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Uncertainty looms over Bitcoin as Mt. Gox prepares for final payout

Despite a Japanese court tasked with the mammoth job of compensating the aggrieved investors, there was slim chance of any substantial monetary recovery being made by these early bitcoin investors and creditors. But that is seemingly set to change.

November 19, 2021 / 04:51 PM IST
Markets are not keen on welcoming this major surge of bitcoin, worried that the potential of absorbing this inflow is weak (Representative image)

Markets are not keen on welcoming this major surge of bitcoin, worried that the potential of absorbing this inflow is weak (Representative image)


February 2014. The formidable, Tokyo-based crypto exchange of Mt. Gox, founded in 2010 and arguably the world’s biggest cryptocurrency platform at that point, handling more than 70 percent of all bitcoin transactions across the globe, was hacked. More than 8,50,000 BTC were stolen by hackers, of which around 7,50,000 or 80% of bitcoins belonged to customers. 

And after 7 years of the exchange folding up, only some 2,00,000 BTC have been traced, and to an old wallet months after the company filed for bankruptcy. 

Despite a Japanese court tasked with the mammoth job of compensating the aggrieved investors, the chance of any substantial monetary recovery being made by these early bitcoin investors and creditors looked slim. But that looks set to change. 

What’s new?

Per a recent letter from the representative of the now-defunct exchange Nobuaki Kobayashi, approximately 99 percent of the creditors have voted in favour of the proposed rehabilitation scheme and the manner of distribution for these recoveries, which have been approved by the court as well. 

However, there has been no timeline set for the release of funds, with Kobayashi stating that the asset distribution process will not be initiated for at least a month more, till the details of the plan are not finalised. Notably, the repayment pool consists of only around 1,41,686 BTC (around $8.8 billion), in addition to holdings in bitcoin cash and fiat currency, taking the total pool value to around 1,50,000 BTC. 

Market frenzy

Markets, however, are not keen on welcoming this major surge of bitcoin, given that most analysts are divided on whether there is anymore absorption potential present, with Bitcoin currently trading at $56,833, experiencing a 7-day decrease of 10.81 percent and falling almost 5 percent just in the last 24 hours. 

While some believe that there will be significant volatility and price variations in the market, there are others who think that those who will be compensated are long-term holders of Bitcoin and therefore are unlikely to sell anytime soon. The distribution is likely to take place in a phased manner, given that a one-time dump will cause a noticeable market disturbance. 
Ira Puranik
first published: Nov 19, 2021 04:50 pm