Mt. Gox, one of the first and most widely used bitcoin exchanges ever – at one point handling over 70% of all bitcoin trading – has become a dark cloud hanging over the cryptocurrency market. Back in early 2014, Mt. Gox suffered a massive hack, resulting in the loss of 850,000 bitcoins that caused the crypto market to collapse, bitcoin’s price to fall from $1,000 to a low of $200, and spurred a lingering, two-year-long bear market.
Even in 2018, crypto investors cannot escape Mt. Gox’s legacy. Since Bitcoin’s all-time high in December of 2017, a trustee acting as custodian of the 200,000 bitcoins Mt. Gox was able to recover, market-sold thousands of bitcoins at a time, causing the price of bitcoin to plummet and sent a ripple effect throughout the crypto market that is still being felt today.
The trustee sold off 35,000 bitcoins to raise enough funds to pay off Mt. Gox creditors, as was directed by Japanese bankruptcy courts, leaving 165,000 bitcoins remaining. Many investors fear that the trustee could sell the remaining bitcoins in a similar manner, causing the crypto market to crash again and again.
But according to former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles, Japanese bankruptcy law says that the bitcoins must be returned to company shareholders – something that Karpeles says, he does not want.
Karpeles explains during an AMA (Ask Me Anything) he conducted on Reddit earlier this week:
“The way bankruptcy law works [in Japan] is that if there are any assets remaining after the creditors have been paid in full, then those assets are distributed to shareholders as part of the liquidation.”
“That's the only way any bankruptcy law can reasonably work. And yet, in this case, it produces an egregiously distasteful outcome in that the shareholders of Mt. Gox would walk away with the value of over 160,000 bitcoin as a result of what happened.”
Karpeles apologizes to those burned by Mt. Gox in his AMA introduction, and asserts that he is not interested in the remaining bitcoins, valued at over $1 billion, stating “I don't want this. I don't want this billion dollars.”
You can read the full AMA with Karpeles on Reddit, where he faces tough criticism from a community scorn.