Friday, February 3, 2023

Highlights from Today’s Mark Karpelès AMAs on Reddit

Highlights from Today’s Mark Karpelès AMAs on Reddit

Mark Karpelès, the infamous face of the MtGox collapse, just held two separate Ask Me Anythings (AMAs) on Reddit — one on r/Bitcoin and one on r/btc. His remarks were frank, sobering, and at times restricted due to his as-yet ongoing legal situation in Japan. 

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Karpelès Comes Forward

In his introductory remarks, the ex-CEO didn’t shy away from delving straight into the labyrinthine and bitter legal situation that’s unfolded in the years after the MtGox cryptocurrency exchange’s complex bankruptcy:

“Japanese bankruptcy law has a particularly nasty outcome here, and I want to address this up front. As creditors claims were registered, those claims were registered in the valuation of Japanese Yen on the bankruptcy date. That’s the only way Japanese bankruptcy law can work (most bankruptcy laws around the world operate this way for that matter). This means that the claims can be paid back in full, and there will still be over 160,000 bitcoin and bitcoin cash in assets in the Gox estate. The way bankruptcy law works is that if there are any assets remaining after the creditors have been paid in full, then those assets are distributed to shareholders as part of the liquidation.

That’s the only way any bankruptcy law can reasonably work. And yet, in this case, it produces an egregiously distasteful outcome in that the shareholders of MtGox would walk away with the value of over 160,000 bitcoin as a result of what happened.

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. One of the ways to do this would be civil rehabilitation, and as it seems most creditors agree with this, I am doing my best to help make it 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 MtGox so everyone, myself included, can get some closure.”

He’s Pushing for Civil Rehabilitation

Throughout the AMA threads, Karpelès noted his disdain for the current bankruptcy proceedings, arguing that returning to the process of Civil Rehabilitation would allow for more flexible and comprehensive remedial actions for affected creditors.

He noted that re-opening Civil Rehabilitation would also likely allow for another filing window for affected creditors who failed to make claims during the previous window.


“In Japan, Civil Rehabilitation mostly means plans are submitted to the court, approved plans are submitted to creditors for voting and whatever plan creditors choose is implemented,” he later explained. “The plan can be about re-opening the exchange, merger with another exchange or just straight distribution and closing the company.”

Clarifying the Shareholder Situation

One common recurring question pertained to MtGox’s shareholder situation, i.e. who would be receiving the thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of bitcoins and bitcoin cash that would be left over once registered MtGox creditors had been paid in Japanese yen.

Mark explained their were only two shareholders, himself and MtGox’s original creator Jed McCaleb, now with the Stellar team:

Anger Surfaces

Anger was another unsurprising theme in the comments, but even the more frustrated posters generally avoided venomous remarks.

The bitterness certainly came through at times, though.

Such anger is here to stay so long as the bankruptcy proceedings remain unresolved — for now, with no end in sight.

What’s your take? Were you one of the thousands who lost BTC on MtGox? Let us know what you think about the whole situation in the comments below. 

Images via Reddit, Newsweek

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