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Mt. Gox trustee announces approval of rehabilitation plan, meaning creditors could soon receive billions



Nobuaki Kobayashi said distribution of the Mt. Gox assets likely wouldn’t begin for at least a month, once the rehabilitation plan became "final and binding."


Creditors from the now-defunct crypto exchange Mt. Gox have overwhelmingly approved a rehabilitation plan to compensate them for billions in lost Bitcoin.

According to a Wednesday announcement from Mt. Gox trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi, roughly 99% of the creditors affected by the collapse of the Japan-based crypto exchange approved of the draft rehabilitation plan originally filed in the Tokyo District Court in February. In addition, he reported claimants representing roughly 83% of the total amount of voting rights voted in favor of the plan.

The decision follows an Oct. 8 vote from thousands of Mt. Gox users whose losses are estimated to be worth in the billions of dollars. Kobayashi said the distribution of the assets likely wouldn’t begin for at least a month, once the rehabilitation plan became “final and binding.” He added creditors should soon expect to register their bank account details on the website to receive remuneration.

First launched in 2010 by programmer Jed McCaleb and later purchased by Karpelès, Mt. Gox was one of the largest exchanges in the world during the early days of crypto. A 2011 hack and the exchange’s subsequent collapse in early 2014 affected nearly 24,000 creditors — mainly those holding cryptocurrency.

These events resulted in the loss of 850,000 Bitcoin (BTC), roughly $460 million at the time and $56 billion at the time of publication. However, Kobayashi reportedly has only 150,000 BTC to repay users.

Japanese courts originally approved a petition for the exchange to begin civil rehabilitation for Mt. Gox creditors in June 2018. This deadline was repeatedly extended for various reasons, but ultimately the Tokyo District Court accepted the current draft of the rehabilitation plan in December 2020 and issued an order in February allowing creditors to vote on it.

Related: Crypto City: Guide to Tokyo

The Mt. Gox decision came as the remnants of a supervolcano on Japan’s main island of Kyushu erupted for the first time in more than five years. Though El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has suggested using the country’s volcanoes to mine Bitcoin, Japan seemingly has no such system in place.