Mark Karpelès

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mark Karpelès
Born Mark Marie Robert Karpelès
(1985-06-01) June 1, 1985 (age 32)
Chenôve, France
Other names MagicalTux

Mark Marie Robert Karpelès[1][2] (born June 1, 1985), also sometimes known by his online alias MagicalTux, was the CEO of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox.[3][4] He moved to Japan in 2009.[5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Karpelès was born in 1985 in Chenôve, France, the child of Anne-Robert Karpelès, a geologist.[7] He was raised in Dijon.[7][8] Between 1995 and 2000, Karpelès was educated at Collège Prieuré de Binson in Châtillon-sur-Marne, near Dormans.[3] He then spent one year at Lycée Claude Bernard in Paris, before completing his education in 2003 at Lycée Louis Armand in Paris.[3]


According to Karpelès' LinkedIn page, he worked from 2003 to 2005 at Linux Cyberjoueurs as a software developer and network administrator.[9] Karpelès is a PHP developer, and has contributed to the language's official repository of extensions with proctitle,[10] which allows the name of the current process to be changed on Linux systems, as well as developing a fully functional DNS server[11] and an inetd[12], also both in PHP.

From 2002 to 2005 Karpelès was involved in the Ragnarok Online community, hosting[13] and administering[14] a private server (French Ragnarok Online, shortened as fRO, mimicking the official kRO, jRO and eRO naming). During this time he particiapted in the development of the Ragnarok Online server emulators Freya[15] and then Nezumi[16]. Before becoming a fork of Freya, Nezumi initially started as a clean-room PHP implementation[17] of the server part of the game, aiming at improving performance, stability, portability, and resource use notably compared to the then current eAthena and jAthena servers, as well as making the hosting of such servers legal instead of using leaked AEGIS server builds. Karpelès tried to bootstrap a hosting organisation named Ookoo[18] (then pivoting into[19]) which also served to host the private server community and development resources (such as the homepage, forums, IRC, SVN, and bug tracker). and would later fall under Tibanne's umbrella[20] until each domain expired.

Karpelès founded Tibanne Co. Ltd. in 2009. He is CEO.[21][22] He was a founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation, created in 2012 with a mission to standardize and promote bitcoin, and served on its board until February 2014.[23][24][25]

Karpelès acquired 88% of the Tokyo-based company Mt. Gox from programmer Jed McCaleb in 2011.[26][27][28] Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy in Japan on February 28, 2014 and for Chapter 15, Title 11, United States Code bankruptcy in the United States (Texas) in March 2014.[1][29][30]

Karpelès was subpoenaed by the United States Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to appear in Washington, D.C. to provide testimony on April 18, 2014. Karpelès, in a court filing by Mt. Gox lawyers, responded that he did not have a lawyer for this matter and therefore declined to appear.[31][32] Karpelès sought to appear in D.C. to testify on May 5, 2014.[33][34]

According to a joint report by Cyrus Farivar of Ars Technica and Pierre Alonso of Le Monde, Karpelès was found guilty of fraud when he was tried in absentia in France in 2010. He also admitted to having "pirated" a server to French authorities. He was sentenced to a year in jail but has not yet served his sentence.[35][36]

Ross William Ulbricht, while on trial for operating the undercover Silk Road marketplace, claimed in 2015 that the pseudonymous "Dread Pirate Roberts" behind Silk Road was not him but Mark Karpelès.[37] Karpelès publicly denied the claim on Twitter,[38] and Ulbricht was eventually found guilty.[39]

Arrest and prosecution[edit]

Karpelès was arrested on 1 August 2015 by Japanese police on suspicion of having accessed the exchange's computer system to falsify data on its outstanding balance,[40][41][42] he was re-arrested and allegedly charged with embezzlement.[43]

Karpelès was released on bail in July 2016, but must remain in Japan.[44]


