Mark Karpeles has dealt with a lot of criticism since the collapse of the Mt Gox Bitcoin exchange earlier this year – and the original creator of the Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange, Jed McCaleb, is trying to make sure he is not lumped into the same category as Karpeles.
McCaleb recently gave an interview to Ars Technica
and said that he himself lost $50,000 in cash when Mt. Gox went bust. McCaleb is now trying to move Mt. Gox from under a Japanese court-appointed administrator to the hands of a group of American entrepreneurs
McCaleb, who created the Mt. Gox platform in 2010, explained how this debacle was the first time he had any contact with the market in years:
“Just prior to that, I was in the process of being dismissed from the Mt. Gox lawsuits because I have not had any involvement with Mt. Gox other than as a minority shareholder since early 2011 when I sold it to Mark Karpeles, whom I have never even met in person. It is my understanding that Mark also rewrote the entire codebase sometime in 2011 shortly after the sale and none of my code remained in use. Aside from the sale, I have never received any distributions or profits from Mark.”
Distancing oneself from Karpeles at a time when there are reports of him purchasing a $23,000 coffee machine
for a Bitcoin café in his office building even after Mt.Gox’s first security breach is probably a smart move.
Following its collapse – which has been blamed on everything from hackers to mismanagement – Mt. Gox lost 553,000 bitcoins belonging to its customers and filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and the United States. The public has largely pointed fingers at Karpeles, accusing him of negligence and even theft.
In the interview, McCaleb also explained how he transferred Mt. Gox to Karpeles:
“I met [Karpeles], I think, on bitcointalk.org. The Bitcoin community was very small at that time and I asked him to do some software development for me. He did that task and I was looking for someone else to run Mt. Gox so I could focus on other things. We discussed the possibility of him buying Mt. Gox from me and I ended up selling it to him in 2011.”
McCaleb’s words may do little to assuage the anger of those who lost enormous amounts of money, but it is also refreshing to hear someone from Mt. Gox come forward and communicate with the public.
McCaleb also expressed his disappointment in Mt. Gox and its effect on Bitcoin in general:
“Although I am proud of how much the community has grown over the years, it saddens me to see the negative impact that Mt. Gox ended up having. Like many [others], I had money in Mt. Gox which I have also lost. The community deserves to find out the truth, and I am going to do what I can to help. Ultimately, with so many new positive projects being launched every day, Bitcoin will be able to show the world that we will not only recover, but grow stronger.”