MtGox was once the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, until it collapsed in 2014 after losing 850,000 bitcoin to hackers and fraudsters. Since then, its customers have been fighting to recover their funds from the bankruptcy proceedings.
The process is complicated by the fact that many customers have sold their claims to third parties, who are betting on a higher payout than the original claim value. Moreover, some of the stolen bitcoin have been traced to other exchanges and individuals, raising questions about their legal ownership.
The bankruptcy trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, has approved 8,095 claims from creditors, worth about $1.6 billion as of September 2019. He also holds 141,686 BTC and 142,846 BCH, worth about $4.8 billion today. The trustee plans to distribute these assets to the creditors according to a settlement plan that was finalized this week.
However, not all creditors are equal. The claims are highly concentrated among the largest holders, who own more than half of the total claims. These 226 claimants could receive 84,650 BTC, while the median claim is worth just $92,500.
The settlement plan also faces legal challenges from some creditors who are unhappy with the terms or the delays. The plan has been approved by 99% of the creditors, but some are still appealing to the court for a better deal.
The payout could start as soon as the first or second quarter of 2024, according to one asset manager. But it remains unclear whether the creditors will receive bitcoin or fiat currency, and how much they will actually get after fees and taxes.