Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles to serve as CTO of new blockchain tech venture in Japan
Thu, 06 Jun 2019, 02:57 am UTC
Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of now-defunct Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, will allegedly “start from zero” with his new blockchain cloud firm Tristan Technologies Co., where he will serve as the chief technology officer, Japanese news outlet The Mainichi reported on Wednesday.
Described as a computer prodigy with an interest in Japanese animation and games, Karpeles wants to help restore Japan as a global tech leader through blockchain after it lost its advantage to US giants like Apple, Amazon, and Facebook.
His new Japan-registered startup aims to establish a secure and faster operating system compared with other platforms currently in use.
“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,” he told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan as reported The Mainichi. “But I still believe in the potential Japan has and I would like to develop that.”
The 34-year-old Frenchman was arrested and spent 11 months in Japanese detention after his crypto exchange suffered from a major hack and subsequent collapse in 2015. While he was already cleared of fraud and embezzlement charges last March, he is still currently appealing one conviction for tampering with records. The final verdict is expected to come out later this year, and if his appeal fails, he could face up to 10 years in prison, the AP reported.
Although cautious of the high risks cryptocurrencies carry, Karpeles believes that blockchain has a huge potential and advantage for cashless payments, cloud solutions, smart contracts, and digital transactions.
As previously reported, Japan has passed a bill to amend to existing financial laws, namely, the Funds Settlement Act and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, which govern cryptocurrency regulations. The legislation will come into effect in April 2020.
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