Mt. Gox exchange users may finally get to recover some of their lost Bitcoin

90 percent of the remaining Bitcoin could be available to creditors.

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Steve Dent
January 18, 2021 4:30 PM
TOKYO, JAPAN - JUNE 05: In this photo illustration visual representations of the digital currency Bitcoin are seen on June 5, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Former Mt. Gox Chief Executive Officer Mark Karpeles held a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan today. Mt. Gox, once the world largest cryptocurrency exchange, collapsed in 2014 after the hacking of 650,000 bitcoins. Karpeles was arrested in 2015 and held for 11 months without bail on three criminal charges. (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)
Tomohiro Ohsumi via Getty Images

When Mt. Gox went bankrupt in 2014, it was the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, holding 850,000 Bitcoins from thousands of users. Now, creditors might finally be able to get a portion of those riches back. One of Mt. Gox’s largest creditors, CoinLab, said an agreement with itself, Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy trustee and another group might allow creditors to recover as much as 90 percent of the remaining Bitcoins, according to Bloomberg.

The agreement would allow investors to either cut their losses and take early payment, or wait for the litigation to finish and possibly recover more. If they agree to early payment, however, they could have to wait for some time to receive their coins. Up to 90 percent of the remaining Bitcoin could be offered upon, but the plan still needs to be approved before any of that can happen.

Some of the digital coins have been recovered since the exchange went bust, but much of it is still lost. For each Bitcoin that has a bankruptcy claim on it, the estate only has 0.23 coin to disburse. On the positive side, Bitcoin traded at $489 when Mt. Gox went bankrupt, and is currently trading around $37,000 as of this writing — about 75 times higher. That means if you had 100 bitcoins worth $48,900 in 2014, you could now have 23 worth about $850,000.

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Mt. Gox litigation has dragged on in part because of a $16 billion claim by CoinLab that observers have called “the elephant in the room.” However, the new agreement could allow smaller investors to recover their funds. Back in 2019, former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles was found not guilty of embezzlement related to the bankruptcy, but was convicted of records tampering and received a 2.5-year suspended sentence.

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Mt. Gox exchange users may finally get to recover some of their lost Bitcoin