Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mt.Gox Legal and what is the purpose of the group?

Mt.Gox Legal is a group comprised of MtGox creditors. At the moment of writing this, there are over 850 members. We’ve pooled our resources to retain a Japanese lawyer that would help creditors to receive their fair share of MtGox assets (over 200,000 BTC). Thanks to all contributors, we’ve been able to hire Mr. Mugi Sekido of Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, a top-four law firm in Japan.

I haven’t filed a claim yet. Is there something I can do to get my coins back?

Yes.  As of June 22, 2018, Mt. Gox has been approved to enter civil rehabilitation.  This means that claims will have to be reverified, and anyone who had a Mt. Gox balance will now be able to file again.  The window for filing claims is expected to be open for approximately one month following the creditors’ meeting in September of 2018.

What is Civil Rehabilitation?

Civil rehabilitation has much in common with “chapter 11 bankruptcy” in the United States.  It’s a process by which an indebted company can be restructured in a way that allows it to pay its debts more effectively.  In our case, the main advantage of this process, compared to liquidation, is that creditors can devise their own plan for how to distribute assets, rather than have the courts decide.

There are a few stipulations though.  First, any distribution formula has to be applied to all creditors in the same manner.  So no cutting out creditors that we don’t like, or giving anyone special treatment.  Second, creditors behind a majority of the debt will have to support the plan.  Third, at least half of the creditors, present at the relevant creditors’ meeting, must also support the plan, regardless of their claim sizes.  Fourth, everyone should do at least as well in civil rehabilitation as they would have under liquidation.  And fifth, a judge needs to approve it.

For a full English translation of Japan’s Civil Rehabilitation Act, see here.

There has been a great deal of discussion regarding what plans we prefer to implement.  A summary of those plans is outlined here.  However, the courts have since set constraints on what plans might be permissible, and have ruled out all of our original plans.  See below for an approximation of the most likely distribution plan:

I have an accepted claim.  How much will I get under civil rehabilitation rules?

For claims denominated in fiat, you should expect to be paid in full, plus damages.  For claims denominated in BTC, you should expect to get $440 for each coin, plus damages, plus your pro rata share of whatever BTC and BCH are remaining.  This will be about 18% of your claim size.

So, if you had a balance in your account of 10 BTC, you might expect to get approximately $4,400 + $900 damages + 1.8 BTC + 1.8 BCH.*

* Prices are in USD.  Numbers are educated guesses, and subject to change based on future developments.

What about all those forks and airdrops? Are they included?

The bankruptcy trustee is not actively pursuing the addition of airdrops to MtGox’s assets. Therefore, you can assume that if there is some action required by a certain deadline, as was the case for Stellar Lumens, the cryptocurrencies involved won’t be added to the pool of assets.

On the other hand, hard forks of the bitcoin blockchain that don’t require any action are automatically added to the pool of assets. The trustee already announced that Bitcoin Cash is added to the assets. We can assume the same applies for Bitcoin Gold and similar forks, even if it’s not formally announced, because the trustee holds the needed private keys.

I remember choosing to get cash instead of bitcoin when I filed my claim. Can I change that now?

That was a non-binding survey by the bankruptcy trustee, so your choice does not affect how much money or cryptocurrency you get. You can’t change your choice, and you don’t need to.

I have an accepted claim. When will I get my money?

With the current civil rehabilitation timeline, the soonest we can probably expect distribution is probably sometime in the spring of 2019.  However, there’s no guarantee that obstacles won’t come up that would extend this timeline further.

Is there an analogy that I can use to explain this fiasco to someone unfamiliar with bitcoins?

Hit the arrow to expand the text block:

Fishermen analogy

A rare type of fish (pisces bitcoinii) is caught every year, by local fishermen (depositors). The fish must be stored in a climate-controlled warehouse so that it will continue to taste good. Fishermen rent space in a common warehouse (Mt. Gox) that also serves as a market, to store their catch of fish during the last season. Some fish-buyers and fishermen also store money (fiat) in the warehouse for short periods of time, but the warehouse is mainly used to store fish (bitcoins).

