special report: twice burned - how mt. gox\'s bitcoin customers could lose again
TOKYO (Reuters)-When Mt. In early 2014, Gox, the world\'s largest bitcoin exchange, closed down and more than 24,000 customers around the world lost hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency and cash. After more than three years, the price of bitcoin has soared to more than $7,000, and no customer has recovered a penny, whether encrypted or otherwise. It\'s not clear when they will come. The failed exchange fell into the mire of litigation-a Russian doll that went bankrupt in Japan and New Zealand, with a total of four, plus US lawsuits and competing claims from creditors. Although Mt. The Gox bankruptcy trustee has now recovered a digital currency worth more than $1. 6 billion, according to Japanese law, customers of the exchange may withdraw only a small part of it. Swedish software developer Kim Nilsson has more than a dozen bitcoins in Mt. Gox is not optimistic about fast spending. \"This is a legitimate ambiguity,\" he said . \" \"I wouldn\'t be surprised if it took a few more years. ” The court- Appointed trustee of Mt. Nobuaki Kobayashi, Gox\'s bankruptcy firm, did not answer Reuters\'s question about the payment process. There are few better examples than Mt to illustrate the dangers of investing in cryptocurrencyGox. As Reuters reported in September, cryptocurrency exchanges that buy, sell and store digital coins are largely unregulated and become a magnet for fraud and deception. At least 10 of them are closed, usually after the theft, the client has no funds. A total of more than 980,000 Bitcoins have been stolen from the exchange since 2011 From Mt. Gox. According to Reuters, all stolen coins will be worth more than $6 billion today. Mt. Gox is one of the few exchanges where bankruptcy courts have closed down; Some people disappeared. But the problem with Mt is Gox\'s thousands of creditors believe that under Japan\'s bankruptcy law, their claims were valued at Bitcoin\'s market price on April 2014, before the Tokyo District Court ordered the clearing of the exchange. At that time, a bitcoin was worth $483. Based on the value of April 2014, the final approved claim was determined to be 45. 6 billion yen, currently approximately $0. 4 billion. According to the current price of bitcoin, Mt. According to reuter\'s calculations, the bankrupt trustee of Gox has sufficient cash to repay creditors whose claims have been granted more than three times that amount. But it may not happen, according to two Japanese bankruptcy lawyers. In Japan, according to the law, after the creditors are paid, any remaining funds in the estate of the bankrupt company will flow to shareholders. Mt. Gox is a 88% stake in a Japanese company called Tibanne. Mark Karpeles, 32year- Old French software engineer and Mt. Gox\'s former ceo owns a 100% stake in Tibanne. Karpeles, who is currently on trial in Tokyo, is accused of embezzling money from Mt. Operate on its data and violate trust. He pleaded not guilty to these charges, some of which were sentenced to 10 years. After his arrest in August 2015, he served nearly a year in prison. Many creditors were angry at the prospect of Karpeles\'s payment, which they blamed on Mt. Gox’s failure. \"If the government put it all down, it would be much less than if they gave it to Mark,\" Aaron Gutman, software developed about 464 features of Bitcoin. Gox, now worth about $3 million. Henry Dean, 61, addedyear- The old Japanese entrepreneur, there are 175 bitcoins in Mt. Some people say, \'I would rather see the money burned. ’” In a three- Karpeles said in an interview with Reuters that he did not want the money. The main reason: he expected him to be overwhelmed by the lawsuit. He says he has faced about six. \"I don\'t want to be a beneficiary of this,\" he said . \". \"I really don\'t need money. I work. I live well. Karpeles also told Reuters that he has been exploring ways to revive Mt. Gox under new management and ownership- The estimated cost was $0. 245 billion. One of the complex elements of the liquidation process is the United StatesS. A technology company called CoinLab It agreed to cooperate with Mt. Gox filed a claim against the two mountains in a Japanese court on 2012, totaling about $0. 17 billion. Gox and Tibanne. Through spokesman Peter vessens, former CEO of CoinLab signed the agreement with Mt. Gox declined to answer any questions, including whether CoinLab is still in business. CoinLab was canceled in the company registration in Washington state. In Delaware, state records and interviews show that its registration status is \"invalid\" and it owes more than $400,000 in unpaid taxes. Karpeles said he was asked to attend various bankruptcy hearings and was banned from leaving Japan. Gox\'s claimant will be lucky to receive any compensation by 2020 Tokyo will host the Summer Olympics this year. On paper, Karpeles himself is also in a state of personal bankruptcy, and he will get most of the surplus. But he won\'t get it all. Part of the excess will be allocated to Tibanne and the other part may be allocated to the owner of Mt. 12 % of the sharesGox. Who the hell is this? The