Jury says Silk Road creator is Dread Pirate Roberts, faces life in prison
The founder and creator of the now-shuttered black market site Silk Road, Ross William Ulbricht, was found guilty by a jury of six men and six women, who deliberated for just 3.5 hours following a week-long trial. The case began in 2013, when Ulbricht was arrested in a library and his laptop seized. Ulbricht denied being the site's leader, the "Dread Pirate Roberts" (a reference from the movie The Princess Bride of a feared foe whose mantle is periodically taken up by successors), claiming that others ran the site. The jury did not believe him.
Letter to Judge Katherine Forrest outlines why government believes questioning is inadmissible
Last Thursday in the trial of United States v. Ross William Ulbricht (also known as the "Silk Road" trial), Ulbricht's attorney, Joshua Dratel, began a line of questioning that suggested his client had been set up by former Mt. Gox CEO, Mark Karpeles, with the latter being the "real" mastermind behind the drugs-and-contraband site, which was shut down in 2013. Today, in a letter the prosecution outlined to Judge Katherine Forrest why it believes the line of questioning is inadmissible.
Karpeles, Ulbricht both deny being SR owner 'Dread Pirate Roberts'
Homeland Security special agent Jared Der-Yeghiayan took the stand recently in the trial of Ross Ulbricht, who stands accused of running a drug trafficking website called "The Silk Road" that operated for over two years, largely as a marketplace for illegal drugs, stolen data and other criminal activity. Under cross, the defense attempted to claim that former Mt. Gox chief Mark Karpeles was in fact the real owner, who went by the pseudonymous name "Dread Pirate Roberts."
Only 7000 coins claimed to have been taken by external theft
Citing sources close to the law enforcement investigation, Japanese media are reporting that the Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange theft was largely an inside job. A report published today claims that of the 650,000 purloined Bitcoins, only about 7,000 are missing as a result of external theft, with the rest having been stolen by a source internal to the exchange. However, the newspaper stops short of naming any specific suspects in the case.
Court order stops holding company from selling assets as part of CoinLab dispute
A US District Court judge in Washington state issued a restraining order yesterday, placing a temporarily restriction on the bitcoins.com domain from being auctioned off. Yesterday, Tibanne KK, the company owned by former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles, was ordered to account for and hold all assets. The order stems from a legal issue between CoinLab and Mt. Gox dating back to 2013.
Mark Karpelès ends silence on downfall, worried about remaining customer funds
Since the announcement of the Mt. Gox bankruptcy filing in February, CEO Mark Karpelès has remained silent on his feelings and events surrounding the Bitcoin exchange. That changed this week when he gave an exclusive interview to the Wall Street Journal, indicating that he was "scared, frustrated and angry" upon learning the extensive losses the exchange faced.
Karpeles owned Tibanne looking to package Japan, EU trademarks for $1 million
The holding company that has taken over the bankrupt exchange Mt. Gox is looking to offload its trademarks on 'bitcoin' and associated websites. The trademarks registered in Japan and the European Union are included according to a statement from an executive in the company. Tibanne hopes the packaged trademarks will fetch around $1 million in a sale.
Offer would conclude class action suit by US, Canadian customers
Bitcoin holders in the US and Canada, holding balances with now-shuttered Mt. Gox, are settling class actions against the exchange. The plaintiffs are agreeing to a proposal by investment company Sunlot Holdings to buy the exchange, and become part owners of the recovered exchange, according to court filings.
CEO Mark Karpeles questioned by six employees about expenses, cash flow
The problems with shuttered and bankrupt Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox may have been evident to employees as early as two years before its well-publicized meltdown. Six employees reportedly confronted CEO Mark Karpeles over money-handling in the organization, with the group alleging that customer funds were being diverted improperly to other expenses, such as a 3D printer, and a modified car imported from the UK for the CEO.
Beijing-based exchange freezes accounts and halts withdrawals
Another Bitcoin exchange has run into financial problems, following in the wake of other recent turmoil surrounding the currency after the collapse of Mt. Gox. Vircurex, based in Beijing, is faced with insolvency, causing the company to immediately halt withdrawals. Starting March 24, the company will put a freeze on all customer accounts.
Discovery casts doubts on loss claims, accounting standards
The recently-shuttered and allegedly bankrupted Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange has now said it has "found" nearly a quarter of the total "stolen" Bitcoins stored in a "wallet" -- the term for a digital file used to store the virtual currency -- that the company was no longer using. The 200,000 coins found represent some $115 million of the $470 million (in current trade value) lost by customers when the exchange closed down.
Filing intended to stave off at least two lawsuits in US
As expected, following its Japanese bankruptcy disclosure, troubled Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the US. The filing will temporarily halt US-based lawsuits. The filing will allow potential investors to look at the exchange without legal ramifications, as well as give the exchange time to resolve some of the problems that cropped up over the weekend.
Documents posted purport 951,115 BTC still in accounting documents
Enraged Bitcoin holders are beginning to take the ongoing dispute with shuttered and bankrupt exchange Mt. Gox into their own hands. On March 9, hackers seized Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles' Reddit account, posting what it alleged was proof that the executive was retaining much of the crypto currency that he claimed was lost to "transaction malleability." Additionally, what may be a separate group offered for sale what was alleged to be a 20GB stolen database from Mt. Gox, which it claimed had personal details of all of its users, including scans of passports used for identity verification.
Total Bitcoins loss said to be 850,000 due to system weakness
Troubled Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan on Friday, breaking the silence on the company's position since suspending trading on February 24. The firm admits that it may have lost nearly half a billion dollars worth of the virtual currency when its systems were compromised by hackers. Mt. Gox is said to have $64 million in debts.
Crisis strategy draft 'more or less' legitimate, confirmed by Mt. Gox CEO
While the Mt. Gox "crisis strategy draft" seems to actually be legitimate, further doubt on the future survivability of shuttered BitCoin exchange has been cast by both US and Japanese regulatory agencies and law enforcement. Departments from both countries have either already issued subpoenas, or are starting to look into the facts leading up to and surrounding the recent shutdown, which could cost users and the company itself over $350 million.
Gox domain purchase, leaked relaunch document point to potential recovery
Headlining BitCoin's struggle for wide acceptance is the saga of Mt. Gox, once the premier exchange for the crypto-currency. Overnight, the exchange went completely down, giving rise to fears of the loss of millions of dollars of the currency. However, somewhat unexpectedly, domain investor Andy Booth has confirmed the sale of the Gox.com domain to Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles, in parallel with the public release of what appears to be a pitch for investors in the exchange to relaunch Mt. Gox as simply "Gox" and offer limited withdrawals as it generates revenue to recover the exchange and repay investors.
Money transmission licensing an issue for virtual currency exchange
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has seized a total of $5 million from major Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. Court documents reveal that the seizures stem from the suspicion by the courts that the exchange was transmitting money without a license, with the seizure of funds a more plausible explanation for a two-week US dollar withdrawal hiatus by Mt. Gox.
Two-week downtime to implement new exchange system completed
Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has re-enabled withdrawals in US dollars, following a two-week hold on payments. The resumption of normal service comes at the same time as the virtual currency exchange announces new relationships with "several new banking partners both in Japan and around the world," with more agreements also in progress
Increased number of transactions forces exchange to upgrade systems
The world's largest Bitcoin exchange has suspended withdrawls in US dollars for a two-week period, following hefty delays in transactions. Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based exchange for the virtual currency, is preventing withdrawls while it performs upgrades to its systems, due to the increased volume of transactions it performs for its users.