MtGox Book, ‘Ultimate Catastrophe’, Released Today

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  • A new book focusing on the collapse of MtGox in 2014 and its aftermath goes on sale today
  • Ultimate Catastrophe by Mark Hunter reveals the full story of the influential exchange, from its inception through its collapse and the creditors’ battle for justice
  • The book is written by FullyCrypto Senior Writer and Editor Mark Hunter, who has interviewed former MtGox employees and investigators

A tell-all book on the history of MtGox, including details of the multiple hacks that derailed it and the attempt to oust CEO Mark Karpelès from his position, is out today. Ultimate Catastrophe – How MtGox Lost Half a Billion Dollars and Nearly Killed Bitcoin, written by FullyCrypto writer Mark Hunter, features insight from those who built, used, and investigated MtGox after it collapsed in February 2014. The book’s release comes three months shy of the tenth anniversary of the implosion of MtGox, a story that has never been told in full until now.

MtGox Lost Over a Million Bitcoins

Many people know that MtGox collapsed in February 2014 owing around 850,000 bitcoins to its customers, but not many know that, throughout its entire lifetime, the exchange lost, either to hacks, malpractice or poor investments, over a million bitcoins. The exchange was even in debt to its customers from the moment that Mark Karpelès took over from the founder Jed McCaleb in early 2011, but Karpelès kept this to himself and tried to bring the company level, with disastrous results.

Ultimate Catastrophe details the early years of the exchange, the hacks that set the company on a path of destruction from all the way back in 2011, and how Karpelès’ disastrous decision-making merely compounded these hacks. It also details the efforts of law enforcement to find the hackers as well as the ramshackle investigation into Karpelès by the Japanese police, who were upstaged by one man, Kim Nilsson, who did a better job of revealing the series of hacks to the world than any police force managed.

MtGox Was “Papier-mache House”

The book doesn’t just focus on the hack; it also looks at the efforts from the various creditor group to get their bitcoins back and their battles with the authorities; the bankruptcy court; Peter Vessenes’ Coinlab, which is seeking $16 billion in compensation; and the internal squabbles within the creditor groups themselves.

Mark told us that the book has been an eye-opening experience to research and write:

Like many people, I had thought that MtGox was brought to its knees by a hack or series of hacks, but I had no idea just what had gone on behind the scenes right from the start. MtGox was like a house built on bad foundations when Mark Karpelès took it over, but rather than fixing the foundations he just built a papier-mache house on top. Once you know the true story you realise it’s a miracle that it lasted as long as it did.

Ultimate Catastrophe is available from Amazon now, with other retailers to follow.