Why Were Billions in Mt. Gox Payouts Postponed?

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  • It was announced last week that payouts for Mt. Gox victims will take place two months later than planned
  • 140,000, worth around $2.5 billion, will be heading back to former customers, but now in September rather than July
  • The delay may be related to Kraken exiting its Japanese functions

The Mt. Gox trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi last week announced that the payouts for Mt. Gox victims will take place two months later than planned, with the registration deadline also extended. No reason was given as to why this has happened, with the news being the latest blow to the perpetually unfortunate Mt. Gox creditors, but one feasible explanation has emerged relating to the exchange Kraken.

Payouts Moved to September 30

A document posted to the Mt. Gox rehabilitation website last week revealed that the payout deadline had been postponed from July 31 to September 30, while the deadline for registering bank and crypto details was also extended to March 10 from January 10. Creditors are expected to receive 140,000, worth around $2.5 billion, but this will not be eight weeks later than had been initially planned.

The answer to why the payouts have been put back by two months may be linked to the activities of Kraken, the exchange that was, interestingly, launched by Jesse Powell in the immediate aftermath of a July 2011 hack on Mt. Gox, which Powell himself helped to sort out. Powell saw how badly Mt. Gox was being run and realized he could do better.

Kraken Japan Withdrawal May be Behind Delay

Kraken and Bitstamp are two reputable exchanges that have all the correct licensing in place to be allowed to work with the bankruptcy court, but last week Kraken announced that, in a cost-saving move, it is pulling out of Japan. This of course means that it won’t be able to facilitate its portion of the payouts, meaning that Kobayashi will have to either look elsewhere for assistance or hand the whole thing over to Bitstamp.

There has been no confirmation from Kraken or Kobayashi that this is the reason for the delay, but no other theory has come forward as yet and this would seem to make sense.