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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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