The mother of Mark Karpeles, former CEO of Mt. Gox, is speaking out about her son.
In a telephone interview with news publication Reuters, Anne Karpeles said her son was a bright child, bad student, and allowed people to take advantage of him.
“Difficult, never. Too conciliatory for a few things. Someone who is extremely nice and who has a tendency to let himself get taken for a ride by others. People who took advantage of him, who asked him to do their homework,” she said.
Mother Karpeles revealed that her son, who now lives in Japan, was admitted to Mensa — a society of high-IQ individuals. When it came to formal education, though, Mark was all but hopeless:
“He was a terrible student. Terrible. Most subjects didn’t interest him. He took a Mensa test, passed it and was admitted into Mensa … during his teenage years. Prodigies understand things straight away, but you don’t learn without repetition, without exercises. But that he didn’t understand.”
His mother acknowledged Karpeles was a poor communicator — something we saw during the downfall of his exchange, when scores of customers were left in the dark.
“(Mark’s) communication at a personal level is catastrophic. It’s always been difficult to get him to speak. We tried to get him to be more extrovert,” she said.
Interestingly enough, the first time Mother Karpeles has heard of Mt. Gox was when a local reported called her and asked questions.
“I didn’t even know Mark was the boss,” she said, following some research on Wikipedia.
She is now aware of the ongoing issues with the exchange, in which investors lost hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoin. Accusations of fraud, she says, aren’t unthinkable, but she doesn’t understand it:
“I don’t understand (the fraud accusations). I would never say it’s unthinkable, but Mark is my son, and my job as a mother is to do what I can for my son. That said, if genuinely there was dishonesty, I will not cover for him.”
“That would shock me though because I’ve never seen him do anything dishonest. He has sometimes trusted in people who were dishonest.”
The true story regarding what transpired at Mt. Gox has yet to surface. The public really only knows that the bitcoins the company stored are reported to be missing. It’s unclear if they were stolen or simply lost due to negligence.