Mt. Gox exchange was first launched in 2010 by US software engineer Jed McCaleb. This domain name was previously used to trade cards in online games. McCaleb said in an interview with Reuters that he decided to work on other projects and transferred the exchange to Karpeles free of charge on February 2011. The only condition is that Karpeles must share the income of the exchange with McCaleb within six months without holding him legally liable for any issues and giving him a 12% stake. Mt. Gox became part of Tibanne and Karpeles established Tibanne in 2009 as a web hosting and development business. He named the company after his cat. Karpeles said when he took over Mt. Gox, it has about 3,000 customers. With Bitcoin becoming more popular among technology enthusiasts and investors, the bitcoin exchange has boomed. To 2013, it has nearly 1. 1 million active accounts from 239 countries processed more than 90% of bitcoin transactions worldwide. Karpeles said it generated about $40 million last year. About 30% of the company\'s customers come from the United States, he said. Karpeles is worried that he will have regulatory problems there because of Mt. Gox is not authorized to send money. On November 2012, Karpeles signed an exclusive agreement with CoinLab in Seattle. The bitcoin program incubator serves American users of the exchange. S. And Canadian clients. Relations Of Cooperation deteriorated rapidly. In a federal lawsuit filed in Washington state in May 2013, CoinLab argued that Mt. Gox and Tibanne violated the contract and continued to serve North American customers directly and did not transfer their accounts to CoinLab. Claim compensation of at least $75 million. In a counterclaim filed later that year, Mt. Gox and Tibanne think Mt. Gox did not provide access to the customer account as they claimed that CoinLab did not register properly or obtained permission to do business. They also claimed that the coin lab did not return $5. Million kilometers in Mt. 300 Customer deposit Gox CoinLab said in a court document that it complied with all relevant laws and registered to provide Bitcoin trading services to the United StatesS. FinCEN bureau of finance. The case was put on hold for the petition filed by the trustee at Mt. Kobayashi, Gox went bankrupt. Roger Fu, who is known as \"Bitcoin Jesus\" for promoting digital currency for a long time, is the embodiment of Mt complexityGox bankruptcy. He was an early investor in CoinLab and Mt. When the Gox customer closes, there are 577 bitcoins in his account. Ver told Reuters he urged the former CEO of CoinLab, vessens, to withdraw the lawsuit against Mt. Gox and Tibanne because he thought the dress was \"frivolous \". He did not elaborate. Ver, who is also a client of Bitcoinica on the New Zealand bitcoin exchange, said he stored nearly 25,000 Bitcoins there. After tens of thousands of bitcoins were stolen, it collapsed in 2012. Bitcoinica retains customer deposits at Mt. As a result, the New Zealand exchange became another creditor of Japan\'s bankruptcy. Bitcoinica bankruptcy industry in Mt. The Gox case value is 3. 29 billion yen, about $29 million. Mt. Gox between 2011 and 2014, unknown thieves who had stolen at least 650,000 bitcoins repeatedly robbed bitcoins. They are worth about $4 billion now. On Feb. 7, 2014, Mt. Gox said it found \"unusual activity\" on its bitcoin wallet and stopped withdrawing money. Price of Bitcoin on MtGox plunged. Later that month, Mt. Gox stopped all transactions and applied to the Tokyo district court for bankruptcy protection. At first, the exchange said that almost all its Bitcoin-about 850,000-was missing. But then it found 202,185 bitcoins in storage and systems. Mt. McCaleb, founder of Gox, said in court in April 2014 He signed an agreement to sell his 12% stake to Sunlot Holdings in Cyprus A registered company, a bitcoin. Sunlot was trying to buy most of Mt. But the plan failed. McCaleb said he never received Bitcoin. \"I don\'t know if the sales are really done,\" McCaleb said . \". \"In this strange gray area. \"As a member of Sunlot Investment Group, a spokesman for John Betts declined to comment on the sale. Last summer, AmericaS. Authorities announced that they found at least one person involved in Mt. Gox hacks. In July, a U. S. The grand jury sued 37-year-old Alexander Winnick. year- The old Russians accused him of operating without a license- Criminal acts such as service business and money laundering. The government charged Vinnik from Mt in the indictment. Gox hack and clean through online exchanges including BTC E, an exchange he runs, now Tradehill San francisco-closedbased exchange. He is still in prison in Greece, hoping to hear his case in Russia rather than the United States. Alexander Ross Likourezos, an Athens lawyer representing Vinnik, said his client had rejected all the charges in the indictment. \"He said he had nothing to do with Mt. \"The Gox incident,\" the lawyer said. Mt. Gox initially applied for a form of bankruptcy allowing the sale of the exchange, and briefly considered the offer from potential buyers, including Sunlot. But the deal never happened. On April 24, 2014, the Tokyo District