Segments in this Video

Introduction: Bitcoin Big Bang (04:26)


Mark Karpeles was indicted and imprisoned for computer data forgery and embezzlement. Mt. Gox was the biggest platform for virtual currency exchange until it lost millions of bitcoins. Central banks printed billions of dollars to bail out the banking system and mortgage holders in 2008. (Credits)

Prologue: In the Beginning, There Was Bitcoin (08:56)

Satoshi Nakamoto authored a ledger and protocol for implementation. Bitcoin removed the government's ability to copy currency. In 2011, Mt. Gox became the first website to exchange dollars into Bitcoins.

Chapter 1: The Rise of Mt. Gox (12:10)

Mt. Gox held 98% of the Bitcoin transactions. Mt. Gox grew in popularity quickly and became a target for hackers; hot and cold wallets were used as a security measure. Silk Road only accepted Bitcoin for anonymous transactions.

The Rise of Mt. Gox: Day Traders (06:10)

Silicon Valley and Union Square Ventures started to invest in Bitcoin. At first, employees were excited to be part of Mt. Gox but soon realized Karpeles was a difficult manager and the workplace was chaotic. The government seized five million dollars from the company's assets.

Chapter 2: The Harder They Fall: Transaction Limits (04:26)

The federal government wanted to prosecute criminals on Silk Road. Mt. Gox did not require two forms of identification initially. The company withdrew yen from Mizuho Bank and sent it through the Shibuya post office.

The Harder They Fall: Confronting Karpeles (06:09)

The price of Bitcoin grew exponentially towards the end of 2013; officials closed Silk Road. Kelman asked for his Bitcoins to be returned; Kolin Burges flew to Japan to obtain currency. Users began to discuss complications in receiving their funds from Mt. Gox.

The Harder They Fall: Filing for Bankruptcy (05:33)

Mt. Gox lost 800,000 Bitcoins; the currency's value dropped. People lost their life savings. At a press conference, Karpeles bowed to show his remorse and apologized for his actions.

Chapter 3: God Only Knows (12:07)

Mt. Gox had an immense number of addresses; when a bitcoin is deposited, it cannot be traced. Karpeles found 200,000 after 800,000 were reported missing. After investigating the founder's private life, journalists observed his eccentric behavior and realized he had no allies.

Chapter 4: The Standoff: Arrest (10:35)

Authorities in Tokyo arrested Karpeles, charging him with falsifying financial records. A software bot is an autonomous computer program that carries out repetitive tasks. The "Willy Report" found a bot was constantly buying bitcoins and was responsible for the loss; Karpeles alone could access the report.

The Standoff: The Investigation (07:08)

If all the money was stolen at once, the transaction would have been obvious, but the Bitcoins were stolen in chunks. Mt. Gox suggested it had a strong storage facility and was secure; scanning the cold wallet with an internet-accessible computer made it vulnerable to theft. Karpeles prepared his defense while residing in a Japanese detention center.

Chapter 6: Release: On Bail (11:55)

Karpeles decided to avoid public areas after being released from the Tokyo detention center; conditions stipulated he live in a fixed location. There was a communication between McCaleb and Karpales about 80,000 Bitcoins missing in 2011. A condition in acquiring MT. Gox was to not reveal that Willy bot was running.

Release: Multiple Thefts (07:49)

At least 865,000 bitcoin were lost due to thefts. The largest incident occurred on September 11, 2011; hackers penetrated the servers and made a copy of the hot wallet private keys. Bitcoin is not inherently bad.

Release: The Future (05:22)

Karpeles felt relief when Mt Gox closed down and is currently awaiting his trial. He has developed many coping skills to co-exist with other human beings; Kim Nilsson believes the Willy bot is responsible for the debt.

Credits: Bitcoin Big Bang (01:37)

Credits: Bitcoin Big Bang

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Bitcoin Big Bang

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On August 1, 2015, Mark Karpelès exits his luxurious home in Tokyo under police escort. Hiding his face under a cap, he wears a carefully chosen t-shirt; its slogan reads "Effortless French”. Hours later, Mark is indicted and imprisoned for forgery of computer data and embezzlement in connection with the disappearance in February 2014 of 850,000 Bitcoins, the equivalent of half a million dollars. Mark ran MTGox, the company responsible for this financial disaster and the biggest platform for virtual currency exchange, managing 80% of global Bitcoin transactions. He remained in pre-trial detention for the next year until the Japanese decided to release him for lack of evidence. Mark is finally free to prove his innocence, and this is his story. 

Length: 110 minutes

Item#: BVL186716

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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