Mark Karpeles, bitcoin exchange MtGox CEO, arrested in Japan

Mark Karpeles is being held following the loss of bitcoins worth £247 million

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The CEO of what was one of the world’s largest virtual currency exchanges has been arrested by Japanese police.

Mark Karpeles, 30, is the head of MtGox, a failed company which exchanged the Bitcoin currency.

The Frenchman is being held in connection with the loss of bitcoins worth £247 million last February, the BBC reports.

Mr Karpeles is accused of having accessed the exchange’s computer system in February 2013 to falsify data on its outstanding balance.

MtGox claimed it was a bug, but later filed for bankruptcy.

A lawyer working for Mr Karpeles has said he denies any wrongdoing, according to Japanese news network Kyodo News.

The agency said Mr Karpeles allegedly increased the outstanding balance of his dollar account twice by £640,000 or $1 million.

After filing for bankruptcy last March, MtGox said it found 200,000 lost bitcoins, worth $116 million, in an old digital wallet from 2011.

The total number of bitcoins the firm lost was 650,000, according to the BBC.