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‘Trillion Dollar’ Mt. Gox Demise as Told by a Bitcoin Insider

  • Tokyo-based exchange once handled 80% of Bitcoin trading
  • Peter Vessenes has spent years trying to recoup lost coins
Mark Karpeles following a news conference in Tokyo, July 11, 2017.

Mark Karpeles following a news conference in Tokyo, July 11, 2017.

Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg
From

In early 2013, Peter Vessenes was in his Seattle office working on a deal to obtain the North American customer operations of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange at the time, Mt. Gox, when his phone rang.

“We had caller ID back in that era, believe it or not,” Vessenes said in an interview. “And my caller ID says ‘SEC Enforcement Division’ and I was like ‘oh s--t!’” The team working on the deal had already run into trouble getting a look at the books, and now the main U.S. securities regulator was asking him if he’d heard of the Tokyo-based exchange. The SEC was working on a enforcement action and wanted him to testify in the case.