Been to MtGox building for TV & press interviews.
The lights are on on the Tibanne/MtGox floors.
“Inspector Gadget”-style guard
still posted outside the office.
Tried to phone the new customer helpline 4 times
and was treated to a relaxing selection of ambient lift music. No answer.
The helpline is located inside the building.
Many people assume MtGox have filed for bankruptcy. They have done the opposite, they filed for bankruptcy protection.
They are applying for Civil Rehabilitation, this is a process whereby Karpeles proposes to keep himself in charge of the company, along with its records and customer funds, and keep the company running. It would also protect the company from lawsuits seeking reimbursement of funds.
To have Karpeles remain in charge of customer deposits and plan the process of any returned funds is a very frightening prospect. Offhand I can think of approximately 7 billion other people in the world who I would prefer to be doing it.
In my view, this process is a sham as it’s hard to imagine how the company could keep on running. I see it as another delaying tactic. Any plan he comes up with would require a majority vote from creditors, which is unlikely to happen. It is possible to file for a motion to discontinue the civil rehabilitation which is what we are seeking to do.
I would like to see Karpeles removed from any further control of the company and customer deposits and for the company to enter formal bankruptcy, meaning a court-appointed professional would take over and redistribute any possible funds to its creditors.
TV and press still hanging around outside the empty MtGox offices.
Protest started late at 4pm and consisted of a series of interviews until 6pm.
18:00: Mark Karpeles makes a statement to the press in Tokyo explaining the company has filed for bankruptcy protection. Finally an admission of insolvency and loss of all the bitcoins. This is what everyone has been waiting for since the website went down on Tuesday, and what the protest has been trying to achieve since the start.
It brings a welcome end to the false hopes Karpeles has been feeding his customers on the MtGox website this week, and an end to the protest in its current form.
18:45: The MtGox protest is packed up for the last time outside the empty former MtGox office. I do an exit interview with Asahi TV, and head home to spend the next couple of hours giving out final statements. Despite the sad ending in relation to customers’ deposits, I feel some satisfaction that the protest has outlived the company. This is not the end from us though, please see updates. We will be continuing.
The protest outside the office is over but we will be continuing!
Our aim is to shed new light on what has been going on at the company, fight for the prosecution of those responsible for crimes there, report news, and help gox victims with information and updates on claiming their funds.
Coming soon will be a series of revelations on what has been going on inside MtGox, as well as details of events during the protest which haven’t been made public.
Update 3 March 01:00: As I’ve had criticism for not updating regularly and saying “Coming soon..” I will explain the situation. I am in Tokyo on the opposite side of the world from my home where I’ve been for 3 weeks now at my own expense (but I’ve had some donations, thanks!), working almost every waking hour to shed light on the MtGox situation and ensure these people don’t get away with losing everyone’s money without an explanation. If Aaron and myself hadn’t been doing that they might still be operating the site and taking more people’s deposits. I spend most of my day answering emails from concerned people, interviewing with the press, trying to initiate legal action to ensure things are investigated properly and the bankruptcy procedure is not opaque, and trying to source new information. As a result I am not able to update the blog as often as I would like to – but I am doing my best.
Sorry for the lack of timely updates in the past day. Things have been very busy.
AM: There are press outside the Cerulean tower waiting for something to happen, there are reports they are moving to the original MtGox office.
I will be arriving at the original MtGox office at around 3pm.
12:30: It appears that there is no chance of an MtGox bailout, meaning customers have little chance of seeing their funds again. The bailout document on the net was apparently written by Karpeles himself. From Two-Bit Idiot:
Due to some angry Gox depositors, I’ve been advised to disclose that Karpeles was overstating the fact that he had “lined up” investors. The truth is, in a move of desperation, Mark asked several investors for a bailout, all of which seemed to have immediately notified the authorities once they learned the extent of the fraud, negligence or incompetence at Mt. Gox.
