Mt. Gox’s Mark Karpeles: Of Cats, Temp. Unavailable Bitcoins & Double Lattes With Whipped Cream


Mark Karpeles: Purveyor of fine swords.

For anyone following the Mt. Gox debacle in recent years, the person at the center – Mark Karpeles – represented by an oddball character perfect for some future Hollywood film called, “The Bitcoin Exchange,” which highlights the sometimes Wall-Streetian, and oft naive, story of Bitcoin.

Mark Karpeles, the long embattled and now-incarcerated CEO of Mt. Gox, was well-known for his appreciation of a fine double latte with caramel and extra whipped cream. He is better known for having lost millions worth of bitcoins through his exchange Mt. Gox. Many claim the Mt. Gox CEO, amid crisis, continued to spend customer funds for his own enjoyment.

In July 2010, the Magic The Gathering website turned to Bitcoin. By November 2010, the bitcoin price would go to 50 cents USD. Soon, the tide would start to change for the bitcoin exchange. In July 2013, Mt. Gox temporarily suspended withdrawals. In August 2013, the US government seized more than $5 million from Mt. Gox’s US accounts. In March 2014, Mt. Gox filed for a $6.3 million bankruptcy. Last week, Mark Karpeles was arrested in Japan. So who is Mark Karpeles?

First of all, there is one thing everyone must know about Karpeles: the man loved cats.


That’s his cat Tibanne. MtGox’s shell corporation was called Tibanne Ltd. Mark also loved sitting comfortably, even in interviews with mainstream press:


In the following tweet, we see Mark’s acknowledgement that he is chic. At this point, in February 2011, Bitcoin had increased in price to $1.

karpeles5Mark tries to play down the more gangster aspects of his personality by pronouncing his hate for the fedora, which has become widely associated with 1920s prohibition era gang activity.


In March 2011, the original owner of Mt. Gox sold the exchange to Mark Karpeles. But God nearly stopped the Mt. Gox fiasco:


Mark in distress: karpeles8

Mark the Hero. 


There is no corresponding tweet from Mark about his volunteer work, despite the situation apparently making it impossible for him to work: 


Mark fosters delusions of grandeur:

KarpelesTweetBy Summer 2011, a hack of Mt. Gox caused the price to fall to 1 cent in a flash crash of sorts. Mark lamented his seat on a plane: karpeles13Like everyone, Mark appreciated a double rainbow every now and then.karpelesdoublerainbowAll Mark really wanted for Chistmas was to buy himself and his employees gigantic Burger King burgers.

karpeles14Mark the Scientist disdained the religious. karpeles15He was NOT DPR. He only lost/stole millions of dollars:KarpelesDPR

Early on in the MtGox experiment, Karpeles was not too concerned with US authorities. 


He did, however, feel compelled to lecture on Internet security. This despite Karpeles apparently having kept 430,000 BTC in hot wallet, which only he controlled. There was no backup plan. In other words, if Mark died, all bitcoins were gone.


Mark believes Mt. Gox did the best they could do, despite having lost all the money held at the exchange. 


Throughout the debacle, Mark remained optimistic. The following screenshot is from a leaked online chat. The bitcoins were not lost, just “temporarily” unavailable.