  1. ^ a b "Declaration of Mark Marie Mark Karpeles" (PDF). US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas Dallas Division: 1. Retrieved 13 March 2014.  The document, signed by "Robert Marie Mark Karpeles", was published by Ars Technica on the Scribd website, and according to Ars Technica is a court document filed in US Bankruptcy Court.
  2. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (2014-03-10). "MtGox files for US bankruptcy protection to put lawsuits on hold". Ars Technica. 
  3. ^ a b c "Mark Robert KARPELÈS, 28 ans (TOKYO, CHATILLON SUR MARNE, PARIS)". Copains d'avant – L'Internaute (in French). CCM Benchmark Group. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  4. ^ King, Leo (2014-02-26). "Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles: 'I am still in Japan'". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  5. ^ Warnock, Eleanor; Mochizuki, Takashi (2014-02-28). "Bitcoin's Mt. Gox: a look at the man in charge". The Wall Street Journal. 
  6. ^ Philippe, Berry (2014-02-27). "MtGox: Mark Karpèles, un "supergeek" français au cœur du scandale bitcoin". 20 Minutes (in French). Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  7. ^ a b Gautronneau, Vincent (2014-01-03). "Le génie côte-d'orien qui fait trembler le net". Le Journal de Saône et Loire (in French). 
  8. ^ Mick, Jason (March 5, 2014). "Bitcoin King: Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès' History of Arrests, Firings". DailyTech. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  9. ^ Karpeles, Mark. "日本 Mark Karpelès". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  10. ^ "PECL :: Package :: proctitle". Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ David Meyer. "A Bitcoin Exchange Goes for Respectability". Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "Mt. Gox resigns from Bitcoin Foundation". Reuters. February 23, 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  24. ^ "Mt. Gox quits Bitcoin Foundation board". PCWorld. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  25. ^ Jon Matonis (27 September 2012). "Bitcoin Foundation Launches To Drive Bitcoin's Advancement". Forbes. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  26. ^ Rachel Abrams Matthew Goldstein and Hiroko Tabuchi. "Erosion of Faith Was Death Knell for Mt. Gox". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  27. ^ Jeffries, Adrianne (April 1, 2013). "Barons of Bitcoin". The Verge. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Files for U.S. Bankruptcy as Death Spiral Continues". WIRED. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  30. ^ "Mt. Gox files for Chapter 15 in U.S.". Market Watch. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  31. ^ "Mt. Gox founder won't appear in U.S. for questions about bankruptcy case". Reuters. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  32. ^ "Mt. Gox founder won't attend US bankruptcy hearing". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  33. ^ John Ribeiro (15 April 2014). "Mt. Gox seeks postponement of CEO's U.S. court deposition". Computerworld. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  34. ^ "BBC News - MtGox chief refuses to go to Bitcoin bankruptcy hearing". BBC News. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  35. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (August 1, 2014). "Why the head of Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange should be in jail". Ars Technica. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  36. ^ Alonso, Pierre (August 1, 2014). "En France, le passé trouble de l’ancien " baron du bitcoin "" [Old bitcoin baron's old trouble in France]. Le Monde (in French). Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Mark Karpeles on Twitter: "This is probably going to be disappointing for you, but I am not and have never been Dread Pirate Roberts."". January 15, 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  39. ^ Mullin, Joe (4 February 2015). "Ulbricht guilty in Silk Road online drug-trafficking trial". Ars Technica. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  40. ^ "MtGox bitcoin chief Mark Karpeles arrested in Japan". 1 August 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  41. ^ Jonathan Soble (August 1, 2015). "Mark Karpeles, Chief of Bankrupt Bitcoin Exchange, Is Arrested in Tokyo". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Mt. Gox bitcoin firm head arrested". The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun. August 1, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2015. 
  43. ^ "French MtGox CEO in Japan charged with embezzlement amid bitcoin fraud investigation". South China Morning Post. September 11, 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2015. 
  44. ^ "Mark Karpeles Twitter Game Unaffected By Prison Stint". July 18, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2016. 

External links[edit]