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teamhugs
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September 18, 2012, 01:56:46 PM
Last edit: September 18, 2012, 02:26:58 PM by teamhugs
 #1

I always find it odd how I have to identify myself and prove my identity to companies, but it's never the other way around. I'm considering using mtgox for buying/selling bitcoins. Given I'm likely to do $10,000 or more this year, the bitinstant limits get in the way at times. I'm patient and can wait for transfers and verification.

I started to look into whether I can trust mtgox with my personal info or not. Here's the first thing I did:

1. click 'about us'. It takes you here, https://mtgox.com/about-us. It talks about tibanne co, ltd. Hmm, what's tibanne?
2. click the link for business registration. It takes you here, http://www.tokyo-cci.or.jp/english/ibo/2353440.htm. I emailed the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry to ask how I can verify a business.
3. The answer is that anyone can register a business and join the CCI. There is no proof of anything required. You pay a fee and you are a member. Hmm.
4. I poked at tibanne co ltd website, https://www.tibanne.com. They appear to do some sort of link shortener/farming, irc network, no spam email provider, etc. Nothing else is related to banking or financial transactions.
5. I look up their US affiliate, http://www.mutumsigillum.com/ as linked from their page. The page isn't finished and hasn't been updated since 2009. Nothing about financial services. Nothing about mtgox either or even tibanne.
6. Their US address is an advertising agency based out of someone's house, see the google map of it, https://maps.google.com/maps?q=2915+OGLETOWN+ROAD,+%23+1085+%E2%80%94+NEWARK,+DE+19713&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=55.455479,135.263672&hnear=2915+Ogletown+Rd+%231085,+Newark,+Delaware+19713&t=m&z=17&iwloc=lyrftr:m,8171648495381904605,39.680571,-75.705457
7. This got me wondering, and their Japan address is a hotel and virtual office provider, see the google map of it, https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Cerulean+Tower+15F,+Sakuragaoka-cho+26-1,&hl=en&ll=35.656627,139.69963&spn=0.001759,0.004128&sll=35.664035,139.698212&sspn=0.056275,0.132093&hq=Cerulean+Tower+15F,+Sakuragaoka-cho+26-1,&hnear=Shibuya,+Tokyo,+Japan&t=m&z=19&iwloc=A
8. The virtual office provider is also listed as 'The Executive Center', http://www.executivecentre.co.jp/. The company is actually a Hong Kong company with various options in a few large cities in Asia.
9. I looked at the office address for tibanne, here's the english version, http://www.executivecentre.com.hk/location/shibuya_cerulean_tower-tokyo.
10. I had a japanese speaking friend call the number to see if tibanne was really there. They have a cubicle, but the receptionist said she hasn't seen anyone there for months.
11. What's interesting is the https://www.tibanne.com/contact.html lists a different address. Which is roughly here, https://maps.google.com/maps?q=round+cross,+Shibuya&hl=en&ll=35.663331,139.701314&spn=0.001846,0.004128&sll=35.664897,139.707685&sspn=0.029532,0.066047&hq=round+cross,&hnear=Shibuya,+Tokyo,+Japan&t=m&fll=35.66318,139.701494&fspn=0.001846,0.004128&z=19. The astute observer will notice this is roughly 750m away from the virtual office.

None of this makes me feel good about providing a passport and utility bill to become a verified customer.

Dear mtgox,

Here are some ideas to make you seem much more legitimate:

1. Provide a copy of your business license. The Tokyo CCI said all businesses must be registered with the tax authority in Tokyo. This is public information, assuming you can read/write Japanese and know how to find it.
2. Provide a phone number that reaches a real human, not a virtual receptionist at a virtual office.
3. Explain, in detail, how our identifying documents are handled, stored, retention times, and when copies are destroyed.
4. Post pictures of your employees with contact info, leave the exif image information intact.
5. Explain the US affiliate and what they do.
6. Explain how you check the identifying documents. Unless you check a national clearinghouse tied to a verified government database, it's easy to fake these documents. This is doubly true for Americans.

Has anyone actually been to the mtgox offices to meet them?
Has anyone actually met the CEO?

For someone with a large trading volume and proclaimed 80% of btc transactions, you'd think they would be at any of the past bitcoin conferences or have made public appearances somewhere.

Added at Tue Sep 18 14:22:23 UTC 2012: For some reason this part was cut off from my copy and paste into the form:

Let me be clear. I want to trust mtgox. I want to use them as a btc bank and work with them as a real company. I'm fine with mtgox being 2 people in a virtual office to get started, but given we realistically can't all fly to Tokyo to meet you and have a meeting, we're forced to evaluate the company by other means. I do travel a lot for my day job. I may be in Tokyo in early 2013. I'll find time to meet with mtgox people if I'm there.

