Disgraced MtGox CEO to auction off bitcoins.com domain

Mark Karpeles (2nd R), president of MtGox bitcoin exchange speaks during a press conference in Tokyo on February 28, 2014. The troubled MtGox Bitcoin exchange filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan on February 28, with its chief executive saying it had lost nearly half a billion dollars worth of the digital currency in a possible theft.

Bitcoin auctions are apparently in vogue right now.

Last week, it was seized bitcoins from the illegal Silk Road marketplace. This week, it’s the bitcoins.com domain from Mark Karpeles, who owns the once dominant, now tragic bitcoin exchange MtGox.

Karpeles vowed to distribute at least some of the earnings from the auction to the beleaguered exchange’s creditors.

“We are hoping, with the sale of Bitcoins.com, to provide some relief to the people impacted by the Mt. Gox bankruptcy,” said Karpeles in the press release. “And will be putting at least half of the sale amount toward that purpose.”

Right now, the opening bid for bitcoins.com is listed at $185,000 on Heritage Auctions, but the company estimated its value is at least $750,000. That’s translates to about 1,200 bitcoins.

Bitcoin.com, the singular version, is rented by Blockchain.info who has a five-year deal with the domain’s anonymous owner. Both bitcoinwallet.com and bitcoinwallets.com are also taken.

Even if Karpeles splits half the proceeds with creditors, it will still be barely a drop in the bucket to make up for the $341 million of customer money his company lost. The former CEO had been staying relatively quiet as his company moved through bankruptcy proceedings in Japan and the US, but has recently re-emerged on Twitter with pictures of his cat interspersed with erratic replies to angry customers.

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