Nobuaki Kobayashi, the trustee overseeing the defunct Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange’s estate, has officially announced an extension of the deadline for repaying its creditors.
The new deadline for creditor repayments has been moved from October 31, 2023, to October 31, 2024, as revealed in a letter dated September 21.
In his communication, Kobayashi stated that, with the approval of the Tokyo District Court, the deadline extension applies to the base repayment, the early lump-sum repayment, and the intermediate repayment.
‘Given the time required for rehabilitation creditors to provide the necessary information, and for the Rehabilitation Trustee to confirm such information and engage in discussions and share information with banks, fund transfer service providers, and Designated Cryptocurrency Exchanges etc., involved in the repayments, […] the Rehabilitation Trustee will not be able to complete the repayments above by the deadline… set for October 31, 2023,” reads the letter.
A rehabilitation proposal—which promised to remunerate about 90% of the assets owed to affected customers—was approved in October 2021.
There’s some hope for rehabilitation creditors who have provided the necessary information. According to Kobayashi, repayments for these creditors will potentially begin as early as the end of this year.
The trustee cautioned that the schedule remains subject to change based on prevailing circumstances, and the specific timing of repayments to individual rehabilitation creditors has yet to be determined.
The Mt. Gox saga
Based out of Japan, Mt. Gox was one of the earliest and most influential cryptocurrency exchanges, once facilitating over 70% of all Bitcoin trades. However, its reputation took a devastating hit following a major hack in 2011.
The exchange eventually collapsed in 2014, amid allegations of insolvency, leading to the loss of 850,000 BTC. The fallout left approximately 24,000 creditors in its wake, many of whom have been eagerly awaiting the resolution of their claims for years.
Since the exchange’s collapse, it has been an uphill struggle for Mt. Gox creditors, who have dealt with rehabilitation plan delays and hefty fees in a drawn out battle to retrieve lost funds.
As of the most recent available data, the Mt. Gox estate holds approximately 138,000 Bitcoin (BTC), worth about $3.7 billion in current prices, along with a similar amount in Bitcoin Cash (BCH) worth $29 million, and 69 billion Japanese yen ($46.5 million).
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice charged two Russian men—Alexey Bilyuchenko and Aleksandr Verner—with conspiring to steal approximately 647,000 Bitcoin from the exchange between 2011 and 2014.