A New Skirmish in the Mt. Gox Saga That Just Won’t Quit

After documents leaked this week suggesting Japanese exchange BitPoint sold large amounts of bitcoin for the Mt. Gox trustee in early 2018, another wrinkle has just unfurled in the saga. It came in Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès’s‏ pushback against cryptocurrency entrepreneur Brock Pierce, who’s announced a campaign to revive the long-shuttered Gox. 

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Brock Pierce, Karpelès in Curious Gox Saga Spat

Former Block.one maestro and Bitcoin Foundation member Brock Pierce launched his latest cryptoverse initiative this week, Gox Rising.

In its announcement, the entity proposed a separate civil rehabilitation plan for the Mt. Gox estate, which has inched towards creditor resolution since the cryptocurrency exchange infamously collapsed in 2014. Part of the group’s plan would involve relaunching Gox.

Pierce, whose investment group Sunlot Holdings Ltd. first attempted to buy the exchange in March 2014, has asserted Sunlot’s ownership over Jed McCaleb’s 12 percent stake in Gox and an agreement to purchase the other 88 percent stake held by its former CEO Mark Karpelès.

A curious Twitter kerfuffle, the latest in the Gox saga. Image via WhalePanda

In the wake of Pierce’s new campaign, the latest development in the Gox saga came on Feb. 9th, when Karpelès denied any such agreement for the 88 percent stake went forward. 

“No purchase agreement was ever even drafted, and the court didn’t approve the LOI,” Karpelès said after being asked about Pierce’s claim on Twitter.  

“I didn’t hear of the price until recently either, and Tibanne [Karpelès’s company that formally owned Gox] has no record of any payment for the shares. MtGox official shareholders list doesn’t list Brock Pierce anywhere.”

Not So Fast, Pierce Says There Was a Sale

Pierce promptly contested that stance, saying “Mark knows he sold his 88%” and adding “I want creditors to receive the entire surplus” from the Gox estate.

Karpelès fired back, noting there would be no asset surplus to handle per the civil rehabilitation plan the Tokyo District Court granted last summer. He suggested Pierce was attempting a money move to get his hands on a surplus that didn’t exist and said the entrepreneur had threatened to “litigate the Gox position.”

Pierce retorted by suggesting Karpelès was going to prison soon amid his ongoing court case related to the Gox collapse. 

Karpelès, who faces a 10-year sentence, pled not guilty to data manipulation and embezzlement charges in the summer of 2017. The case’s verdicts are set to be decided next month. 

Gox Saga Just Keeps Chugging On

The spat between Pierce and Karpelès highlights how the two have completely differing interpretations of Gox’s ownership, and at possible stake is the exchange’s future if Gox Rising’s bids are taken at face value. 

The bitter interaction wasn’t the only bitterly-tinged Gox incident to make headlines this week, either.  

On Feb. 5th, long-dormant creditor advocacy group GoxDox leaked documents apparently showing over two dozen large yen transfers equaling more than $300 million USD from Japanese exchange BitPoint to the Gox trustee’s bank account between February and June 2018.

The suggestion, of course, was that the trustee had sold large amounts of bitcoin in that span on the open market, a reality that would run counter to the trustee’s stated commitment to not sell the Gox coins in a way that would markedly affect the BTC price.

True or not true, the purported documents have already led some in the cryptoverse to speculate these alleged BitPoint selloffs axed several bitcoin price rebounds in early 2018.

So, while it’s not yet clear where precisely the Gox saga will go next, if the past is any indication, there’s sure to be more drama and quagmires along the way.

What’s your take? Should Mt. Gox be reopened, a la Pierce’s push? Or is that a terrible or impractical idea? Let us know in the comments section below. 


Images via WhalePanda, PIxabay



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