In 2014, Mt. Gox, the Bitcoin exchange, collapsed under circumstances still unsolved. Now, her former boss Mark Karpeles in Japan has to be held responsible.
Mark Karpeles, former head of the 2014 bankruptcy bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, has to face the court in Tokyo on Tuesday. He is accused, among other things, of having manipulated data in the exchange systems and put bitcoins worth several million US dollars into his own pocket. Karpeles would not plead “not guilty”, said his attorney of the news agency AFP.
Karpeles had already been arrested in August 2015, but was released again about a year later on bail. Its Tokyo-based Bitcoin stock exchange Mt. Gox, once the most important exchange place for the crypto-money bitcoin, went bankrupt at the beginning of 2014. According to Karpeles, unknown hackers had exploited a bitcoin bug called “transaction malleability”, making the stock exchange 650,000 bitcoins easier. Originally, he had estimated the damage to 850,000 bitcoins, but then surprisingly presented 200,000 bitcoins from “old wallets”. Not a few observers in the Bitcoin community had seen Karpeles from the outset as guilty for the stock exchange. Various media reports drew a picture of gross mismanagement at Mt. Gox, citing insiders.
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What about the missing bitcoins?
In the case of a conviction, Karpeles could expect, among other things, a sentence of up to 5 years. It remains to be seen whether it will be public in the course of the negotiations, what happened with the missing 650,000 Bitcoins. Their whereabouts are still speculating. At a hearing in the US Congress in June, a co-founder of Chainanalysis, a company specializing in blockchain forensics, stated at the request of a Congress member that the “whereabouts of the coins are definitely known.” He did not, however, provide evidence for the details of Cyberscoop’s report This allegation has not been public so far. Chainanalysis has been officially entrusted with investigations in the Gox case of insolvency.
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