Mark Karpeles, former CEO of the long-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, has escaped some charges, but been found guilty of manipulating exchange data in a Japanese court.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Friday, the Tokyo District Court found Karpeles guilty of wrongfully making electronic records connected to Mt. Gox’s books, but innocent on charges of embezzlement and breach of trust.
Karpeles was handed a suspended sentence of two years and six months. He must maintain a good record over the next four years to avoid jail time.
The court’s verdict comes almost five years after Mt. Gox filed for liquidation in April 2014 after claiming it was hacked for 850,000 bitcoin, some of which was later found.
According to the WSJ report, Karpeles’ lawyers wrote in their final argument to the court:
“Mt. Gox did not collapse because of the defendant’s [Karpeles’] wrongdoing. On the contrary, the defendant was trying his hardest every day to prevent its collapse.”
In December, Japanese prosecutors were seeking a 10-year sentence for Karpeles for embezzlement, alleging he used about $3 million of customers’ funds for his own personal use.
Karpeles, on the other hand, reiterated his innocence and apologized several times over the years. He once said, “I never imagined things would end this way and I am forever sorry for everything that’s taken place and all the effect it had on everyone involved.”
In August last year, the Japanese bankruptcy court that initially oversaw the case sided with creditors who made a petition to move the case to civic rehabilitation. As such, creditors could file for receiving their bitcoin locked up atin their original form rather than having them converted to fiat currencies.
In January,’ trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi announced the deadline for creditors to file proof of their claims was extended to March 15, after which the trustee will submit the rehabilitation plan to the court.
$500,000 Entry Requirement is Clouding the Largest Asset Tokenization Deal of US
Even though the fractional ownership of a real estate asset significantly increases the investors pool but there are some requirements for accredited investors in the US. One of the entry requirements for investment is $500,000. This requirement is rightly criticized by many since it significantly decreases possible investors and the concept of fractional ownership by masses cannot be made possible.
BlockPublisher talked to Vertalo’s founder and CEO Dave Hendricks and he also talked about this issue which greatly reduces the investors pool. He said:
Security token offerings have some typical requirements for accredited investors in the U.S. The entry requirement for the investment is $500,000. The rules are that certain private assets can only be sold to certain type of investors and some people are not happy about it.
In what may turn out to be a revolutionary deal, Vertalo is all set to tokenize four real estate properties worth $260 million in U.S. This first-of-its kind and the largest asset tokenization deal till date is being heralded by Vertalo, Invenium Capital Partners and Securrency who have partnered to pave way for the capital markets of small-to-medium-sized enterprises.
Tokenizing assets helps solve the highly illiquid nature of real estate through fractional ownership. By forming a local network belonging to the asset, tokens are made within the network and every token has a value. Hendricks discussed how Vertalo is helping in one of the largest tokenization deal of real estate. He said his company is helping with KYC (know your customer) process and AML (anti money laundering) law, the two requirements to ensure transparency of a system. He said:
Vertalo is helping Invenium with investor on-boarding. We are integrating KYC and AML for each offering. We are also helping with system integration and project management.
Vertalo is a compliance and liquidity enabling platform to make digital asset management solutions. The platform helps issuers and custody platforms to bring assets on board through security token offering, a process where tokenized assets are distributed among investors. The company also helps investors manage their tokens over blockchain while applying KYC and AML. Vertalo partners with experts of traditional financial sectors and applies it over the digital currency ecosystem.
READ ALSO: Tokenization is Adding a New Range of Asset Classes for Masses
Tokenizing assets solves real estate investor’s biggest dilemma of asset liquidation. As soon as tokens of any particular asset become available, they can be traded easily on the secondary market and the whole process of going to wealth managers or banks is cut off. Hendricks addressed the issue of asset liquidation that all investors face in traditional real estate industry. He said:
“The real challenge for tokenization is it needs to have a strong offering for the investors. What investors are interested in is a good return and asset liquidity that are achieved by tokenized offering. If anyone wants to move their money somewhere else or liquidate it, it’s easy to move and exit and that is why tokenization is interesting”.
Apart from easy liquidation, tokenizing an asset is also cost efficient. It immensely reduces the cost incurred in administering and managing an asset. Traditional real estate deals are done behind closed doors and require complex paperwork in the form of legal issues or bank transactions. High fees of lawyers, real estate brokers and bank transactions make it very costly to buy or sell assets. Hendricks thinks:
STOs are very cost efficient, they decentralize ownership that reduces the cost administering the ownership of the asset. If STOs are done correctly, they are already in compliance with securities law.
