Bitcoin’s greatest tragedy has turned alright in the end, with stupendous losses now turned into stupendous gains for all creditors of the bankrupt estate, MT Gox.
Once the biggest, and practically as good as the only bitcoin exchange, Gox went spectacularly down in February 2014 when its then CEO, Mark Karpeles, declared all bitcoins had gone.
That wasn’t entirely correct. Blockchain analysts found the company still had 200,000 bitcoins, which MT Gox later confirmed in March 2014.
However, some 750,000 bitcoins had gone missing. How, remains a mystery. But the total loss at the time was at around $1 billion, making it the biggest theft in the world.
Since then, bitcoin’s price has skyrocketed. The 202,185.36428254 BTC currently held by the MT Gox trustee are now worth a healthy $1,452,357,114.29.
That means MT Gox holders have not lost a penny. Instead, they are nearly half a billion dollars richer than their total Gox assets ever were.
But, that’s not all. MT Gox creditors now also hold 202,185.36428254 BCH. With the price of Bitcoin Cash skyrocketing too, that’s now worth $123,737,442.
Giving a grand total of $1,576,094,556.29. Which isn’t far off from doubling their money with not a penny lost in fiat amounts, instead much gained.
In actual BTC assets, they still remain down some 75%, but bitcoin has increased in value so much, that loss actually translates to a very healthy profit.
However, even though MT Gox is technically no longer insolvent, its creditors do now appear to be anywhere near receiving their own money now nearly four years down the line.
A creditors meeting was held in September which concluded with no estimates for distribution of the assets. Another one is to take place in March, which might conclude in the same way.
The holdup appears to be a claim by Peter Vessenes’ Coinlab, which claims an agreement with MT Gox prior to it going under for an arrangement of sorts for MT Gox to expand to USA.
That never happened, with claims and counterclaims made at the time by Vessenes and Karpeles. The latter, however, soon after had far bigger problems, leaving that issue unresolved.
It is now up to the trustee to untangle that mess, and in that very fashionable bureaucratic manner, he appears to be doing so at a snail speed.
But, creditors might not have much to complain after all. The forced hodling seems to have paid off, with Coinlab’s claim now a rounding number compared to all the assets, when at a time it was almost all of it.