Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox to return $9 billion in tokens to users after decade-long wait

    The once-dominant Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, which collapsed a decade ago following a massive hack, is set to return nearly $9 billion worth of tokens to its users.

    This long-awaited payout comes after a prolonged and complicated bankruptcy process, and has sparked concern among investors about potential impacts on the cryptocurrency market.

    Returning billions: The Mt. Gox saga

    Mt. Gox, which stands for “Magic: The Gathering Online Exchange,” was once the largest platform for Bitcoin trading, handling around 80% of all global dollar trades for the cryptocurrency.

    In 2014, the Tokyo-based exchange abruptly shut down after a series of hacks led to the loss of between 650,000 and 950,000 Bitcoins, worth upwards of $58 billion at current prices.

    After years of legal battles and delays, the court-appointed trustee overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings announced that distributions to approximately 20,000 creditors will begin in early July.

    These disbursements will be made in a combination of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, a fork of the original cryptocurrency.

    Market implications of the token release

    The imminent release of 141,000 Bitcoins, representing about 0.7% of the total 19.7 million Bitcoins in circulation, has raised concerns about potential downward pressure on Bitcoin prices.

    Last week, Bitcoin saw its second-worst weekly decline of the year, dropping to $59,000 amid market apprehensions.

    Historical precedents and market reactions

    This is not the first time the Bitcoin market has reacted to large-scale redemptions. Last month, Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange, returned over $2 billion worth of Bitcoin to users of its Earn lending program.

    This move led to notable price fluctuations, as some users opted to sell their reclaimed assets.

    Similarly, the German government recently sold 5,000 Bitcoins, valued at approximately $305.8 million, that were seized in connection with a movie piracy operation.

    These funds were distributed across multiple exchanges, contributing to market volatility.

    Analysts at JPMorgan have indicated that the liquidation of Mt. Gox’s Bitcoin holdings could create further downward pressure on prices. However, they also believe that any negative impact will likely be temporary, with a potential market rebound starting in August.

    A nuanced market outlook

    While some analysts, like Galaxy Digital’s Alex Thorn, warn that even a small percentage of liquidated Bitcoin could impact the market, others believe the effect will be diffused over time.

    Vijay Ayyar, head of consumer growth for Asia-Pacific at Gemini, noted that the disbursement process could be gradual, further mitigating the immediate impact on Bitcoin prices.

    It’s also important to consider other macroeconomic factors influencing Bitcoin’s recent declines.

    The cryptocurrency experienced a substantial rally earlier this year, driven by positive news such as the approval of the first spot Bitcoin ETF by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

    In conclusion, while the Mt. Gox repayments are poised to create some market turbulence, the overall impact is expected to be short-term and manageable. The broader market dynamics and continued interest in Bitcoin suggest that any price dips may be temporary, with potential for recovery in the coming months.

    The post Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox to return $9 billion in tokens to users after decade-long wait appeared first on Invezz

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