Security tokens enable secondary liquidity for private assets and this is a big deal. Traditionally, it is hard to sell private assets because there are not many buyers who would match the price tag, it involves complex paperwork and it is time consuming. Vertalo is paving way for asset tokenization that will eventually revolutionize the real estate industry but half a million dollar entry requirement is clouding the largest real estate tokenization deal.
Baer Chain CEO Vincent:The core of Baer Chain is ecology and technology
Vincent graduated from UCLA [the University of California, Los Angeles] with a Master’s degree in Business Finance. He has worked for the global e-commerce giant Amazon headquarter in the United States and joined Morgan Stanley in 2015. He got involved with BTC, ETH earlier, and has unique insights into Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. In 2017, he founded Baer Technology in Hong Kong, the founder and CEO of Baer Chain, dedicated to the application of blockchain technology.
The positioning of the Baer Chain is “the world’s first technology-driven blockchain game industry ecosystem platform.”
Why Baer Chain chose the game field, because the blockchain application is suitable for game application scenario except for the financial industry. The Baer Chain founding team members have been deeply involved in the game field for many years and deeply know the unsolved problems of small and medium-sized game development companies. Therefore, Baer Chain hopes to create a decentralized shared platform to reshape the game ecosystem to solve the game industry’s core demand points.
The essence of the blockchain is “co-construction and sharing.” So Baer Chain’s original collaboration mechanism is designed to create a highly active community where all values are interoperable. The developer goes straight to the player and breaks the monopolization. In addition, based on the high flowability of the BRC, the entire platform forms a flow value loop. Not only that, eliminating of centralized control, players will have more right to say. At present, Baer Chain’s community users have exceeded 630,000.
Vincent mentioned that the current blockchain game can be said not a game in fact. So to achieve a true blockchain game, it is necessary to focus on the track in the vertical field of the game through technology. Baer Chain optimizes the game application through its own technical architecture advantages, and its operation efficiency and stability are higher than the existing main network, which will be able to meet the high concurrency requirements of large games for computing power and resources; Baer Chain main network is about launched for a public test in April. After the official launching, there will be more real blockchain games on the Baer Chain.
Vincent has always believed that the future of blockchain has come, but only the development of technology is the core element to achieve the application of blockchain. Vincent is willing to witness the development of this industry with entrepreneurs who insist on the development of the underlying technology in the blockchain.
ConsenSys Spin-Off BlockApps Inks Deal With Bayer’s Monsanto Arm
Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings has established a new subsidiary to manufacture cryptocurrency mining chips and systems.
The new venture, SBI Mining Chip Co. (SBIMC), is a part of SBI’s strategy on digital assets-related businesses, according to an announcement on Friday
SBIMC will be carrying out the development and manufacturing of cryptocurrency miners in partnership with an unnamed “large” semiconductor enterprise in the U.S., said SBI.
The new venture will be led by former NASA veteran Adam Traidman, who has a “high level of expertise in the field of leading-edge semiconductors and other electronics.”
Traidman has a total experience of over 20 years and has served as CEO of Chip Estimate (acquired by Cadence Design Systems, Inc. in 2008) and WearSens (Wearable device developer specialized in dietary monitoring) in the past. He also served as CEO of BRD, in which SBI Group has invested, according to the announcement.
SBI Group, through its subsidiary SBI Crypto, started a mining pool for bitcoin cash (BCH) last year, but is no longer mining the cryptocurrency.
The group first revealed its interest in the cryptocurrency industry back in 2017. At the time, the firm said it is looking to acquire cryptocurrencies directly, including through mining, as well as establishing ways of using cryptocurrencies and providing investment opportunities.
Over the years, the firm has ventured into several areas within the industry, including establishing regulated cryptocurrency exchange VCTRADE last June, and launching blockchain-based money transfer app MoneyTap in partnership with Ripple back in October.
Earlier this year, the group invested $15 million in Swiss startup Tangem, maker of a slimline hardware wallet for cryptocurrencies. It also recently formed a joint venture with blockchain consortium startup R3 to boost the adoption of R3’s Corda platform in Japan and beyond.