One year, the warehouse owner (Mark) took a long vacation to Macau (did something irresponsible), and left nobody guarding the warehouse. While he was gone, 75% of the fish and all of the money were taken by thieves. The remaining fish are mixed up so it’s unclear who they belong to (unsecured assets). When the warehouse owner notices this, he declares bankruptcy.

The fish are taken by the bankruptcy trustee, who prepares to sell them and distribute the money from the sale to the fishermen. He takes a very long time though, because a bookie is demanding the fish be sold to pay the warehouse owner’s gambling debts (Coinlab). The next year, the fish that are caught are mostly infected with worms. The price of last year’s fish catch skyrockets, and is 50 times higher than the previous year! One of the largest reserves of this fish is in the possession of the trustee. And meanwhile, the fishermen are in danger of losing their boats because they have no money, and some have taken out loans with high interest.

The bankruptcy trustee proposes to sell all the fish, pay the fishermen based on last year’s price, and then give the remaining money to the warehouse owner. This outrages the fishermen, who believe that they should be the ones to benefit, since it is their fish that are now in such high demand. It was the warehouse owner’s negligence that caused the theft, and he would be made very rich indeed if the trustee’s plan moves forward. Meanwhile, the bookie is still wasting the court’s time, claiming the fish need to be sold to pay off the warehouse owner’s gambling debts.

The trustee agrees that the distribution under bankruptcy proceedings would be unfair, and works with the court to create a means by which to switch procedures to civil rehabilitation.  He sells a fraction of the fish to undisclosed buyers, then uses the money he raised to settle the warehouse owners debts that he deems to have the most merit.  This sale also raises enough money to pay the fishermen for their fish at last year’s prices.  And the court has ruled that the remaining fish can be distributed to the fishermen, based on their documented holdings in the warehouse ledger.

Nobody is sure if next year’s catch of fish will be infected with worms or not. If they are, the price will go up even more, but if not, the price will plummet. However, since the trustee now has ample supplies of both money and fish, it’s been assured that the fishermen will be the main beneficiaries of the high market prices, and will get at least last year’s price for the fish even if the price drops.  Fortunately, this particular fish has a long shelf life, because the proposed court proceedings are scheduled to take a very, very long time.

I have an accepted claim and I really need the money ASAP. Can I sell my claim to anyone?

It’s possible, and with entering civil rehabilitation now approved, it’s expected that offers will be much better than they have been.  Still, it’s clear that you’d get the most value if you’re able to wait for CR to conclude.

Known companies that buy MtGox claims are BitcoinBulider – and IversonCapital –

The procedure is supposed to take less than 2 weeks. This is for your reference only. The companies listed above are NOT endorsed by Mt.Gox Legal. If you proceed to sell your claim, you’re doing so at your own risk.

My contact information has changed since Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy.  Will this be a problem?

This seems to be a very common scenario for Mt. Gox creditors to find themselves in. As such, both Mt. Gox Legal and the trustee have been working to ensure that there will be a protocol in place to verify creditors’ identity, even if their address, phone number, email address, etc. have changed over the years.

Do I have to join Mt.Gox Legal group to benefit from gains due to a potential move to CR?

No. If the civil rehabilitation is successful, all creditors will be treated in an equal manner. Nevertheless, paying the lawyer is not cheap – if you’re able and willing to donate, this is highly appreciated.

What do I get for contributing to Mt. Gox Legal?

You get access to the correspondence with our lawer Mr. Mugi Sekido and his team, read/write access to the contributors’ forum section and the ability to vote on how the contributions are spent. Not to mention the warm fuzzy feeling of donating to a cause that can make you rich one day! 🙂

How do I join Mt. Gox Legal?