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September 18, 2012, 02:10:37 PM
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Bump for mtgox response.

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September 18, 2012, 03:09:02 PM
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1. Provide a copy of your business license. The Tokyo CCI said all businesses must be registered with the tax authority in Tokyo. This is public information, assuming you can read/write Japanese and know how to find it.
2. Provide a phone number that reaches a real human, not a virtual receptionist at a virtual office.
3. Explain, in detail, how our identifying documents are handled, stored, retention times, and when copies are destroyed.
4. Post pictures of your employees with contact info, leave the exif image information intact.
5. Explain the US affiliate and what they do.
6. Explain how you check the identifying documents. Unless you check a national clearinghouse tied to a verified government database, it's easy to fake these documents. This is doubly true for Americans.

Has anyone actually been to the mtgox offices to meet them?
Has anyone actually met the CEO?

For someone with a large trading volume and proclaimed 80% of btc transactions, you'd think they would be at any of the past bitcoin conferences or have made public appearances somewhere.

Added at Tue Sep 18 14:22:23 UTC 2012: For some reason this part was cut off from my copy and paste into the form:

Let me be clear. I want to trust mtgox. I want to use them as a btc bank and work with them as a real company. I'm fine with mtgox being 2 people in a virtual office to get started, but given we realistically can't all fly to Tokyo to meet you and have a meeting, we're forced to evaluate the company by other means. I do travel a lot for my day job. I may be in Tokyo in early 2013. I'll find time to meet with mtgox people if I'm there.


Yes I have been down to their office and met the team. Roger Ver from Memorydealers took me down there when I was on a trip to Tokyo just 3 weeks ago. I was very impressed at their operations as they seemed very professionally run for a small company. I can confirm its not a virtual office, and yes it's run like a real company.

The CEOs are very switched on and know what they want from Mtgox. Having said that they are super busy so attending conferences might not be their priority... Giving talks isn't for everyone.

Also if you want to question their trustworthiness then check out their audits and publicly available trading volume data. The amount you invest is most probably going to be dwarfed by the amounts traded on a daily basis at gox. I believe a number of accounts are easily within the hundreds of thousands of USD.

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September 18, 2012, 03:20:44 PM
 #4

And to answer a few of your other questions, I believe Tibanne is the original company that was used when the CEO was an independent contractor. For business purposes in many countries it's beneficial to work for others through your own ltd company for tax reasons. He since acquired Mtgox and runs it day to day which is why Mtgox on paper is owned by Tibanne.

I can confirm that I have a direct contact number to a real human.

...and for the record I regularly trade $10k+ per month with them.

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September 18, 2012, 08:34:40 PM
 #5

You run the risk of losing your money from any financial company that is not FDIC issued.  It wouldn't help if they were in the US, what keeps them honest is the amount of money they are making. 

I just opened a small account and they were very responsive to questions I had-- chat and email.


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September 19, 2012, 04:35:14 AM
Last edit: September 19, 2012, 06:54:45 AM by Mt.Gox_Alex
 #6

I always find it odd how I have to identify myself and prove my identity to companies, but it's never the other way around. I'm considering using mtgox for buying/selling bitcoins. Given I'm likely to do $10,000 or more this year, the bitinstant limits get in the way at times. I'm patient and can wait for transfers and verification.

I started to look into whether I can trust mtgox with my personal info or not. Here's the first thing I did:

