Today is the 35th birthday of Mark Marie Robert Karpeles, famous for the disastrous Mt. Gox exchange hack that led to the loss of 850 thousand Bitcoins (BTC).
Karpeles was born in Chenôve, France in 1985 and completed his studies in 2003 in Paris, becoming a PHP developer and working for the next 2 years at an IT company as a software developer and network administrator.
The problems began when he was convicted of data theft by the company he worked for in 2010. The sentence included one year in prison and a fine of 45 thousand euros, but he never served time because he escaped to Japan.
In those circumstances, he created his company, Tibanne, named after his cat. The company was involved in software development and, thanks to a client who asked him if he could pay in bitcoin, he went down the white rabbit hole.
In 2011, surfing through chat rooms, he met Jed McCaleb, who was selling his Magic The Gathering card exchange website, MtGox. Thus Karpeles had the idea to use the platform not to trade and sell cards but crypto.
In that same year he founded the Mt Gox exchange that soon reached 70% of the total bitcoin trading in the world and in that same period there was a leap forward in the price of the asset. Thus Mark Karpeles became the “Bitcoin Baron” and also became one of the founding members of the Bitcoin Foundation, where he remained from 2012 to 2014.
In February 2014 the irreparable happened, the biggest exchange of that time lost 850 thousand BTC, 750 thousand belonging to various users and 100 thousand belonging to the exchange, for a value of over 400 million dollars at the time.
The attack was carried out exploiting the Malleability Attack as well as the complicity of someone inside having access to the relevant cold wallets. Presumably, Alexander Vinnik was also involved in the hacker attack.
In 2015 Karpeles was arrested in Japan on charges of falsifying his balance sheet data, but after a few months in prison, he was released on bail and then sentenced in 2019.
Mark Karpeles was also suspected of being involved in the famous Silk Road website.
The bankruptcy of Mt Gox has unleashed the wrath of the various users, real creditors of the situation, who want to be compensated for what they lost in the attack.
And it is here that further problems arise for Karpeles because, at the time of the hack, the asset was worth $700, while creditors demand a higher price, at market value.
Over the years, several offers have been made to buy the credits of those who had lost the bitcoins, the offer stands at $1300 per BTC.
Karpeles in the meantime said he was ready for a new venture, always in Japan as he cannot leave the country.