Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Ex-Mt. Gox chief cites break-in for bitcoin theft

Mark Karpeles, chief executive officer of Tibanne Co., poses for a photograph with a bitcoin in the office operating the Mt.Gox K.K. bitcoin exchange in Tokyo, Japan.
Tomohiro Ohsumi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Mark Karpelès has advice for anyone looking to start a bticoin trading platform: Hire security.

The former head of the Mt. Gox exchange—once the most prominent place to trade the cryptocurrency—should know. Mt. Gox lost 850,000 of its clients' bitcoins, and he believes the 200,000 or so recovered since the theft are as good as it's going to get.

Karpelès blames the initial theft on a slew of occurrences: Aggressive hacking attacks, along with physical break-ins at the company's Tokyo offices, and an employee who ran off with electronic data.

"If anyone wants to start a bitcoin exchange, I would say, 'Be sure to have 24-hour security guards,'" Karpelès told the Wall Street Journal.

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Despite the bad publicity from the Mt. Gox collapse, bitcoin prices have rallied as of late, gaining 62 percent off their April low, according to CoinDesk.

Karpelès, though, is having none of it, focusing his efforts instead on his web site Tibanne. He did not, however, rule out a return one day to the bitcoin community.

"My experience would be valuable to them, especially if they are thinking of starting up a bitcoin business," Karpelès told the Journal. "I can tell them what they should do and shouldn't."

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