Kolin Burges (R), a self-styled cryptocurrency trader and former software engineer from London, holds a placard to protest against Mt. Gox, as photographers take photos of him in front of the building where the digital marketplace operator was formerly housed in Tokyo February 26, 2014. Japanese authorities are looking into the abrupt closure of Mt. Gox, the top government spokesman said on Wednesday in Tokyo's first official reaction to the turmoil at what was the world's biggest exchange for bitcoin virtual currency.    REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3FQ9B

Angry Bitcoiners Are Threatening the Founder of Mt. Gox

People are pissed at Mark Karpeles, the CEO of Mt. Gox. Will someone take it too far?

“Pay to have MARK KARPELES killed,” one commenter wrote earlier today on a Bitcoin forum.

“Open Letter to Mark Karpeles: You are a Dead Man,” wrote another.

Both posts have since been taken down by moderators, but the sentiment is clear: People are angry at Mark Karpeles, founder and CEO of Mt. Gox, the once-thriving Bitcoin exchange that shut down Tuesday. 

Aaron, a protester, during a demonstration against Mt. Gox in Tokyo this week.
(Toru Hanai/Reuters)

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that 750,000 Bitcoins—about a half-billion dollars—went missing from the Mt. Gox reserves. No one really knows just yet what happened, or who stole the Bitcoin (if it was even really stolen), but some believe Karpeles was somehow involved in the theft, though no official charges have been brought against him.

On Tuesday, Karpeles, who lives in Tokyo, resigned from the Bitcoin Foundation, an advocacy group. The same day, six major Bitcoin operators, including Coinbase, issued a joint statement condemning Mt. Gox, though they made no mention of Karpeles in their post.

Karpeles has stayed quiet, likely working with his lawyers before making an official statement. On Wednesday, Karpeles posted a short notice to his now defunct site.

Mark Karpeles of Mt. Gox

“As there is a lot of speculation regarding Mt. Gox and its future, I would like to use this opportunity to reassure everyone that I am still in Japan, and working very hard with the support of different parties to find a solution to our recent issues,” he wrote. 

More information will inevitably trickle out over the coming days and weeks. Eventually, U.S. and Japanese regulators will likely begin an investigation into Mt. Gox, and Karpeles will be forced to explain how, exactly, he missed the fact that 750,000 Bitcoins had mysteriously disappeared from the exchange he ran.

A Bitcoin trading club in Tokyo
(AFP/Getty Images)

In the meantime, expect to see plenty of anger hurled at Karpeles—after all, many lost their life savings.


Respond Now
  • 3/30/14, Bitcoin, while sounding like a nice idea at first, a private currency, was still untried & true. It would’ve needed some more launch time. 

  • “Angry bitcoiners”? I’ve seen that same guy in every note from NYT to Vocativ. Maybe those two were the only ones protesting outside Mt.Gox?On a side note: Why would you put money in a completely new and unregulated envionment and then complain when you lose it?


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