Mt. Gox Latest: Karpelès Claims He Doesn’t Want Billion Dollar Windfall
Former CEO of disgraced crypto exchange Mt. Gox says the fact that he stands to gain 160,000 Bitcoins as a result of the bankruptcy trial is “distasteful” and an “aberration”.
Mark Karpelès, the former chief executive of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox, admitted in a Reddit AMA that he has no interest in the “billion dollars” he may gain owing to a technicality in Japanese bankruptcy law.
In a post on Reddit, Karpelès claimed that the prospect of him walking away from the current trial with around 160,000 Bitcoins is “distasteful”. Explaining that he did his best to run the exchange effectively prior to its 2014 collapse, Karpelès admitted that he did not handle the situation well, and apologized to all affected parties.
He then went on to address the “particularly nasty outcome” of Japanese bankruptcy law. According to the law, creditors’ payouts will be in Japanese Yen, and in accordance with the exchange rate at the time they filed the claims – back then, Bitcoin was worth around $440 each, as compared to its current value of more than $6,000.
Karpelès pointed out that should the proceedings follow the Japanese bankruptcy law, 160,000 Bitcoins will still remain after creditors have been paid, and these will be distributed among shareholders as part of the liquidation process.
Dubbing it “an egregiously distasteful outcome”, Karpelès admitted that it would be grossly unfair if shareholders were allowed to walk away with a fortune after the exchange’s colossal collapse amid claims of mismanagement, fraud, and embezzlement.
“I don’t want this,” he went on to add. “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.”
After news broke last year, of the possible windfall Karpelès stood to enjoy, outraged Mt. Gox creditors (who have been fighting to retrieve their lost Bitcoins for years) sought to remove the exchange from bankruptcy, and urged the court to consider changing the exchange’s status to that of civil rehabilitation.
This change in status would mean that the Bitcoins would not be liquidated, and could instead be distributed among the creditors on a pro-rata basis. Currently, the exchange’s bankruptcy trustee has sold around $400 million worth of cryptocurrencies as part of the process to credit victims (the large-scale sell-offs have also been blamed for the current bearish climate of the crypto market).
In his post, Karpelès expressed his support for the civil rehabilitation solution, and claimed he was trying his best to make it happen. The Reddit post received mixed responses, with some admitting that his approach to the matter seemed “fair”, while others continued to remain critical of Karpelès.
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