Mark Karpeles, CEO of Mt Gox, didn’t only have 850,000 bitcoins “disappear” from a cold storage vault, in what he claims was theft.
It turns out he’s been involved in fraud previously– which makes any claim of his that 850,000 bitcoins were pilfered from his accounting books (which, as Falkvinge points out, is completely unreasonable) seem even more full of bullshit.
For those of you who want to read about the other time he defrauded someone, here’s the link. (I’m completely convinced that Empty Gox is a fraud orchestrated by Karpeles at this point.)
But besides the breaking news: Bitcoin has no regulation. That’s both a problem and a solution.
It’s a solution in that it can become the anonymous P2P currency of the internet.
It’s a problem in that criminals like Karpeles are supposedly freely able to engage in their criminal activities.
While the US economy is crippled by corporate welfare, unregulated companies, corrupt banks, and Wall Street, Bitcoin seeks to solve that.
But in lacking regulation, does it not forecast its own doom by allowing corruption to burgeon?
I was ruminating on this, but I don’t think it will become a major problem in the future.
Note that Karpeles snuck into the Bitcoin business at its inception. Nobody had the time nor the reason to check his credentials.
Getting away with illegal acts is far easier in the earlier stages of an institution.
Remember Benjamin Franklin? Founding Father, one of the greatest womanizers in American history? Back when the printing press still existed? Nobody ever questioned his promiscuity.
Remember Bill Clinton? I don’t think I need to explain what happened to him for one small scandal. The media went “ham” on him.
Once America and American media had developed past its infant stages, it was possible to spend more time on things not related to life or death.
Ten years down the line, the same thing will happen to Bitcoin. If a man like Karpeles shows his face, he will be laughed off the internet before anyone gets the chance to fall for his scam.
A rocket’s hardest obstacle is getting out of the Earth’s gravity… similarly, Bitcoin’s toughest obstacle will be escaping the corruption of the dollar.
I hate Karpeles, but someone was going to do something similar anyway.