Mark Karpeles, the Chief Executive Officer of failed Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, is one step closer to being thrown in jail with news out of Japan that he has now formally been charged in relation to crimes committed while he was running the now bankrupt exchange. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
In an interesting twist, however, those accusations didn’t list off the $500 million worth of missing bitcoin that eventually caused Mt. Gox to shut down, according to multiple reports on the arrest. Some reasoned that the Japanese prosecutors can not charge Karpeles with Embezzlement since bitcoin is a virtual currency, and according to the ruling of the Tokyo District Court, bitcoin can not be owned.
Mt. Gox was one of the most visible signs of the bitcoin bubble that captivated the tech industry in late 2013 and early 2014. It was only later that the firm adopted its new bitcoin exchange identity.
Many were interested in the quick riches that bitcoin seemed to offer, but the collapse of Mt. Gox underscored the lack of control and regulation in the market and helped to cool excitement for the electronic currency.
At the time of his arrest Japanese media reported Karpeles was suspected of falsifying data on the outstanding balance of the exchange, but sources involved in the investigation told newspaper Yomiuri that he has denied the charges, telling investigators the data falsification was done for the company and he had meant to pay back the money.
Following the bankruptcy filing, MtGox announced it found 200,000 of the missing bitcoins (worth £74 million) in a “cold” digital
Originally appeared at: http://www.jewocity.com/blog/former-mt-gox-head-charged-with-bitcoin-embezzlement/67304