1. click 'about us'. It takes you here, https://mtgox.com/about-us. It talks about tibanne co, ltd. Hmm, what's tibanne?
2. click the link for business registration. It takes you here, http://www.tokyo-cci.or.jp/english/ibo/2353440.htm. I emailed the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry to ask how I can verify a business.
3. The answer is that anyone can register a business and join the CCI. There is no proof of anything required. You pay a fee and you are a member. Hmm.
4. I poked at tibanne co ltd website, https://www.tibanne.com. They appear to do some sort of link shortener/farming, irc network, no spam email provider, etc. Nothing else is related to banking or financial transactions.
5. I look up their US affiliate, http://www.mutumsigillum.com/ as linked from their page. The page isn't finished and hasn't been updated since 2009. Nothing about financial services. Nothing about mtgox either or even tibanne.
6. Their US address is an advertising agency based out of someone's house, see the google map of it, https://maps.google.com/maps?q=2915+OGLETOWN+ROAD,+%23+1085+%E2%80%94+NEWARK,+DE+19713&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=55.455479,135.263672&hnear=2915+Ogletown+Rd+%231085,+Newark,+Delaware+19713&t=m&z=17&iwloc=lyrftr:m,8171648495381904605,39.680571,-75.705457
7. This got me wondering, and their Japan address is a hotel and virtual office provider, see the google map of it, https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Cerulean+Tower+15F,+Sakuragaoka-cho+26-1,&hl=en&ll=35.656627,139.69963&spn=0.001759,0.004128&sll=35.664035,139.698212&sspn=0.056275,0.132093&hq=Cerulean+Tower+15F,+Sakuragaoka-cho+26-1,&hnear=Shibuya,+Tokyo,+Japan&t=m&z=19&iwloc=A
8. The virtual office provider is also listed as 'The Executive Center', http://www.executivecentre.co.jp/. The company is actually a Hong Kong company with various options in a few large cities in Asia.
9. I looked at the office address for tibanne, here's the english version, http://www.executivecentre.com.hk/location/shibuya_cerulean_tower-tokyo.
10. I had a japanese speaking friend call the number to see if tibanne was really there. They have a cubicle, but the receptionist said she hasn't seen anyone there for months.
11. What's interesting is the https://www.tibanne.com/contact.html lists a different address. Which is roughly here, https://maps.google.com/maps?q=round+cross,+Shibuya&hl=en&ll=35.663331,139.701314&spn=0.001846,0.004128&sll=35.664897,139.707685&sspn=0.029532,0.066047&hq=round+cross,&hnear=Shibuya,+Tokyo,+Japan&t=m&fll=35.66318,139.701494&fspn=0.001846,0.004128&z=19. The astute observer will notice this is roughly 750m away from the virtual office.

None of this makes me feel good about providing a passport and utility bill to become a verified customer.

Dear mtgox,

Here are some ideas to make you seem much more legitimate:

1. Provide a copy of your business license. The Tokyo CCI said all businesses must be registered with the tax authority in Tokyo. This is public information, assuming you can read/write Japanese and know how to find it.
2. Provide a phone number that reaches a real human, not a virtual receptionist at a virtual office.
3. Explain, in detail, how our identifying documents are handled, stored, retention times, and when copies are destroyed.
4. Post pictures of your employees with contact info, leave the exif image information intact.
5. Explain the US affiliate and what they do.
6. Explain how you check the identifying documents. Unless you check a national clearinghouse tied to a verified government database, it's easy to fake these documents. This is doubly true for Americans.

Has anyone actually been to the mtgox offices to meet them?
Has anyone actually met the CEO?

For someone with a large trading volume and proclaimed 80% of btc transactions, you'd think they would be at any of the past bitcoin conferences or have made public appearances somewhere.

Added at Tue Sep 18 14:22:23 UTC 2012: For some reason this part was cut off from my copy and paste into the form:

Let me be clear. I want to trust mtgox. I want to use them as a btc bank and work with them as a real company. I'm fine with mtgox being 2 people in a virtual office to get started, but given we realistically can't all fly to Tokyo to meet you and have a meeting, we're forced to evaluate the company by other means. I do travel a lot for my day job. I may be in Tokyo in early 2013. I'll find time to meet with mtgox people if I'm there.


It seems that you are fairly new here and that you did not search on the forum about who and what we do, no problems with that. This said most of the information you are looking for are publicly available on our website OR on this very forum.

1. https://www.b-den.net/company/show/id/6530 (Tokyo Chamber or Commerce) and found here https://mtgox.com/about-us. Mt.Gox is own and operated by Tibanne (Explaining why our SSL is certificated is signed Tibanne K.K. Also please understand that no companies in Japan are forced to register to the TCC.
This said here you are the official registration number for both companies in Japan (Certificate of Incorporation).
Kabushiki Kaisha MTGOX registration number: 0110-01-070356
Kabushiki Kaisha TIBANNE registration number: 0110-01-069784

2. Mt.Gox phone number and address and Tibanne are the same one. We moved, but still own two offices there, from the Cerulean Tower to our own office (Announced on Facebook : here you are some photos for you http://www.facebook.com/MtGox/photos_stream). So yes it is true that we are no longer at the Cerulean tower and that they did not see us since a long time. Well he had a meeting there yesterday anyway. But yep we are now at Round Cross Shibuya. I am sure that the Chamber of Commerce will update this at some point.

3. TOS https://mtgox.com/terms_of_service. Need more information? Please contact the support.

4. Why? I can understand that you could be interested in knowing who's at the top of the company (Mark Karpeles, Linkedin if you friend! http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=12664999) or the management (No one as of yet), but having the full list of our company staff is of no use to you or we are oblige to give it to you. Does Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Intel... Give a list of ALL its staff down to their janitor(s)?

5. We have Mt.Gox North America but this company is not active since several month. As for Mutum Sigillum you have mention of this company here and what this company does for us https://mtgox.com/press_release_20120808.html. Basically it handles our Dwolla account for our US users.
But I definitively agree with you, Tiabnne and Mutum Sigillum has been left on the side, design-wise, and we are working on upgrading them as soon as possible.

