Twice burned – How Mt. More than three years after the demise of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange graphic, its customers still haven’t received a crypto cent. Gox’s former chief executive, stands to benefit financially from the bitcoin exchange’s liquidation.
He says he doesn’t want the money. Gox, the world’s largest bitcoin trading exchange, collapsed in early 2014, more than 24,000 customers around the world lost access to hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency and cash. 7,000, not a single customer has recouped a single cent, crypto or otherwise. It’s not clear when they will. Russian doll of bankruptcies in Japan and New Zealand, four in all, plus lawsuits in the United States and competing claims from creditors. 6 billion, under Japanese law the exchange’s customers likely will recover only a fraction of that. Kim Nilsson, a Swedish software developer who had more than a dozen bitcoins at Mt.
Gox, isn’t optimistic of a payout soon. I wouldn’t be surprised if it took several years more. The court-appointed trustee in Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy, Nobuaki Kobayashi, did not respond to questions from Reuters about the payout process. Crypto Casino series, Part One. Crypto Casino series, Part Two. There are few better examples of the dangers of investing in cryptocurrencies than Mt.
At least 10 of them have closed, often after thefts, leaving customers without their funds. But the problem for Mt. Gox’s thousands of creditors is that under Japanese bankruptcy law, their claims were valued at the market price of bitcoin in April 2014 just before the Tokyo District Court ordered the exchange be liquidated. On the basis of the April 2014 value, the claims ultimately approved were fixed at 45. Based on the current price of bitcoin, Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy trustee is sitting on enough cash to repay creditors whose claims have been approved more than three times that amount, according to Reuters’ calculation.
But that likely won’t happen, according to two Japanese bankruptcy attorneys. In Japan, by law any funds left over in a bankrupt company’s estate after creditors have been paid go to shareholders. Gox is 88 percent owned by a Japanese company called Tibanne. And Mark Karpeles, a 32-year-old French software engineer and Mt. Gox’s former chief executive, owns 100 percent of Tibanne. Karpeles is currently on trial in Tokyo, accused of embezzling money from Mt. Gox and manipulating its data, as well as breach of trust.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, some of which carry sentences of up to 10 years. He served nearly a year in jail following his arrest in August 2015. Many creditors are livid at the prospect of a payout for Karpeles, whom they blame for Mt. Aaron Gutman, a software developer who had about 464 bitcoins at Mt. Gox collapsed in early 2014, more than 24,000 customers lost access to hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency and cash.