“I Don’t Want This Billion Dollars” Mt Gox CEO Rejects Post-Liquidation Funds

  • During a Reddit AMA Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles claimed he doesn't want to receive any funds forom the exchange's bankruptcy
  • As it stands, he is set to receive BTC worth over $1 billion, as creditors are set to get paid in Japanese yen according to their crypto holdings in 2014, not the crypto holdings themselves.

Mark Karpeles, the chief executive of now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt Gox, recently surprised the cryptocurrency community with an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit, in which he revealed he doesn’t want the funds he would receive from the company’s bankruptcy.

Tokyo-based Mt Gox was once a dominant cryptocurrency exchange, that collapsed back in 2014 amid claims of insolvency and security breaches. Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of BTC were lost at the time, causing the cryptocurrency’s price to crash. About 200,000 BTC were later on found.

Karpeles currently stands to receive leftover funds after the exchange’s users have all been reimbursed. This, as creditors are going to be paid the value of their bitcoin holdings in fiat currency, according to the value the cryptocurrency had in 2014 – about $480 per BTC.

Reports suggest Karpeles would receive over 160,000 bitcoin and bitcoin cash, an amount worth well over $1 billion at current prices. On Reddit, speaking to some of Mt Gox’s creditors, who’ve been locked in a years-long battle to retrieve their lost funds, the ex-CEO of the now-defunct exchange stated:

"I don't want this. I don't want this billion dollars. From day one I never expected to receive anything from this bankruptcy. The fact that today this is a possibility is an aberration and I believe it is my responsibility to make sure it doesn't happen."

Mark Karpeles

He added that he isn’t looking to instantly become rich, nor is he looking for forgiveness. He is, instead, just looking to see the situation’s end “as soon as possible.” Karpeles further highlighted that he supports a ‘civil rehabilitation’ plan, which would give the exchange’s creditors the ability to vote on its future.

This, in turn, could mean creditors end up getting paid back in BTC and other cryptocurrencies derived from bitcoin’s forks, not fiat currency. The former Mt Gox CEO claimed he is currently doing his best for this to be the situation’s outcome.

Karpeles took advantage of the opportunity to apologize to the exchange’s users, stating he “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.”

As covered, last month it was revealed Mt Gox’s trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi sold roughly $400 million worth of bitcoin and bitcoin cash, in an attempt to refund users. The controversial sale, the trustee claims, didn’t affect cryptocurrency markets. Kobayashi is believed to still hold 160,000 BTC and BCH, that can be sold later on.

Overstock CEO Sells Shares in His Company to Invest in Blockchain Projects

Patrick Byrne, the chief executive officer of Overstock.com (OSTK), has recently lashed out at investors who questioned his sale of 900,000 of his ‘founders shares’ in the company. Justifying his move, he revealed he needed the funds to invest in blockchain projects.

According to Business Insider, Byrne recently sent a letter to shareholders after the company’s stock prices plunged over 21% this week to their lowest since 2012, after he revealed he sold 500,000 of his shares earlier this week.

On Friday, the CEO revealed he sold an additional 400,000 shares, meaning he sold over 15% of his stake in the company. Although Overstock’s shares recovered on Friday, May 17, Byrne’s letter to shareholders was notable. In it, he wrote:

I simply had to supplement my nominal salary with stock sales in order to fulfill personal commitments to invest personally in blockchain projects such as Medici Land Governance, along with a need to meet charitable pledges.

The CEO added that he doesn’t plan on giving such an explanation again, justifying that he owes shareholders “staying within the law and not making decisions based on inside information, not explanations of my life and projects outside Overstock.”

He noted that the “unanticipated stir” caused by his sale was unexpected, and added “I had no idea that shareholders would demand explanations of why and how I might want to use my cash derived from my labor and my property to pursue my ends in life.”

Byrne is notably Overstock’s largest shareholder, and noted he told investors a year ago he would be making “significant sales” to fund different projects, including those related to blockchain technologies and, presumably, cryptocurrencies.

In fact, the libertarian sold 775,000 of his shares in September of last year, before this week’s sale. The stock’s price has fallen roughly 90% from its record high in January of 2018, when Overstock was benefitting from its cryptocurrency ventures and accompanying the cryptocurrency market’s performance.

In November of last year, Byrne revealed he had plans to sell Overstock’s retail business and go “all-in” on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The CEO’s plan would see the company focus on its fully-owned subsidiary Medici Ventures, which has been invested in blockchain-related startups, after selling its retail business.

Overstock's price performance over the last two yearsSource: Yahoo Finance

Byrne has notably been battling short sellers targeting Overstock, as the firm competes with the likes of eBay and Amazon. Financial analytics firm S3 Partners has estimated short bets against it stand at $157 million, or 50% of its float. This makes it more targeted by short sellers than 99% of companies in the U.S.

Despite the company’s performance on exchanges, Overstock has since launched its tZERO security trading platform, and was one of the first companies to pay a “portion” of its taxes using bitcoin in Ohio.