An alleged chat transcript between New York-based consultant Jon Fisher and Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles has been published on the WickedFire message board (excerpts have also been published on Fox Business).
In the transcript, a rather unsociable Karpeles does his best to describe the current situation both he personally and his company are facing.
In the conversation Karpeles notes he’s doing “more or less” okay, but he’s not surprisingly been stressed.
“[I] took on more than 30kg since handling MtGox,” he said, compensating for his stress by eating.
The community has been tough on Karpeles. Skimming through comments on social sharing website Reddit.com yields many stabs at his weight and other personal attacks. So it will come as no surprise when he said he feels “not good” about the community backlash.
Karpeles provided a picture of his cat as evidence he hasn’t fled the country, as some speculated he may have.
Crisis Strategy Draft
On Monday evening, an alleged leaked copy of something called the Crisis Strategy Draft was leaked via The Two-Bit Idiot, an 11-page document outlining the exchange’s current position, along with a plan to re-brand and recover some 744,000+ bitcoins that were allegedly lost in connection with a transaction malleability flaw in the bitcoin code (the issue, as it were, related to how Mt. Gox’s internal software was coded, though the flaw is still labeled as a ‘known issue’).
“Is that Crisis Strategy Draft even legit?” Fisher asked Karpeles.
“More or less,” he 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. This said this document was not produced by MtGox.”
When asked if he thought the document was leaked purposely to hurt him personally, Karpeles said he had “some doubts”.
Karpeles noted he’d be meeting with a lawyer on Wednesday morning, and with regard to his leadership role at the company, could not speak to whether or not he would be stepping down.
“Can’t disclose that [yet],” he said.
On the topic of what the future plans are at Mt. Gox, he was also unable to make comment, but said “We haven’t given up”.
“‘Giving up’ is not part of how I usually do things,” he added.
When asked about the viability of an unregulated digital currency, such as bitcoin, Karpeles said, “[to be quite honest] the pressure we got from banks and governments makes things very hard”.
Fisher responded: “Do you think if it were regulated it would make it easier to work things out?”
“Partially,” Karpeles returned. “Well, first avoid being blocked by banks and governments around the world. If regulated, it means that as long as you follow the regulations you’re fine.”
The two discussed the funds at Mt. Gox as well. When asked if he was personally vested in Gox, Karpeles states that “any BTC I own personally were on MtGox”.
Fisher then asked how much Karpeles has lost.
“Well, technically speaking it’s not ‘lost’ just yet, just temporarily unavailable”.
Karpeles said he isn’t sure how much was ‘temporarily unavailable’ to him, saying he “didn’t check his wallet before pushing the site offline”.
Certainly, some very interesting information. Karpeles’ attitude is seemingly nonchalant, but he is said to be timid — and that may just be coming through over the web.
If we can gather anything from this, it’s that:
- We don’t know what Mt. Gox’s future holds.
- The security of user funds cannot be guaranteed.
- Mark Karpeles is, unfortunately, not really fit to run a finance company.
What do you make of the conversation?
Author note: quotes in the piece have formatted. The original transcript is here.