Mark Karpelès

Mark Karpeles

Mark Marie Robert Karpelès (born June 1, 1985), also sometimes known by his online alias MagicalTux, is the former CEO of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox and a wanted fugitive in France. He moved to Japan in 2009.


Early life and education

Karpelès was born in Chenôve, France in 1985, the child of Anne Karpelès, a geologist. He was raised in Dijon. Between 1995 and 2000, Karpelès was educated at Collège Prieuré de Binson in Châtillon-sur-Marne and Prieuré De Binson in Dormans. He then spent one year at Lycée Claude Bernard in Paris, before completing his education in 2003 at Lycée Louis Armand in Paris.

According to Jason Mick of Dailytech, Karpelès was found guilty of a financial computer crime and of money transfer fraud when he was a teenager. The court apparently gave him a 3 month suspended sentence and no criminal record. This was later confirmed by Ashley Barr, a former Mt. Gox employee.

In 2009, Karpelès moved to Japan. [1]


Mark Karpeles Bonus Scenes // The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin

According to Karpelès’ LinkedIn page, he worked from 2003 to 2005 at Linux Cyberjoueurs as a software developer and network administrator. Karpelès is a PHP developer, and has contributed to the language’s official repository of extensions with proctitle, which allows the name of the current process to be changed on Linux systems.

Karpelès founded Tibanne Co. in 2009. He is CEO. He was a founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation, created in 2012 with a mission to standardize and promote Bitcoin, and served on its board until February 2014.

According to a joint report by Cyrus Farivar of Ars Technica and Pierre Alonso of Le Monde, Karpelès was found guilty of fraud when he was tried in absentia in France in 2010. He also admitted to having “pirated” a server to French authorities. He was sentenced to a year in jail but has not yet served his sentence.[2]

Ross Ulbricht, while on trial for operating the undercover Silk Road marketplace, claimed that the pseudonymous “Dread Pirate Roberts” behind Silk Road was not him but Mark Karpelès. Karpelès publicly denied the claim on Twitter, and Ulbricht was eventually found guilty.


In 2010, Karpelès reopened the BitcoinWiki with MediaWiki. Karpelès’s MediaWiki and Martti Malmi‘s dokuwiki sites coexisted briefly before it was evident that the community preferred MediaWiki. All pages on the dokuwiki instance were copied to the MediaWiki one in 2010 and in 2015 the a project to import the complete history of those pages began.

Karpelès also created CryptoPayment, a MediaWiki extension that was used by the BitcoinWiki for several years. The extension granted editing rights to users who paid a small anti-spam fee.

Shortly after reopening the BitcoinWiki, Karpelès added a Bitcoin Map tool to it. The map plotted nodes geographically and a still of it was featured on the Main Page for years.

Mt. Gox

Karpelès acquired 88% of the Tokyo-based company Mt. Gox from programmer Jed McCaleb in 2011. Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy in Japan on February 28, 2014 and for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the United States (Texas) in March 2014.

Karpelès was subpoenaed by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to appear in Washington, D.C. to provide testimony on April 18, 2014. Karpelès, in a court filing by Mt. Gox lawyers, responded that he does not have a lawyer for this matter and therefore declined to appear.[3] Karpelès instead sought to appear in D.C. to testify on May 5, 2014.

Arrest and prosecution

Karpelès was arrested on 1 August 2015 by Japanese police on suspicion of having accessed the exchange’s computer system to falsify data on its outstanding balance, he was re-arrested and allegedly charged with embezzlement.

Karpelès was released on bail in July 2016, but must remain in Japan.[4] On July 10, 2017, he pled “not guilty” to embezzlement and data manipulation charges.

Bankruptcy proceedings

Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy proceedings will repay creditors in Japanese Yen at a price around $400USD per bitcoin (the price set by the court) and it has been reported will leave Karpelès with the bulk of the wealth left over from the difference after the creditors are repaid and the market price today, leaving Karpelès with nearly 2 billion US dollars (based upon Bitcoin prices around $15000).

External links

See Also on BitcoinWiki


  1. MtGox: Mark Karpèles, un “supergeek” français au cœur du scandale bitcoin
  2. En France, le passé trouble de l’ancien ” baron du bitcoin “
  3. Mt. Gox founder won’t appear in U.S. for questions about bankruptcy case
  4. Mark Karpeles Twitter Game Unaffected By Prison Stint