Bitcoin Maverick Returns for New Crack at Digital Currency

30 September 2013 | By Robert McMillan |


Jed McCaleb likes building things that make powerful people nervous.

In 2000, as Napster was starting to implode, he came up with a peer-to-peer filesharing network called eDonkey 2000 that soon became the world’s most popular way of sharing music online. Six years later, following legal action from the Recording Industry Association of America, he got out of the game.

Act Two was Mt. Gox, which is now the world’s largest exchange for Bitcoin, the widely popular digital currency. McCaleb started the site in 2010, using a leftover domain name he’d registered a few years earlier for a card-trading site. He wrote new code to handle Bitcoin-to-dollar trades, and the site was an instant hit. Within a few months, customers were wiring him large amounts of cash for their trading accounts, and McCaleb decided to bail, citing a hazy regulatory market. Sure enough, the feds are now starting to crack down.


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