Speaking from atop MtGox

Speaking from atop MtGox

 Mark Karpelés opens up to Reddit users about MtGox and what is to come of the remaining creditors' funds. 

Mark Karpelés opens up to Reddit users about MtGox and what is to come of the remaining creditors' funds. 

Infamously, in 2014, Tokyo-based MtGox, the world's largest Bitcoin exchange at the time, collapsed. The collapse came as a result of around 850,000 Bitcoins, belonging to customers of the exchange, going 'missing'; those Bitcoins totaled to around $450 million dollars worth, at the time. It was later discovered that those 'missing' coins were in fact stolen directly from MtGox's online (hot) wallet, citing malleability as the method of theft. At the time of this event, Mark Karpelés was in charge of MtGox, and in April, filed for bankruptcy in the company's home country of Japan. 

This morning, Karpelés initiated an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the sub-Reddit, /r/bitcoin. Karpelés reminded his audience that, "four years have passed, and MtGox is still in bankruptcy today. I’ve been arrested, released under bail after a little less than one year, and am now trying to assist MtGox getting into civil rehabilitation." He explains that Japanese bankruptcy laws can have a "particularly nasty outcome", in that, "creditors claims were registered, those claims were registered in the valuation of Japanese Yen on the bankruptcy date. That's the only way Japanese bankruptcy law can work (most bankruptcy laws around the world operate this way for that matter)." As this is the case, the value of the Bitcoin still meant for liquidation will allow creditors to be paid back in full (the value at the time of the bankruptcy), and will still leave 160,000 Bitcoin and Bcash assets to the MtGox estate. According to Karpelés, "The way bankruptcy law (in Japan) works is that if there are any assets remaining after the creditors have been paid in full, then those assets are distributed to shareholders as part of the liquidation." 

Karpelés is quick to point out that even though law entitles MtGox shareholders to the remaining 160,000 BTC (approx $1.1 billion USD today), he sees it as an "egregiously distasteful outcome", in regards to customers affected by the theft. Further pointing out his awareness of his opportunity to unjustly keep the money, Karpelés said this: 

I don’t want this. I don’t want this billion dollars. From day one I never expected to receive anything from this bankruptcy. The fact that today this is a possibility is an aberration and I believe it is my responsibility to make sure it doesn’t happen. One of the ways to do this would be civil rehabilitation, and as it seems most creditors agree with this, I am doing my best to help make it happen. I do not want to become instantly rich. I do not ask for forgiveness. I just want to see this end as soon as possible with everyone receiving their share of what they had on MtGox so everyone, myself included, can get some closure.

As questions and comments poured in from Reddit users, many of the questions revolved around how and if Karpelés plans to redistribute the remaining Bitcoin, and who actually will have possession of those Bitcoin. Karpelés replied: 

MtGox has two shareholders, Tibanne (88%) and Jed McCaleb (12%). Tibanne has only one shareholder, me. Because both Tibanne and myself are bankrupt there are various layers before I have a say in anything that would happen.

Ideally I’d like to redistribute the BTC/BCH to creditors if it ever happens to be given to me, but hopefully things won’t get that far as a very large chunk would end being lost to taxes, that’s why Civil Rehabilitation is so important.

From the overall honesty and candidness of the forum, it seems that Karpelés has all intentions for the remaining Bitcoins and Bcash to go to their rightful owners (those who successfully filed a claim), but as he points out, he hopes that the proceedings will not lead up to a point where the control is in his hands. He hopes the courts will allow for civil rehabilitation, which will allow affected parties to file a new claim on their losses, even after the close of the original claim deadline. After some time, Karpelés did put up an edit regarding the massive amount of questions stating: "With this coming to r/all there have been an overwhelming number of messages, questions etc. I will continue responding for a little while but probably won't be able to respond to new questions (it is starting to be late here and I've been spending the last few hours typing). Thank you very much to everyone." We encourage you all to check out this AMA as there is a good chance that anything you've wondered about the MtGox case has been addressed here, directly, by Mark Karpelés himself. 

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