankruptcy…I cannot apologize enough for what happened. While I believe I did everything I could do to prevent this from happening, it still happened. Right now, I’m trying to do my best to cooperate with the bankruptcy process and the ongoing investigation.
Karpeles says Bitcoin needs the kind of physical security measures that are used to protect gold, including 24-hour operation centers manned by guards and accessed only through hardware tokens, with staff who have undergone extensive background checks.
[Without major investments in security infrastructure] most likely we’re going to see more companies getting hacked, or bitcoin being stolen.
The bankruptcy trustee for Mt. Gox announces it will work with California-based Bitcoin exchange, Kraken, to return the money left in the estate to the company’s 127,000 creditors. Kraken CEO Powell says the company will help with the claims process, including evaluating the assets owed to creditors, and that it will assist in the investigation of Mt. Gox’s collapse. He says the trustee will have the final decision on payments in Bitcoin:
Allowing the creditors to go on without reinvestment, I think, would be very wrong. We’ve got to have the money that was locked up for the last 10 months returned as soon as possible.
On whether the exchange should be revived:
There are no assets, no brand. There is nothing to speak of to revive.
A notice (link) posted on Mt. Gox’s website, says customers can make bankruptcy claims by signing with their account at claims.mtgox.com. There is also an offline option. Those filing must sign up to, or already have, a Kraken account since any returned coins will be deposited via the service. Returns will be calculated at a rate of $483 per BTC with an additional 6 percent per annum. Mt. Gox customers have until May 29 to file their claim. The company’s creditors plan to make a decision on returns by September 9, 2015.
The bankruptcy trustee extends the period for filing bankruptcy claims from May 29, 2015 until 12 noon July 29, 2015. After July 29, the only things that a user will be able to do through the online method will be to view bankruptcy claims filed by the user and transfer the bankruptcy claims to another person.
After three weeks with no formal charges Japanese police says they will issue a fresh arrest warrant accusing him of pocketing $2.6 million worth of Bitcoin deposits, which was mainly spent on buying software rights, but also includes $48,000 for a luxury bed. Police are also reportedly interested in questioning Karpeles about the disappearance of 850,000 coins worth 48 billion yen last year. They were valued at around $480 million at the time of the disappearance, and $387 million at current exchange rates.