TOKYO: The holding company of collapsed virtual currency exchange Mt. Gox is looking to sell the trademark “Bitcoin” The Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday.
Mt. Gox was once considered the backbone of Bitcoin, and a behemoth among the crypto currency exchanges. Initially created and operated by Mr. Jed McCaleb of Ripple Labs fame, the exchange platform was later sold to Mark Karpeles.
The exchange was synonymous with the Bitcoin name, and profited immensely through fees on trade transactions. Sadly, Mt.Gox is now a dirty word and treated with derision by the crypto currency communities.
With their mounting legal troubles, and scandalous allegations of fraudulent activities, which ultimately led to it’s collapse and prosecution of their top management, Mt.Gox is now the buzz word for government agencies that are petitioning and seeking regulation for a popular decentralized technology.
Mt.Gox has additionally faced fresh, scandalous allegations this week when an investigation dubbed ‘The Willy Report‘ surfaced with purported evidence that Mt.Gox had utilised malicious software in the form of a bot to create fake accounts to massively inflate Bitcoin’s value during the month of November last year. The bots apparently were tasked to execute huge volumes of buying and selling orders at a rapid pace. If the allegations and the data contained in the report are true, Mt.Gox singlehandedly inflated the value of Bitcoin’s highest recorded worth to date. And that the factors most commonly attributed to that golden era for Bitcoin-namely the influx of wealthy Chinese speculators and the shutdown of the black market platform known as the Silk Road by the FBI, were not the reasons Bitcoin had achieved such meteoric measures of success , contrary to popular belief.
Liquidation of Assets
Mt.Gox hopes to raise at least 100 million yen, or about $1 million, for a package which will include the trademarks in Japan and the European Union, the Wall Street Journal quoted an executive of the company as saying. The company is also seeking a buyer for the domain name ‘bitcoins.com’,but according to the paper: it is unclear if any monies acquired from the sale of the intellectual properties will be put towards repayment of the company’s massive debts.
The executive said the company wanted to sell the trademarks because it had no use for them, the Journal said, without naming the company official.
An AFP search of the online database has yielded info that states ‘Tibanne’ was a company registered and helmed by the former Mt.Gox chief Mark Karpeles, had its registration of the Bitcoin trademark approved in Japan in 2012. The Tibanne company effectively functioned as the sole operator of the trading exchange. The two companies had even shared the same business address in Tokyo, Japan.
MtGox had filed for bankruptcy protection in late February, a move that shook the crypto world and accentuated the decline of Bitcoin’s value. With claims that the company was mired in debts to the tune of 6.5 billion yen and that they had suffered additional losses of a much disputed “misplacing” of 850,000 Bitcoins. Mt. Gox later announced that they had apparently located approximately 200,000 Bitcoins, which were purportedly forgotten about after being placed in an offline wallet for storage.
This announcement was slammed by critics and the majority of the crypto currency communities, as they reasoned that if Mt.Gox was able to ‘forget’ about a large sized cache as they claimed- then what other irregularities are yet to be exposed?
The company was only exposed after they went incognito in February, and withdrawal transactions were blocked. The company went on to announce that they were made vulnerable to malicious cyber attacks aimed at stealing bitcoins from the exchange, that were successful in capitalizing on a supposed flaw in a software program that was an integral part of the company’s fundamental trading operations.
In April, Mt.Gox initiated procedures of liquidation as ordered in a ruling by the courts of Japan’s legal system. The debacle has now been the decisive factor of the United States of America’s compulsory mandate that requires all crypto currency exchanges to be registered and approved with FINCEN, which essentially is put into place to enforce legal responsibility, and transparency by way of audits.