Updated: Former Mt Gox CEO registers new blockchain project in Japan

Mark Karpeles, former CEO of defunct crypto exchange Mt Gox, is “starting from zero” with a new blockchain cloud company, the AP reports.

Following the exchange's major hack and subsequent collapse in 2015, Karpeles was arrested and spent 11 months in Japanese detention. But in March this year he was cleared of fraud and embezzlement charges, leaving one conviction for tampering with records, which he is appealing.

While the appeal-case is not expected to begin until later this year, Karpeles is already building a new blockchain-based operating system, Tristan Technologies Co. He has registered the company in Japan, where he will act as CTO, and says his plan is to help the country become a leader in blockchain technology.

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"Japan used to be engineering superpower in terms of its PCs but right now, taking the cloud for example, it's the U.S. that dominates. But I still believe in the potential Japan has and I would like to develop that," he told reporters.

While cautious of cryptocurrencies' risk, he says he still believes blockchain technology has a lot to offer and multiple uses— including cashless payments, cloud solutions, and smart contracts.

If Karpeles' appeal for manipulating electronic data fails, he could face up to 10 years in prison. The verdict could take years.

Update: Following publication, The Block spoke to Karpeles, who disputed key points in AP's reporting and sought to clarify the record. Our conversation with him can be found here.