Business

Erik Gibbs

Can Mt. Gox victims recover their lost BTC? Russian lawyers believe so

A law firm in Russia thinks it has figured out how to help thousands of cryptocurrency users who lost funds in the Mt. Gox crypto exchange debacle recover their money. As much as $2 billion could be returned to its rightful owners if the plan works. Just don’t expect it to happen overnight or be cheap.

Attorneys with the Zheleznikov and Partners law firm conducted a Q&A with a former BBC journalist, Andy Pag yesterday. They assert that they can legally go after Russian nationals who were some of the beneficiaries of the multimillion-dollar hack of the exchange, adding that many of these individuals have already been identified while others have still remained undiscovered. The law firm explained:

“We want to make clear that we do not yet know the identities of all persons. We have strong reasons to believe that their identities will be revealed by the police investigation bringing existing information together, but we hope that once the criminal case starts they will come forward quickly and offer to give compensation to victims.”

Pag is keenly interested in the saga, as he was one of the many people who had funds on Mt. Gox when it suddenly turned off the lights in 2014. He is also behind an organization that has tried to find positive resolution for other holders, but which has faced extremely difficult obstacles. He ultimately gave up on Mt. Gox Legal over concerns that restitution could take at least two more years.

The law firm’s claims are obviously subject to skepticism, which is to be expected. It asserts that it has already been able to force investigations related to other crypto theft cases, but isn’t able to provide more substantiating details. However, the firm believes that it can use those same processes to force an investigation into the Mt. Gox case, which would ultimately uncover the identities of the suspects. This is the first step required to begin any lawsuit.

If Zheleznikov and Partners is to be accepted to lead the fight, it won’t come out of any sense of altruistic patriotism toward crypto. The law firm makes it clear that it would be entitled to the lion’s share of any amount collected. By its estimations, its work at recovering the $2 billion is worth 75%, which means it would stand to earn $1.5 billion if all the funds were returned.

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