Mt. Gox head Karpeles plans new Japan bitcoin tech business

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles attends a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan Wednesday, June 5, 2019, in Tokyo. Karpeles, arrested in Japan after his bitcoin exchange collapsed from massive hacking, is starting a new business around the same computer technology that led to his legal troubles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles attends a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan Wednesday, June 5, 2019, in Tokyo. Karpeles, arrested in Japan after his bitcoin exchange collapsed from massive hacking, is starting a new business around the same computer technology that led to his legal troubles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles attends a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan Wednesday, June 5, 2019, in Tokyo. Karpeles, arrested in Japan after his bitcoin exchange collapsed from massive hacking, is starting a new business around the same computer technology that led to his legal troubles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

TOKYO — Mark Karpeles, arrested in Japan after his bitcoin exchange collapsed from massive hacking, is starting a new business around the same computer technology that led to his legal troubles.

Karpeles told reporters Wednesday he wants to make Japan a global leader in blockchain, the technology behind virtual money like bitcoin. The 34-year-old Frenchman was cleared of embezzlement and fraud allegations in March, but is appealing a conviction for manipulating electronic data.

Karpeles was arrested in 2015, and spent 11 months in detention. Karpeles received a suspended sentence, meaning he is not serving jail time. Prosecutors had demanded 10 years in prison.

His lawyer Nobuyasu Ogata said the verdict highlights legal uncertainties in the new area of cryptocurrency crime.

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