The news comes as Mt Gox was officially placed in administration by a Tokyo district court, which turned down the company’s plan to begin recovering its losses.
Karpeles, who has remained in Japan following the collapse of the digital currency exchange, says he will not comply with the order from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, part of the US Department of Treasury, which had demanded he attend a hearing in Washington this Friday.
In February, before the collapse of the exchange, Mr Karpeles told me by e-mail that Mt Gox had been experiencing trouble with “transaction malleability”, in which users could fraudulently alter transaction details, because the exchange had struggled to keep up with changes to Bitcoin’s core software. He also blamed the Bitcoin Foundation for not solving some coding ‘problems’.
Mt Gox subsequently admitted that it may have lost nearly $500 million of the currency, after experiencing a range of severe problems, later locating about a quarter of that sum.
Karpeles is looking to obtain legal advice before making any trip to a US court.
His lawyers wrote in a court filing that “until such time as counsel is retained and has an opportunity to ‘get up to speed’ and advise Mr Karpeles, he is not willing to travel to the US.”
Failed Mt Gox Rehabilitation
In terms of Mt Gox’s administration, the company said in a statement today that its application for civil rehabilitation had been dismissed by a Japanese court, which decided there were no immediate prospects for resuscitating the business.
Mt Gox apologized for the “great inconvenience and concerns to our creditors” following the news. The company said it intends to “fully cooperate with the provisional administrator”, including by handing over “current negotiations with sponsor candidates to maximize the distribution to all creditors, following the transfer of the business to a sponsor”.
In the past week, the price of Bitcoin has rallied from a low of $348, up to $501, partly on the back of supportive comments from the governor of the People’s Bank of China, an institution that had apparently originally threatened to close accounts of Bitcoin trading services.
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