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Everything You Need To Know About Mt. Gox


Adam James · @Shasdam | Aug 20, 2014 | 16:39


Everything You Need To Know About Mt. Gox


Adam James · @Shasdam | Aug 20, 2014 | 16:39



Mt. Gox was a Bitcoin exchange based out of Tokyo, Japan.Mt. Gox officially launched as a bitcoin exchange on July 2010 by Jed McCaleb. At its height in 2013 Mt. Gox was handling over 70% all bitcoin transactions. In this article will give you total access to everything Mt. Gox, from the history and origins to inside details of who Mark Karpeles was and the current status of Mt. Gox


2007 – January aka “Magic The Gathering Online eXchange” domain name purchased by programmer Jed McCaleb.

2010 – July  McCaleb reads about Bitcoin.

2010 July 18 begins trading as a bitcoin exchange.

2011 – March 6  MtGox sold to Mark Karpelès. A business man from France and living in Japan. For more info on Mark Karpeles keep reading. 
Karpeles owns 88 percent of the company and McCaleb 12 percent, according to a leaked Mt. Gox business plan.

2011 – June 19 Mt. Gox hacked.

2011 – October Mt. Gox loses bitcoin. Mt. Gox sends 2,609 Bitcoins to invalid address with no private key. 

2013 – March Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange briefly halted bitcoin deposits when” blockchain” temporarily forks into two independent logs with differing rules on how transactions could be accepted. 

2013 – April 11-12 Mt. Gox suspends trading for a “market cooldown.

2013 – June 20 Mt. Gox suspended withdrawals in US dollars.

2013 – May 15   US Department of Homeland Security issues a warrant to seize money from Mt. Gox’s US subsidiary’s account. The warrant suggests that under US law, Mt. Gox was operating as an unregistered money transmitter in the US.

2013 – May & July  $5 million are seized by US Government for non-compliance with money transfer regulations.

Views Of Mt. Gox Headquarters As The Bitcoin Exchange Goes Offline

2013 – June 29  Mt. Gox received its money services business (MSB) license from FinCEN.

2014 – February 7  All Bitcoin withdrawals were halted by Mt. Gox citing a problem in the bitcoin code.

2014 – February 17  All Mt. Gox withdrawals halted and competing exchanges back in full operation, the company published another press release indicating the steps they claim they are taking to address security issues

2014 – February 23 Mark Karpelès, the CEO of Mt. Gox, resigns from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation.

2014 – February 24 Mt. Gox suspends all trading, website goes offline. Company discovers theft of 850,000 bitcoins.

2014 – February 28 Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy in Japan on February 28, 2014

2014 – March 9 Mt. Gox files for bankruptcy in the US (Texas), to temporarily halt U.S. legal action by traders who alleged the operation was a fraud

2014 – March  20 Mt. Gox reported on its website that it found some bitcoins — worth around $116 million — in an old digital wallet from 2011. That brings the total number of bitcoins the firm lost down to 650,000 from 850,000.

2014 – April 14 Mt. Gox lawyers said that Mark Karpeles wouldn’t appear for a deposition in a Dallas court, or head a subpoena by FinCEN

2014 – April 16  Mt. Gox gives up its plan to rebuild under bankruptcy protection, and asked a Tokyo court to allow it to be liquidated.


Recently Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy trustee in Japan, Nobuaki Kobayashi sent letters to creditors. 

The letter contain a unique ID number that will be critical for former Gox customers looking to recoup some of the funds that were lost when the exchange went down. The card also includes information on when the former customers can begin filing their claims.

According to the postcard, users will have until November 28, 2014 to file a claim. Most recently a creditors meeting was held in Tokyo on July 23.


For official meeting minutes check out the link here.

More than 100 investors attended the meeting at a courthouse in the Japanese capital, demanding to know how some $500 million worth of Bitcoins disappeared from Mt. Gox’s digital vaults earlier this year.

People who attended the meeting said former Mt Gox chief Mark Karpeles and a court-appointed lawyer managing the firm’s bankruptcy proceedings gave no clear answer about what happened to their money.