6. https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=86224.0. Unfortunately and as you may understand we cannot give you details on this matter since these information could be used against us and make the overall AML/KYC procedure useless.

For someone with a large trading volume and proclaimed 80% of btc transactions, you'd think they would be at any of the past bitcoin conferences or have made public appearances somewhere.

Google is your friend! I could in a second find several video interviews of Mark.

Mt.Gox : The Leading International Bitcoin Exchange.
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September 19, 2012, 01:00:00 PM
 #7

It seems that you are fairly new here and that you did not search on the forum about who and what we do, no problems with that. This said most of the information you are looking for are publicly available on our website OR on this very forum.

I may be new here, but I did search the forum and find a lot of answers. However, expecting people to trawl through internet forums versus just looking at your website seems a bit much.

1. https://www.b-den.net/company/show/id/6530 (Tokyo Chamber or Commerce) and found here https://mtgox.com/about-us. Mt.Gox is own and operated by Tibanne (Explaining why our SSL is certificated is signed Tibanne K.K. Also please understand that no companies in Japan are forced to register to the TCC.
This said here you are the official registration number for both companies in Japan (Certificate of Incorporation).
Kabushiki Kaisha MTGOX registration number: 0110-01-070356
Kabushiki Kaisha TIBANNE registration number: 0110-01-069784

Great. The link above is different than the link you give on your website. http://www.tokyo-cci.or.jp/ vs. https://www.b-den.net/. Thanks for the registration numbers.

3. TOS https://mtgox.com/terms_of_service. Need more information? Please contact the support.

Your privacy policy still links to your old address, https://mtgox.com/privacy_policy.

6. https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=86224.0. Unfortunately and as you may understand we cannot give you details on this matter since these information could be used against us and make the overall AML/KYC procedure useless.

I read this thread. Hmm, perhaps the process is not as strong as you think it is then. Only you know how it degrades when fraudulent documents or collusion occurs. Explaining how my data moves through the system shouldn't break the system.

Thanks for the response.

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September 20, 2012, 04:54:40 PM
 #8

I agree 100%! I don't understand what happened to the culture there. Back when I was still dealing with Mark Karpeles they felt like they were legit and really doing what they could to keep everything as private as possible -- what a dramatic reversal!

Next thing you know Mtgox is going to try to get you to file forms like the SEC !

I wish some of these other exchanges that have talked about coming up actually come to fruition. As long as the main place where bitcoin is traded has a reference in it's name to a god damn card game played by a bunch of neckbeards noone is ever going to take us seriously.
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September 25, 2012, 05:17:08 PM
 #9

Nothing in life is guaranteed. The reality is, if we want bitcoin to succeed, than we are going to need a large currency exchange. We have to trust someone. Lets just hope they can keep it going.

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October 06, 2012, 12:54:44 AM
 #10

Nothing in life is guaranteed. The reality is, if we want bitcoin to succeed, than we are going to need a large currency exchange. We have to trust someone. Lets just hope they can keep it going.


I would actually be a lot more comfortable with 4-5 large exchanges competing, but bitcoin is still in it's infancy, that will happen in time. Mtgox has done a great job so far, and obviously I hope they keep it up. As someone else mentioned, with any company holding money that is not independently insured, federally or otherwise, there is a risk they will disappear with a large sum of money (see bitfloor). Really all we can do at this point is look at the personal integrity and history of those who operate mtgox, and hope that they continue to do honest business, as they have so far. I will keep doing the majority of my trading with them as long as they continue to operate openly and without a massive security failure or fraud.

The biggest problem is that they are centralized and identifiable. Governments and their banking masters can't shut down bitcoin, but it's always possible that they can shut down a centralized company like mtgox. Everyone should be prepared for a situation like that. It's important not to be completely invested in any one bitcoin exchange or market. We need more credible stock exchanges as well.
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October 06, 2012, 08:33:26 PM
 #11

They have already stopped using UK banks (like Intersango).  Therefore, it is relatively easy for each nation to shut out the exchanges. I am sure more will spring up if any close down but it does get annoying!!

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March 13, 2014, 10:56:50 AM
 #12

[snip]....

Google is your friend! I could in a second find several video interviews of Mark.


I don't even think Google is your friend now, Mt. Gox_Alex.

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March 15, 2014, 03:10:40 AM
 #13

[snip]....

Google is your friend! I could in a second find several video interviews of Mark.


I don't even think Google is your friend now, Mt. Gox_Alex.

Nice find, the OP had the right idea.

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March 18, 2014, 01:16:53 PM
 #14

Well this topic is rather old. I guess people were more optimistic in September.

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