Mt. Gox Bankruptcy Trustee Sells $400 Million of Bitcoin to Settle Creditors

Nobuaki Kobayashi is making headlines in the cryptocurrency world right now. The Tokyo-based attorney and bankruptcy trustee for Mt. Gox cryptocurrency exchange platform has so far sold about $400 million worth of cryptocurrency since September 2017.

This disclosure was made by Kobayashi himself on Wednesday, 07 March 2018. The reason for the sales has been to raise funds to pay back the many creditors of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange platform. The $400 has been raised from the sale of bitcoin and bitcoin cash.

According to MarketWatch, Kobayashi still has another $1.9 billion worth of tokens which he intends to offload in order to pay off the remaining creditors.

A New Sort of Whale

Kobayashi is definitely giving a new meaning to the term “cryptocurrency whale.” The mainstream definition of a whale within the crypto community is someone with large cryptocurrency holdings. Such an individual is able to cause the price of a cryptocurrency to plummet simply by selling a portion of their holdings.

Sometimes, they do not necessarily have to sell in order to cause a frenzy, as the mere act of these individuals initiating a large sell order is enough to throw the market into the panic.

Kobayashi, on the other hand, appears to another sort of whale. Yes, he has a large cryptocurrency holding under his jurisdiction but his moves in the market aren’t meant to sway the market, rather, he is trying to undo some of the damage caused by one of the most devastating cryptocurrency hacks of all time.

End of an Era

There was a time when the going was good for Mt. Gox and its chief, Mark Karpelès. The platform was at the top of the bitcoin trading food chain, handling more than 70 percent of the global bitcoin trading volume. Established in the year 2010, Mt. Gox quickly became the biggest cryptocurrency exchange platform, but the good times didn’t last.

A devastating hack would occur that saw 744,408 bitcoins stolen from the platform.

The company would then file for bankruptcy after it admitted that more than $500 million worth of bitcoin had been stolen. Later on, the company stated that it had recovered 200,000 bitcoins. Mark Karpelès was arrested by Japanese authorities in 2015 and pleaded not guilty to charges of data manipulation and embezzlement.

The sales of the leftover Mt. Gox ‘bitcoin estate’ signals the end of an era for one of the earliest casualties of the bitcoin market.

A Few Details about the Sales

Details of the actual sale are still a bit scarce and Kobayashi hasn’t provided a full accounting of the strategies being used to sell the coins. He did, however, release a statement quoted by MarketWatch that he makes an effort to sell the coins at the highest possible price.

Speaking about the remainder of Mt. Gox’s bitcoin and bitcoin cash holdings, Kobayashi said that he plans to consult with the court to determine any further sale of coins to pay the creditors of the platform.

The Problem

Till now only 26000 bitcoins have been sold by the trustee and every time he sells, the bitcoin price crashes thousands of dollars. With nearly 174,000 bitcoins still left to be sold – the price remains highly volatile.

Another issue is according to Japenese bankruptcy laws people are to be compensated on the price of nearly $400/bitcoin which is almost 20 times less than the current price. For example, if someone had 10 bitcoins at the time of the hack, she will get only $4000, which is peanuts compared to nearly 100,000 $ ( current worth).

Feature image by Alex Pasquarella

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