After watching the riveting and entertaining nearly two-hour film documentary Effortless French, about the rise and fall of Mt. Gox, the infamous bitcoin exchange, there are two questions (one big, one small) that are never fully answered. (Full disclosure: I was interviewed for this film and appear in multiple scenes, but I did not see any rough cut or portion of the film until I was recently sent a screener.)
First, we still don't have a complete understanding of exactly what happened at Mt. Gox. We probably never will. It's clear that the exchange's Tokyo-based now-ex-CEO Mark Karpelès doesn't really seem to know what happened either. Nor, for that matter, does he seem to be emotionally affected by it in any way that was captured on film.
Launched as a bitcoin exchange in 2010, Mt. Gox quickly became the world's most popular place to trade. But by February 2014, the site pulled the plug and filed for bankruptcy. Mt. Gox blamed its huge losses on hackers who had pilfered 850,000 bitcoins (now worth over $8 billion), taking advantage of a major security flaw. At the time, Karpelès became the most hated person in the bitcoin world for letting it happen right under his nose.