Mt. Gox Founder Claims He Lost $50k in Exchange’s Collapse

Nermin Hajdarbegovic
May 2, 2014 at 12:28 UTC
Updated Sep 10, 2014 at 11:35 UTC

Jed McCaleb, the original founder of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, has said that he lost around $50,000 following the collapse of the exchange.

McCaleb pulled out of Mt. Gox and sold the bulk of the company to Mark Karpeles in 2011, but retained a 12% stake.

The $50,000, which he indicated was held in an online wallet in USD not bitcoins, was lost when the exchange went bankrupt after an alleged massive hack.

In an interview with Ars Technica, McCaleb said he is no longer involved with Mt. Gox, aside from his stake in the company.

Minority shareholder

Following his departure form the exchange, McCaleb went on to develop Ripple and earlier this year he announced a secret bitcoin-related project. For a while it seemed as if he would never cross paths with Karpeles nor Mt. Gox, but the unfolding disaster forced him to reconsider.

He told Ars Technica that recent legal disputes “brought him back” to Mt. Gox for the first time in years, and insisted that he had no involvement with the exchange since early 2011, other than the fact that he was a minority shareholder.

He never met Karpeles in person, McCaleb said, and never received any profits from him. He also later learned that Karpeles rewrote the entire Mt. Gox codebase in 2011, after taking over the company.

Back in the game?

McCaleb recently joined a group of creditors and investors headed by Sunlot Holdings, who aim to revive the troubled exchange and compensate creditors with a minority stake in the company.

While he did not offer a full explanation of his involvement in the revival plan, McCaleb’s interests appear community-driven:

“When I first made Mt. Gox, I wanted to give the bitcoin community a place to gather. Although I am proud of how much the community has grown over the years, it saddens me to see the negative impact that Mt. Gox ended up having. Like many [others], I had money in Mt. Gox which I have also lost. The community deserves to find out the truth, and I am going to do what I can to help.”

However, the group’s plans for Mt. Gox hit a snag yesterday. It remains unclear whether Sunlot and its supporters can make a compelling case for the revival and the settlement decision has been delayed, as Mt. Gox bankruptcy trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi appears to be pushing for liquidation.

The matter is not likely to be resolved until the summer, since most of the Japanese and US hearings have been scheduled for June and July.

Dollars image via Shutterstock