Business 8 February 2019Ed Drake
‘Crypto celebrity’ plans to give Mt. Gox clients their money back
The collapse of the Mt. Gox exchange in 2014 sent shockwaves through the crypto world, slashing 36% off the value of then Bitcoin, before it forked off to become Bitcoin Core (BTC), and resulting in some 24,000 site users losing 750,000 BTC.
Once the world’s foremost cryptocurrency exchange, the Mt. Gox debacle resulted in a filing for bankruptcy protection—not to mention countless civil and criminal trials and investigations. Yet years later, those who lost money in the collapse remain out of pocket.
Under the watch of trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi, a bid to disperse remaining Mt. Gox assets to those affected is under way. But even as recently as this week, allegations of incompetence and misdirection have emerged, with some in the crypto community accusing Kobayashi of dumping BTC, driving prices down still further.
Now, one crypto entrepreneur thinks he has the solution, with an ambitious plan to revive Mt. Gox.
Brock Pierce has a reputation in the crypto community as something of an eccentric. Founder of Blockchain Capital and former child star of Disney’s The Mighty Ducks, his career since has seen him named by Forbes as one of the top 20 wealthiest people in crypto.
Having previously tried to buy the embattled exchange in 2012, Pierce now has a plan to recover the company’s $1.2 billion in assets and to disperse them to those who had their funds locked down in the collapse.
The plan is locate the lost cryptocurrency and to distribute the amount fairly between those affected by the collapse, with shareholders in Mt. Gox to receive nothing. Naturally, if his takeover is completed, this includes himself.
In interview with TechCrunch, Pierce said he wants a happy ending for Mt. Gox and those customers affected by its collapse. He explained, “Like Game Of Thrones, the last season of Mt. Gox hasn’t been written…What kind of ending do we want to make for it? I’m a Joseph Campbell fan so I’m obviously going to go with a hero’s journey, with a rise and a fall, and then a rise from the ashes like a phoenix.”
After settling with customers, Pierce plans to issue a new Gox Coin to Mt. Gox creditors, giving them a stake in the future success of the exchange.
“We want to offer [creditors] more than the bankruptcy trustee can do on its own…Whether we’re successful or not, I want to see the creditors made whole,” he said.
Will he succeed? Only time will tell.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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