Mark Karpeles, CEO of troubled Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, has responded informally to reports of major problems at his business and rumors that his company will be rebranding its services.
In an online chat conversation published by Fox Business, Karpeles told consultant Jon Fisher that he is not giving up on Mt. Gox.
When asked by Fisher if documents purporting the exchange's insolvency are true, Karpeles replied:
"As the name suggests it's a draft, and it's a bunch of proposals to deal with the issue at hand, not things that are actually planned and/or done."
Karpeles also revealed his company was not the author of the document, titled 'Crisis Strategy Draft', saying:
"This document was not produced by MtGox"
Regulatory pressure has been a big problem for Mt. Gox according to Karpeles:
"The pressure we got from banks and governments make things very hard"
Prior to the suspension of trading that then led to the site going offline, Mt. Gox was one of the biggest US dollar bitcoin exchanges.
According to Bitcoin Charts market data, Mt. Gox's previous 30-day volume was 1,030,921 BTC, valued at $377,383,264.92 USD.
By volume, Mt. Gox was still the biggest exchange for the BTC/USD trading pair.
Jon Matonis, the president of the Bitcoin Foundation, tweeted that a systematic failure of this major bitcoin exchange is quite different from centralized financial systems:
If MtGox operated in traditional financial system, losses would be "papered over" by the regulators and government insurers (i.e. taxpayers)
-- Jon Matonis (@jonmatonis) February 25, 2014
Some are taking heed to investor Marc Andreessen's assessment that there is a MF Global comparison to be made regarding Mt Gox.
-- BTC Talks (@BTCTalks) February 25, 2014
Karpeles maintains he is not in hiding, posting this image of his workspace, and as reported by Fox Business he is:
"At home, with my cat being a pain sleeping on the keyboard."
Full Chat Log
CoinDesk is monitoring this developing story, and will post updates as they become known.
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