London Trust Media (LTM), famous for its popular VPN service Private Internet Access (PIA), appointed the infamous Ex CEO of Mt. Gox, Mark Karpeles as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Once part of a cryptocurrency exchange in Japan, Mark Karpeles faces charges of embezzlement following the disappearance of 650,000 Bitcoin. Japanese authorities arrested the former CEO of Mt. Gox in 2015 after carrying out careful investigation. They believe that Karpeles manipulated the account books to hide the Bitcoins and make it look as if they never existed.
He is still on trial for embezzlement charges in Japan and his appointment as a CTO at LTM comes as shock to everyone in the cyber security world. Japan is a region with 99 percent conviction rate and Mark Karpeles could find himself in jail.
For anyone who is in the VPN industry, the appointment of Mark Karpeles speaks volumes. How could Private Internet Access (PIA), a VPN known for offering formidable security and upholding its user’s privacy against all odds, be involved with a person like Karpeles?
Jackson Palmer, creator of Dogecoin, took to Twitter, highlighting how his trust in PIA is destroyed after Mark Karpeles was hired as their CTO:
This is a real “lolwut” moment for me 🤔
If you’re a Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN customer, know that they decided to hire the former CEO of Mt. Gox as CTO. How a company in the *internet security* space could make that decision baffles me. Trust = destroyed. https://t.co/jbEB8nJkBj
— Jackson Palmer (@ummjackson) April 23, 2018
So, should you continue to use PIA VPN?
In our Private Internet Access review, we place high regards to the provider’s privacy standards and how it keeps its users safe. However, this notion could change quickly.
As a VPN user, I would question PIA’s and LTM’s integrity. Mark Karpeles is a person who ruined the industry and giving him a second chance is like playing with fire. It could change PIA’s stance on preserving users’ privacy. The provider could bow down to internet regulations that could compromise subscribers’ data and personal info – something PIA has never done before!
Likewise, there are numerous questions bustling around our heads at VPNRanks.com. What’s stopping Mark from repeating the actions that got him into trouble at Mt. Gox? How will his interaction with PIA effect user’s privacy? What if he goes to jail in Japan, what happens to LTM and PIA? Is it the end of PIA?
We guess only time will tell how things play out and whether appointing Mark Karpeles as CTO was a wise decision or a grave mistake.