MT Gox is in the final stages of ironing out the distribution of some 200,000 bitcoin and bitcoin cash which will be given in crypto or fiat depending on each creditors’ preference.
More than six years on, the event expected by July would have been an irritating reminder of how dollars were lost and pennies were received, had this been any other bankruptcy.
As this is bitcoin, however, it should be a most joyous event for all creditors as they receive thousands to the dollar, rather than pennies.
It is probable the biggest chunk of creditors are what we would call the second wave of bitcoin’s adoption.
The first wave was during summer 2011 when bitcoin gained attention among techies. The second wave was during March 2013 when students and we’d say the more informed people heard of this coin thing for the second time.
As soon as they came rushing, bitcoin crashed from circa $250 to a low of $50 with practically the only exchange at the time being MT Gox.
Those students, as we might call in a very generalized way, may well have bought at that $50 and then bitcoin got boring going sideways so they kinda forgot about it.
Until of course a few months later price went to $1,000 in November 2013, with the news probably reaching these students at that point who would have been very pleasantly surprised at the massive gains.
Bitcoin however has a way of sucking you in, so plenty instead of taking profit, may have just sat there wondering if this goes even higher.
They may have also been very surprised of what everyone that was keeping up knew. MT Gox was experiencing problems with processing withdrawals. The exchange had been operating on fractional reserve basis. They claimed this was due to a hack that had not been revealed for months or years, and which still is sparse in provable details.
Initially they said they had no coins left at all, but blockchain analysis showed they had 200,000 bitcoins, a claim Gregory Maxwell ferociously disputed, yet was undeniably proven and admitted by MT Gox (headquarters pictured on the right as of February 2014 in Tokyo, Japan).
Still, 800,000 bitcoins remain unknown in ownership. So technically everyone is getting 20 bitcents per coin, but practically they’re getting 30x their investment in fiat value, and for some 100x or more.
If we take as a measure of returns bitcoin’s price at its lowest after the bankruptcy was filed in February 2014, that would be around $200 per coin.
So making the value of the 200,000 bitcoins as $40 million. While now it is around $2 billion, $600 million in fiat, and $1.4 billion in coins.
Making it thus a 3,500% profit, likely perhaps the highest gain of any bankrupted creditors in the history of man.
If we take the bankruptcy price of $450, then we’re likely at 20x. While for the $50 students, we’re talking some 100x.
So they didn’t lie when they said it is good for bitcoin. The butterfly just seems to have its way of bringing sunshine to even these most astonishing events.