The Mt. Gox debacle isn’t news to most, but as a refresher, the Tokyo-based company was the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange from 2010 to 2014. It was responsible for more than 70% of all trading until, in February of 2014, the company closed up operations and filed for bankruptcy. The company later announced that about 850,000 legacy Bitcoin (BTC)—worth around $450 million at the time—had simply gone missing.
Fast forward to 2016, when creditors claimed that a total of $2.4 trillion was lost due to the bankruptcy. The trustee in charge of the bankruptcy said that only around $91 million was recovered, despite the company reportedly having over $500 million in assets. The whole situation has been an economic nightmare, from which many still haven’t woken up.
The fiasco resulted in swift regulatory controls, as well as an indictment for embezzlement and data manipulation against the company’s CEO, Mark Karpeles. Karpeles pleaded not guilty to the charges in July 2017. Now, the embattled CEO is on the verge of receiving a substantial amount of money following reconciliation of accounts after creditors and exchange users were paid their shares. Karpeles could reportedly receive over 160,000 BTC and Bitcoin Cash, which is currently worth more than $1 billion.
For his part, Karpeles says he doesn’t want the money. In a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, Karpeles, who is still a suspect in the initial loss, said, “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.”
“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 Mt Gox so everyone, myself included, can get some closure,” according to Karpeles.
The Mt. Gox scandal rocked the cryptocurrency world and turned the entire world upside down. The ability for one person to control the lives of many is exactly what cryptocurrency technology is trying to solve, and this was truly a huge black eye for the industry, as well as for its investors.
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