Are Mt. Gox Settlements Finally on the Horizon?

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Mt. Gox creditors took a further step towards seeing some restitution after the exchange’s trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, announced this week that he had run the rule over creditors’ claims, determining who would get what, and had presented his findings to the Japanese bankruptcy court. Kobayashi added that creditors would discover the amount they would be receiving in the coming days, either through the web portal or via email, depending how they submitted the claim. The move brings the saga, which has now been running for over five years, one step closer to a resolution of sorts.

Mt. Gox Holdings Present Repayment Problem

Kobayashi’s latest filing also made reference to the amounts still held on the exchange’s books, including:

  • ¥69,553,086,521 ($629,594,540) cash
  • 141,686.35 BTC ($566,745,400)
  • 142,846.35 BCH ($19,569,902)

In anyone’s book this is a huge amount of money, but it is dwarfed by the total amount put forward in claims from former customers:

  • $38,165,664 cash and other amounts in various other currencies
  • 802,521 BTC ($3,233,256,500)
  • 792,296 BCH ($124,953,000)

Clearly there is a huge disparity between what the Mt. Gox creditors feel they are owed and what is available to be handed out (around 1:2), and it is still not clear how that matter will be addressed when payments eventually start.

Relief for All as the End Is in Sight

Kobayashi had spent several months in late 2017 and early 2018 liquidating the BTC and BCH through the markets, garnering accusations that he had helped crashed the Bitcoin market, before the Japanese bankruptcy court announced in June 2018 that creditors could be paid back in the cryptocurrency. This came as a relief to most of the former customers, who wanted to be refunded in the digital currency rather than cash, and also Kobayashi, who faced an almost impossible task of getting rid of over half a billion dollars’ worth of Bitcoin without impacting the market. Kobayashi also proposed a timeline for finalizing a proposal for a rehabilitation plan, giving a deadline of April 26, 2019, meaning that after years of waiting, creditors should have only a month or so before they know when they will be paid back, as well as how much.