The trustee of the bankrupt bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has announced that he plans to start repaying creditors in cash in 2023. Nobuaki Kobayashi, who is in charge of managing the assets of the defunct exchange, said in an email to creditors.
Kobayashi said that he expects to start repaying creditors as early as the end of this year, depending on the progress of the SEC review and the approval of the Tokyo District Court. However, he also said that some creditors who have not provided the necessary information or who have disputed their claims may not receive their repayments until 2024.
According to the email, the trustee plans to start repaying the creditors in cash in 2023 and will continue into 2024. The repayments will be based on the rehabilitation plan that was approved by the Tokyo District Court in June 2023.
The trustee also said that he is working to verify the repayment options and the information of the creditors, as well as to cooperate with the financial institutions and the cryptocurrency exchanges that are involved in the process. He asked the creditors to be patient and to wait for further announcements regarding the details and the procedures of the repayments.
Mt. Gox was once the largest bitcoin exchange in the world, handling about 70% of all bitcoin transactions. However, it collapsed in 2014 after losing 850,000 bitcoin, worth about $500 million at the time, to a hack. The incident triggered a massive drop in bitcoin’s price and a long legal battle between the exchange, its creditors, and its former CEO Mark Karpelès, who was arrested in 2015 for embezzlement and manipulation of data. Karpelès was later acquitted of most charges, but still faces a civil lawsuit from some creditors.
The Mt. Gox estate currently holds about 142,000 BTC (worth about $3.8 billion), 143,000 BCH (worth about $30 million), and 69 billion Japanese yen (worth about $465 million). The creditors have the option to receive their repayments in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, or cash, depending on their preference.