The adventures of Mark Karpelès, former boss of Bitcoin and Mt. Gox

The adventures of Mark Karpelès, former CEO of the Bitcoin exchange platform Mt. Gox, continue! Indeed, on June 11, the judge of the Court of Appeal dismissed Mark Karpelès’s appeal. He confirms that the latter is indeed “guilty of manipulation of electronic data, but not of embezzlement. ”

Kolin Burges protesting
Britain’s Kolin Burges holding a protest sign in Tokyo after losing Bitcoins in February 2014.
Photo credit: Toru Hanai

A little step back is necessary

In 2014, remember, Mt. Gox, the leading Bitcoin exchange, went bankrupt. This old Magix card platform had just experienced the most important hack in the world of Bitcoin. 850,000 Bitcoins had vanished, a modest sum estimated at the time at 20 million euros. But how can Mark Karpelès, this 34-year-old Frenchman, still be at the center of the biggest digital scam?

By plunging into the heart of this legal case, this cyberbrake and its consequences are on the borderline between fiction and reality.

Who is Mark Karpelès?

For this Frenchman who emigrated to Japan, it all started a long time ago. Introduced to computer programming at the age of 4 by his mother, Mark Karpelès quickly became a geek with a passion for code, computers and … cats. But, we won’t tell you more! To discover this atypical character, Wall of Traders strongly recommends that you read : Pay the Devil in Bitcoins by Jake Adelstein. You will understand why the former CEO is still fighting Japanese justice and why this case is much more complex than a simple story of fraud.

“I have been a forensic journalist for a quarter of a century in Japan, so this is all painfully familiar to me. This is how it works in this country.

When the police stop you, they expect you to confess. If you don’t comply, you are arrested again and again. The longer you wait, the longer the list of charges grows, the more the police can keep you in pre-trial detention for questioning. “

“Pay the Devil in Bitcoins” by Jack Adelstein

Released in 2019, this novel immerses you in a most astonishing judicial investigation: corrupt feds, overly idealistic libertarians and businessmen ready for anything. But, above all, you will finally be able to put a name on all these personalities who gravitate in the world of cryptocurrency: the “God of Bitcoin”, Satoshi Nakamoto, Jed McCaleb creator of the Ripple cryptocurrency, Ross Ulbircht, founder of Silk Road “ Silk Road ”, Roger Ver, etc.

“If you think of Bitcoin as a religious phenomenon, which many people are inclined to do, then you could say that Sathoshi Nakamoto is its God – absent and insecure, but God nonetheless. Roger Ver, who launched many of the start-ups that democratized virtual currencies deserves his nickname Bitcoin Jesus, while Mark Karpelès would play the role of Paul, Marc, Mathieu and Luke all at the same time – he is the apostle . ”

The Bitcoin universe in 229 pages

An Island Country and Yakuza criminal specialist Jake Adelstein tells us step by step the story of MT Gox, the dark web, the Japanese police, the FBI and this first Bitcoin cybercrack. He also tells us about his first encounter with cryptocurrency. Born following a collaboration with the Swiss journalist Nathalie Stucky, “Pay the Devil in Bitcoins” is a nice introduction to the history of Bitcoin, its dangers, but also its impact on our society.

“All of the media became obsessed with Bitcoins. On March 6, 2014, the newly revamped US magazine Newsweek ran a front page article titled ‘The Man Behind the Bitcoins’. They claimed to have got hold of the legendary creator of virtual currencies and to have spoken with him, at his modest home in the suburbs of Los Angeles. “

Curious or avid for surprising and confusing stories, immerse yourself in this book and let yourself be carried away by this American journalist. You will certainly not become a blockchain specialist, but you will learn more about the world of cryptocurrency, the geek and libertarian culture and also about this cyberbrake that we are likely to talk about for a long time …

“Bitcoin entered the big leagues”.

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