Court ordered Gox to liquidate Kobayashi, Japan\'s senior bankruptcy lawyer, was appointed trustee. Kobayashi filed a petition with the United States. S. Bankruptcy Court that led to CoinLab\'s 2013 lawsuit against Mt. Gox is on hold. He began to hold several meetings a year to inform creditors about the situation and publish reports on the progress of bankruptcy in Japanese and English online. He tried to protect Mt. Kobayashi created bankruptcy in the bankruptcy of Gox\'s legacy. He asked the Tokyo District Court to bring Mount Tiban The parent company of Gox went bankrupt on the grounds that he could not have Tibanne repay Mt. \'S debt According to a trustee report to creditors, Gox. The trustee also placed Karpeles in the position of personal bankruptcy. Different trustees have been appointed to deal with these cases. Kobayashi filed claims with Tibanne and Karpeles. Xiaolin established an online claim settlement system; 24,750 before Mt. The Gox client finally claimed compensation. His valuation of bitcoin is $483 per digital coin, the market price the day before the liquidation order, and the value is converted into yen. Software developers and Mt. Guttman said: \"We, the people who have been burned by this behavior, are now permanently locked in this depressed price . \"Gox creditor. According to Kobayashi\'s recent status report on Mt The outdated Gox went bankrupt. 27. As a trustee, he has received 163. 7 million yen, about $1. 4 million. Costs since his appointment. Kobayashi has also recently reached a settlement with the United States. S. government. He recovered the estate for $2. 6 million - Half the money in AmericaS. From Mt. In 2013, Gox was operating in the United States without a license. The United States will keep another $2. 6 million. No creditors benefited from it. Claims to be assessed by trustees include claims from CoinLab, United StatesS. Sue Mt\'s bitcoin technology company Gox and Tibanne in the United States in 2013. With the proceedings on hold, it filed a claim of approximately £ 8. 7 billion yen, about $75 million. A document from the Japanese court shows that Gox is bankrupt. It also filed a claim of approximately £ 10 in the bankruptcy case of Tibanne. According to a person familiar with the matter, 8 billion yen, or $95 million. The record of the Tibanne case was not public, so Reuters was unable to determine the basis for this claim. In the interview, Karpeles and several creditors, including Ver, accused former CoinLab chief executive vessens of giving Mt. Former customer of Gox Records at Mt The Gox case showed that the trustee rejected the claim from CoinLab, but the company requested a reassessment, which Karpeles and some creditors said caused delays. According to Japan\'s bankruptcy lawyer, it is unlikely that the claimant will be paid until the large claims dispute is resolved. Spokesman for the vessel, former CoinLab\'s CEO said he could not comment on the ongoing lawsuit. With the surge in bitcoin prices in 2017, bitcoin prices have risen more than 7 times Fold-some Mt this year. Clients of Gox want the bankrupt trustee to be able to re-evaluate their claims. But there is a dispute over the best way to convince him to do so. Some want to set up a committee of creditors to increase leverage. According to Japan\'s bankruptcy law, this includes having most creditors-more than 12,000-support the plan. Japan\'s bankruptcy lawyer told Reuters that the creditor\'s committee was rare in bankruptcy cases. The court also needs to recognize the commission, they said. One of the creditors of the Support Committee is Kolin Burges, a UK software developer and cryptocurrency investor who owns 311 bitcoins in Mt. Gox, about two- He has more than thirty savings. He said he recognized that it was difficult to get so many creditors registered and to convince the court that the group represented all creditors fairly. \"It will be a difficult task,\" he said . \". Daniel Kerman, a 44-year-old American lawyer in Taiwan. 5 bitcoin - $310,000 today. stored with Mt. Gox expects further controversy. \"People will fight for the value of the claim,\" he said . \". “For sure. \"There is also the issue of paying Mt shareholder wages. It\'s Gox and Tibanne, not creditors. Like Karpeles, McCaleb, Mt. The founder of Gox told Reuters he did not want to make money from bankruptcy. McCaleb says he will give the creditor \"as much as possible\" from any money he receives-minus any legal fees or taxes. \"People who are more hurt by the whole Mt. \"The Gox fiasco is more worth it,\" he said . \". \"Mark or I will get it, it seems a bit silly. Meanwhile, Mt. The value of Gox\'s bitcoin assets continues to rise. In August, the underlying software code of bitcoin was split and a clone called \"Bitcoin Cash\" was created. \"In addition to the 202,185 Bitcoins it already has, Mt. Gox estate now has the same amount of Bitcoin Cash digital coins. Now bitcoin is worth about $0. 2 billion and bitcoin is worth about $1. 4 billion. In his latest status report on Mt. Kobayashi Gox said he wanted to continue the allocation of assets \"as soon as possible\", but that \"time and method\" had not yet been determined.