Mark Karpeles, former CEO of defunct Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox, is shunning $1 billion in capital left in the company.
Since a 2014 cyberhack and heist, Karpeles and Mt. Gox shareholders have been paying off creditors. More than $450 million in Bitcoin was stolen during the hack.
Karpeles, a native Frenchman, has been arrested twice and is out on on parole in Japan.
Even as Mt. Gox reimburses victims, Karpeles still stands to profit.
Majority shareholders of a defunct company are refunded any leftover liquidation capital after creditor payments under Japanese bankruptcy law.
The money be paid to shareholders in Japanese yen, not Bitcoin.
After paying creditors, shareholders received the equivalent of 160,000 Bitcoins converted into Japanese yen after creditor payments — about $1.127 billion.
Karpeles’s company Tibanne, a majority shareholder, still owns more than 88% of Mt. Gox.
As part of a public relations initiative, Karpeles took part in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session in early March.
During the live event, he took questions from Reddit users and Mt. Gox hack victims.
Many criticized Karpeles for profiting from the liquidation of Mt. Gox. Yet Karpeles took issue with the characterization and called Japanese bankruptcy law “distasteful.”
‘I don’t want this billion dollars’
He wrote that he has no control over Japanese bankruptcy law.
“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.”
Karpeles stated he didn’t want any of the liquidation funds.
“I don’t want this. I don’t want this billion dollars. From day one I never expected to receive anything from this bankruptcy,” he wrote.
Karpeles claimed to have no control of the leftover funds in the company.
He also said he would advocate for civil rehabilitation, a proposal where creditors would be paid in Bitcoin.
Karpeles ended the Reddit AMA by apologizing to former Mt. Gox clients.
“I never imagined things would end this way and I am forever sorry for everything that’s taken place and all the effect it had on everyone involved,” posted Karpeles.
Japan-based Mt. Gox was one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world in 2014.