Karpeles now is clearly in complete desperation, as are his customers. I think we’ll find him hiding inside a drainpipe, somewhere near a Starbucks outlet. What we’re waiting for now is a statement on the MtGox website saying it’s all over but don’t hold your breath for that. Even if/when he’s in jail I expect him to still be sending out messages about technical problems.
Stay tuned for more updates today.
Follow me on Twitter @The_K_meister for instant updates.
***** 16:00: We’ve been given some very interesting information about what has been going on behind the scenes at the company. Stay tuned for updates.
18:00: Neighbours of Karpeles say his family left his apartment a month ago
Today the story hit the Japanese media like a bomb. There were large numbers of TV, newspaper and web journalists staking out the original MtGox office in wait for us. I arrived late at 3pm and after pulling out my protest sign I was soon overwhelmed by the media.
Nobody from MtGox or Tibanne is reported to have been sighted at the office but that doesn’t necessarily mean that nobody is there.
The Japanese government made a statement saying that the police, the Finance Ministry and other agencies are now investigating MtGox.
A conversation purported to be with Karpeles has appeared on the net, where he insists he is at home. A linked photo also shows a Cerulean Tower keycard possibly put there for show. People have been to his home and reported that his mail has been backing up so it seems unlikely that he is really there.
A couple of disaffected MtGox customers arrived outside the Cerulean tower in the evening, followed by several TV and print journalists.
Today could be the last day of the MtGox saga.
Trading on MtGox has stopped.
Coinbase has posted an enigmatic statement from many of the world’s major exchanges regarding the insolvency of MtGox. It mentions:
“This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt.Gox”
but without explaining precisely what it’s referring to. This statement has since been edited to remove the word ‘insolvency’. It appears that they are pre-empting some formal notification of what could be the collapse of MtGox and loss of customer funds.
An article has appeared on the internet claiming MtGox have lost 744,408 bitcoins due to theft and only have 2,000 left. There is currently no reason to believe that the claims in this document are authentic, but the timing with the Coinbase statement is very interesting.
13:20: Currently the MtGox website is only loading a blank page.
15:45: Karpeles is not at his apartment and his mail has been backing up. It appears that he may be in hiding. Has he skipped the country?
Watch here for further updates.
We are in Shibuya preparing for the next stage of the protest. Stay tuned!
We are able to meet press as usual, please mail firstname.lastname@example.org
16:34: We are testing out our new Google Glass livestream on http://livestre.am/4MIt1
17:30: We have a new junior protester, Dexter:
On Friday 21st February at 5:15 pm the police ended the protest. They were not apparently called by Tibanne or MtGox but by another tenant of the building who said we were “scaring” him.
We were 2 people sitting in the street on miniature seats with laptops and protest signs.
However we also had 8 visitors at the time of the police arriving and this may have seemed frightening to some people. Many people in Japan find a group of foreigners intimidating and most of the group were non-Japanese. We were all standing well away from the building and its street entrance, actually outside the neighbouring building, so this was a little unfair. We were not carrying any protest signs or engaged in any protest activities at the time other than chatting to visitors.
So what next?
The protest will be continuing, but in order to avoid problems with the police we will need to make some changes. We are looking into our legal options and we are considering what other arrangements we might make. If you plan to visit us please check here at mtgoxprotest.com first to make sure you are going to the correct place. If you wish to arrange anything you can email email@example.com
We’re not surprised by this update but definitely extremely disappointed.
Same old story – however things are different now and more desperate. Tension is building fast and many people are running out of patience. The price has gone under $100 which is less than 10% of the price from before this episode began. People are getting very worried indeed and are willing to part with their coins for 10% of their former worth just for a slight increase in the chance of getting some of their investment back. People have started to shout at the Tibanne building.
Thank you for your patience this week while we are working on re-initiating bit coin withdrawals
I’m not sure which patience is being referred to here. Maybe that of the anonymous customer in the iron mask who’s been shouting angrily at the building?
Or that of the protesters chanting at the building? Or maybe the international media storm?