The meeting was designed to discuss the bankruptcy process itself and they separated that from what happened to Bitcoin,” said 50-year-old Toshiya Takahashi. “What people wanted to know was what happened and why.”

Karpeles also refuses to travel to the United States, where he was being asked to appear in Texas for questioning in connection with Mt Gox’s collapse. There have also been calls in Japan to launch a criminal investigation.

The next creditors’ meeting is slated for Nov 26

Mt. Gox Part Duex?

The Mt. Gox story may be far from over. Optimistic investors are joining forces to make a bid for the exchange in Japanese bankruptcy court.

Sunlot’s online petition appeals to creditors and the public to back its plan to save Mt. Gox. On their website they describe the proposed management team’s members as “industry professionals.” The list of members includes Brock Pierce, Jonathan Yantis, and venture capitalists William Quigley and Matthew Roszak, from Clearstone Venture Partners and Silk Road Equity,

So far the group has offered a token sum of 1 Bitcoin for Mt. Gox.

Who Is Mark Karpeles?

28-year-old Mark Karpeles was born in France, then spent time in Israel and finally settled down in Japan. There he got married and became a father.

Mark Karpalese worked as a software developer and network admin at Linux Cyberjoueurs and has also contributed to PHP  official repository of extensions from 2003 – 2005

In 2009 he founded Tibanne Co. Ltd where he is CEO. Mark is  also a founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation created in 2012 with a mission to standardize and promote bitcoin.

While at Mt. Gox insiders say he was a man who “was more a computer coder than a Chief-Executive and yet was sometimes distracted even from his technical duties when they were most needed”

In 2011, he acquired the Mt. Gox exchange in from an American entrepreneur named Jed McCaleb.



According to insiders, he thought nothing of dropping the business of the day to order flat screen TVs or $400 lunches for the staff of Gox’s expanded Tokyo headquarters, which now occupies three floors of a modern office building in the city’s Shibuya neighborhood.

Amid all the rapid expansion of Mt. Gox – it seems like Karpeles was unimpressed as he took up a brand new project; The Bitcoin Cafe. Inspired by a French bistro, it would be a stylish hang-out located in the same building as the Mt. Gox offices, a very-new-looking building of metal and glass within walking distance of Tokyo’s largest train station. You could drop by for a beer or some wine, and — using a cash register proudly hacked by Mark Karpeles — you could buy it all with bitcoin.

One insider says that Mt. Gox spent the equivalent of $1 million on the cafe venture, renovating Mt. Gox’s office building to Karepeles’ specifications. At a time when Gox’s business was falling apart, this insider says, the project was a major distraction. “[Karpeles] was super-proud of being able to use his hacked cash register with the code he wrote,” this insider says.

Says another insider: “Aside from the cafe, he liked to spend time fixing servers, setting up networks and installing gadgets… probably distracting himself from dealing with the real issues that the company was up against.”

A very telling example of how Mark Karpelese conducted his business occurred in June 2011 amid the first Mt. Gox Hack

Ver and Powell and Karpeles were set to work through the weekend, but when they arrived at the company’s tiny office that Saturday, there was a surprise. Mark Karpeles had decided to take the weekend off. The two volunteers were flabbergasted. “I thought that was completely insane and demoralizing for the rest of the team,” Powell remembers.

On Monday, Karpeles did return to work, but he spent part of the day stuffing envelopes. “I was like: ‘Dude why are you doing this? You can do this anytime. The site is offline. You need to get the site online.’”

The lack of sense of urgency and a big ego – it seems like Mark Karpeles is living in another universe and cares not for his clients nor customers.

Further re-enforced by his twitter feed after the Mt. Gox crash. After months of dark social media account @magicaltux was back tweeting about asian noodles sparking outrage within the bitcoin online community.


Vigna, Paul (2014-02-25). “5 things about Mt. Gox’s crisis”. The Wall Street Journal.
Jed McCaleb Interview on
Buterin, Vitalik (29 June 2013). “MtGox Gets FinCEN MSB License”. Bitcoin Magazine (Coin Publishing Ltd.)
Mtgox documents to creditors on scribd

Photo source 1: Mt Gox
Photo source 2: canstockphoto

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