Mt. Gox crypto exchange is well remembered — but mostly for a bad reason. The year of 2011 marked the biggest heist in terms of the amount of crypto stolen, an eye-watering figure of 850,000 bitcoins (BTC), worth around $473 million at that time. Four years on and only 200,000 BTC of that were recovered.
Most creditors still don’t know if or when they will ultimately get their funds back. Apparently, we may not see a conclusion any time soon, as Mt. Gox.’s trustee continues its standoff against the United States-based company CoinLab in court.
Meanwhile, recent reports that Mark Karpeles is working for Japanese company Tristan Technologies as its chief technology officer have unsettled the community, with many believing that Karpeles is now back in the crypto game. To clarify these rumors and to find out the details regarding Mt. Gox settlements.
Media reports and rumors
Alex Cohen: First of all, let’s talk about recent reports that claimed you recently joined a brand new blockchain firm, Tristan Tech, as a CTO. You then took to the press to clarify that those reports were not accurate. Can you clarify all of this, please?
Mark Karpeles: This is not particularly a new role; I have been doing this since 2016. Tristan Technologies is a very small company. We have probably, I think, four employees, with two engineers, including myself.
So, it’s a very small entity and we’re working toward creating IT services — but nothing blockchain-related at this point, at least.
There are different reasons for why I work here. One of the reasons was that, at the time, I didn’t really have a choice anyway, considering I was just out on bail. And as such, it was not easy to find a job.
I have an opportunity to work on things that most IT companies cannot do, because either it’s too complex or it’s about things people don’t even know is possible.
MK: Well, of course, there are probably things I can still do in crypto. But I don’t think it’s the right timing, right now. It will depend on how things evolve in the future.
In the meantime, it is important to express and share what I have seen during my years at Mt. Gox and after that, and there is a book I’ve published in Japan that contains a lot of explanation – like what happened at Mt. Gox, what the status of cryptocurrency is, what has been done so far, and what needs to be done as soon as possible to make sure that crypto evolves and become something for the future.
MK: I don’t know when, it will not depend on me alone. It will also depend on the industry itself. Right now, I still have one trial ongoing in Japan.
The original charges include embezzlement and breach of trust, for which I have been judged innocent. But there’s only one thing remaining, to which I’m appealing.
So, it’s going to take some time, I believe. But I’m going to fight until the end to prove my innocence on this.