Inside money, markets, and big tech

Mt. Gox might need 2 more years to repay millions worth of lost Bitcoin

It could be years before the case is fully settled

mt gox

The leader of the group representing victims of the defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox is stepping down from his post.

The founder and coordinator of Mt. Gox Legal, Andy Pag, is resigning in the midst of a “legal quagmire that could take years to resolve,” he told CoinDesk in an interview.

Mt. Gox Legal was set up 18 months ago to support and represent creditors of the cryptocurrency exchange as they lobby for the return of their lost funds.

In his full statement, Pag said that he believes ongoing legal issues could slow down the civil rehabilitation proceedings. Distribution of refunds could be two years away, maybe longer.

“My opinion is that we’ll be lucky if assessment takes six months, there’s just one round of litigation which takes [nine to 12 months], and CR [civil rehabilitation] takes another [three to six months],” Pag said in the statement.

“My feeling is the best case is [18 to 24 months], but I suspect it will be longer. Of course, I’m guessing here too. Truth is, no one knows,” he continued.

Pag also cites a $16 billion claim from former Mt. Gox partner Coinlab as one of the main sticking points slowing the proceedings.

“No CR [civil rehabilitation] until CL [Coinlab] is sorted,” his statement reads.

The soon-to-be ex-Mt. Gox Legal lead is also selling his claim to the highest bidder. Pag says he has already found one bidder willing to pay him in the region of $600 per Bitcoin. BTC However, the total amount of BTC up for sale hasn’t been disclosed in the document.

Without possessing a claim, though, Pag believes he is not the right man to lead Mt. Gox Legal.

He will be stepping down at the end of the month, and leaving it to the group to elect another co-ordinator. Although, he speculates that the group may go into hibernation for a while as legal proceedings develop.

Indeed, the Mt. Gox debacle has been raging on for years. Most recently, things finally started to look positive for victims of the exchange‘s collapse. Last month, Mt. Gox announced it was finally readying to repay creditors five years after it was hacked.

But if Pag’s thoughts are anything to go by, it sounds like it might be a while longer until the Mt. Gox case can finally be put to rest.

Did you know? Hard Fork has its own stage at TNW2019, our tech conference in Amsterdam. Check it out.

Published April 9, 2019 — 11:35 UTC