The deadline imposed by the Japanese bankruptcy court for creditors to access the repayment plan for the Mt.Gox exchange expires today. Failed in 2014 due to the crypto world’s largest bankruptcy, Mt.Gox at the time resulted in the loss of 850,000 Bitcoin, with a value at today’s prices of over $45 billion.
Mt Gox creditors could be new Bitcoin millionaires
This decision could create a number of new millionaires, considering that many of the users affected by the exchange’s collapse in 2014 owned dozens of Bitcoin, which at current values would have made them millionaires. According to some creditors, including the exchange’s former CEO Yuzo Kano, the prices of the reimbursed bitcoin are indexed to those of 2014 and not to today’s prices.
Mt Gox, founded in 2010, managed to become the world’s leading exchange in a few months, managing almost 70% of all transactions on the market.
In 2014, a group of hackers carried out one of the largest cryptocurrency thefts in history, stealing 850,000 Bitcoin from around 25,000 users. Of these, 200,000 are said to have been recovered so far, to be distributed proportionally among the platform’s former users.
After several postponements, in December 2020 the Tokyo court approved a plan for the distribution of the recovered bitcoin, which would have to be accepted by every single creditor, otherwise they would lose their right to receive reimbursement. The deadline would be 8 October 2021.
The collapse of the exchange that wanted to conquer the world
The story of the Mt.Gox exchange is a good illustration of many stories of immediate and sudden success and equally sudden downfall.
After being founded in Tokyo in 2010 by Jed McCaleb, co-founder of Stellar and CTO of Ripple until 2013, in just three years the exchange became the world’s largest.
70% of all cryptocurrency transactions went through the platform. In 2011 and 2012 it suffered several hacker attacks that led to the theft of around 25,000 Bitcoin. In 2014, the hacker attack resulted in the theft of 850,000 Bitcoin, leading to the bankruptcy and subsequent closure of the exchange.
At the time, Mt.Gox‘s misadventures led to a 36% drop in Bitcoin prices. According to some experts, a positive resolution of the legal dispute, with around 200,000 Bitcoin in circulation, could lead to another collapse in Bitcoin’s price.
Hackers and cryptocurrencies
The Mt.Gox case was perhaps the first case of hacking a major cryptocurrency exchange. In recent years, there have been countless security breaches affecting major global exchanges.
In March 2019, a hacking attack hit Binance, the world’s largest exchange, which had to suffer the theft of 7000 Bitcoin, worth $40 million.
In March 2021 it was the turn of Nasdaq-listed US giant Coinbase to suffer a hacker attack, which emptied the accounts of 6000 users
Whereas in April, hackers hit Liquid, another Japanese exchange, taking around $97 million worth of cryptocurrency from the platform.