Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox, has recently announced the launch of a new blockchain-based business that’s set to help Japan become a global leader in blockchain technology.
According to The Washington Post, Karpeles recently told reporters that his new firm, Tristan Technologies Co., is set to develop a new, secure operating system that’s “much faster than those currently in use.”
Per the 34-year-old Frenchman, his firm may help Japan regain its lead in the technology sector, which it lost to American giants like Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Per his words, his love for Japan hasn’t changed, which presumably means he’d like to see it thrive.
At the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, Karpeles stated:
Japan used to be engineering superpower in terms of its PCs but right now, taking the cloud for example, it’s the U.S. that dominates. But I still believe in the potential Japan has and I would like to develop that.
Karpeles has been living in Japan since 2009, and in 2015 he was arrested after Mt. Gox, a dominant cryptocurrency exchange, collapsed after a massive security breach. The Frenchman spent 11 months in detention and was recently cleared of embezzlement and fraud allegations, but was convicted on charges of manipulating electronic data.
As CryptoGlobe covered, Karpeles was found guilty of creating electronic records connecting to the cryptocurrency exchange’s books, and was given a suspended sentence of two and a half years. He’s required to maintain a clean record for four years to avoid going to jail. He’s appealing the conviction.
Mt. Gox itself went down in 2014, after losing 850,000 BTC to hackers. The exchange still had 200,000 BTC in a separate wallet, but its collapse saw bitcoin’s price plummet at the time, as Mt. Gox handled over 70% of its trading volume. Karpeles’ lawyers claimed he wasn’t responsible for the exchange’s collapse, but rather that he tried to prevent it.
Recently, he claimed not to have any cryptocurrencies and noted they carry high risks, but added he believes blockchain technology can still be useful for payments, cloud solutions, and smart contracts.
It’s worth noting that, in Japan, bitcoin has been a legal payment method since April of 2017. Several major retailers in the country already accept payments in the flagship cryptocurrency.