The Former CEO Of the Once-Largest Bitcoin Exchange No Longer Believes in Bitcoin

April 6, 2018 10:22 pm Published by
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The former chief executive officer of Mt. Gox, previously the largest Bitcoin exchange, said that he is no longer a believer in the cryptocurrency and sounded pessimistic about the industry as a whole in a talk earlier this week, according to Fortune.

Mark Karpeles was discussing the industry on the online message board site, Reddit, and said, “The technology is definitely here to stay, but Bitcoin may have trouble evolving and keeping up. I could be wrong about this. I’ve been wrong about a lot of things.”

Bitcoin has slipped to its lowest level this year so far this week after already declining 50 percent since the beginning of the year. 

The technology behind Bitcoin, blockchain, is a distributed ledger that can be used in a wide range of thing from managing supply chains to making low-cost international money transfers. 

Karpeles said that he currently doesn’t own Bitcoin and also called the main cryptocurrency rival, Ethereuum, “too untested” for serious use. 

Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy in 2014 after thousands of Bitcoins belonging to customers were found to be missing. 

Karpeles was arrested by Japanese police in 2015 after leading the company since 2011. 

Karpeles detailed his time in Japanese jail during the Ask Me Anything question-and-answer posting, describing how he lost 77 pounds within four months since “lunch was actually two breads with jam.” 

Karpeles also discussed that in March, authorities uncovered that the Japanese trustee handling the Mt. Gox bankruptcy had already sold some of the company’s remaining Bitcoins in order to pay back creditors, but due to Japanese bankruptcy law, Karpeles could end up with more than $1 billion after the proceedings are finished. 

Karpeles said that he hopes to return all that money to the exchange’s 24,000 creditors. 

The former CEO remains on Trial in Japan since he’s also accused of stealing money for personal use and making false deposits into the firm’s account, though Karpeles entered a plea of not guilty for those charges. 

Karpeles said that he hopes to work as an engineer again in the future, but probably not for a cryptocurrency startup. 

He also joked that if there ever was a movie made about the tumultuous time of Mt. Gox, he said he’d prefer to be played by the actor Jack Black since, “I really love the guy.”, Maureen Foody


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