Mark Karpeles, owner and CEO of the now-defunct Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, has been convicted of falsifying electronic data, but was acquitted of embezzlement charges by Tokyo District Court on 15 March.
The French businessman was found guilty on charges of record tampering, and was subsequently granted a suspended jail sentence for two and a half years. This means that Karpeles wouldn’t have to serve time in prison if he does not commit any crime for a period of four years. Additionally, the court also ordered Mark Karpeles to compensate for trial costs.
Yuji Nakamura, a Bloomberg tech reporter, summarized the Tokyo District Court’s verdict on Karpeles,
“In summary, the court found that the way he ran Mt. Gox was a total mess and that he tampered with records to hide the fact it was missing a lot of Bitcoin, but he did not do it for personal gain or have ill intent.”
According to his translations, the court stated that the use of tampered data involving a large sum of funds caused severe damage to the customers of Mt. Gox. However, there was no criminal evidence of the serious allegations Karpeles was charged with. He also stated that the defendant’s criminal responsibility cannot be undermined.
Tokyo prosecutors had previously accused Karpeles on multiple accounts of fraud, including embezzlement and aggravated breach of trust, demanding a 10-year prison term for him. Maintaining his innocence since the very beginning, the CEO of the infamous exchange said that he was happy to be found not guilty of the serious charges of embezzlement and breach of trust.
The Mt. Gox fiasco accounted for a loss of 850k BTC, out of which only 200k coins have been recovered. The breach resulted in a loss of over 7% of the entire Bitcoin circulation in early 2014. Later, the company filed for bankruptcy and ceased its operations.
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Fall in Bitcoin’s market dominance may be correlated to the fortunes of the altcoin market
The trends set by virtual assets have always highlighted the cryptocurrency market’s inherent volatility and spontaneity. Prices lack symmetry and rarely exhibit consistent growth as different factors come into play to dictate an asset’s valuation.
At press time, the world’s largest crypto, Bitcoin, had stormed past the $11,000 mark and was consolidating to push for a surge over $12,000. The rest of the altcoin market however, apart from one or two minor hikes here and there, has been relatively quiet after collectively surging in the early part of the year.
At the beginning of 2019, a significant number of crypto-assets performed significantly well in a group, wherein most assets demonstrated a prominent hike in their values with little to minor price corrections.
A majority of tokens doubled their valuation until Bitcoin breached the $6,600 resistance. Subsequently, altcoins failed to keep pace as Bitcoin continued to test more resistance limits in the market.
At present time, Bitcoin enjoyed an unprecedented 62 percent dominance in the cryptocurrency market. As its dominance primes itself to climb over the 63 percent mark, many in the community speculate this could be red flags for the altcoin market.
Major cryptocurrency enthusiasts and analysts have stated that altcoins could significantly capitulate if it so happens. However, past events offer a sliver of hope for the altcoin market.
According to CoinMarketCap, the altcoin market has been significantly affected whenever BTC’s dominance has fallen. During the bull run of 2017, Bitcoin enjoyed a dominance of 65 percent and the global market cap hit a value of $402 billion. However, in January 2018, when BTC dominance plummeted, the global market cap peaked at around $710 billion. The dominance was down by half, whereas the global market cap had almost doubled.
A major reason for the same was money funneling into other altcoins after witnessing a shift in momentum from Bitcoin to the rest of the crypto-market. The present market situation may take a similar path once BTC’s dominance falls, opening the door for other virtual assets to take advantage of the scenario.
However, the present rise of BTC is backed by much more certainty than the bull run of 2017. Hence, a repeat of the January 2018 period may be unlikely, and will happen if and only the market sentiment shifts gears drastically towards altcoins.
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