- 1 Bankruptcy proceedings (liquidation)
- 2 Unjust enrichment
- 3 Civil rehabilitation (CR)
- 4 Options A, B, C, etc.
- 5 Creditors committee (CC)
- 6 Tibanne
- 7 Mark Karpelès (MK)
- 8 Mystery creditors (MC)
- 9 Fukuoka Shinnosuke (MC’s lawyer)
- 10 Nobuaki Kobayashi (Bankruptcy trustee)
- 11 Mugi Sekido (Mt. Gox Legal’s Lawyer)
- 12 Hisashi Ito (Examiner)
- 13 Kraken
- 14 CoinLab
- 15 Peter Vessenes
- 16 Alexander Vinnik
Bankruptcy proceedings (liquidation)
This is the type of proceedings that Mt. Gox was in from 2014 to 2018, and is a type of corporate liquidation. There is some confusion with terminology, because the US counterparts for bankruptcy proceedings and civil rehabilitation are both referred to as types of bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and chapter 11, respectively). However, it must be noted that this means that Japanese law regarding bankruptcy proceedings typically doesn’t apply to civil rehabilitation.
Unjust enrichment occurs when one party benefits at the expense of another party, in a way that’s demonstrably unjust. This is laid out in Article 703 of the Japanese Civil Code:
A person who has benefited (hereinafter in this Chapter referred to as “beneficiary”) from the property or labor of others without legal cause and has thereby caused loss to others shall assume an obligation to return that benefit, to the extent the benefit exists.
Unjust enrichment has three elements. First, the plaintiff must have provided the defendant with something of value while expecting compensation in return. Second, the defendant must have acknowledged, accepted, and benefited from whatever the plaintiff provided. Third, the plaintiff must show that it would be inequitable or unconscionable for the defendant to enjoy the benefit of the plaintiff’s actions without paying for it. A court will closely examine the facts of each case before awarding this remedy and will deny claims for unjust enrichment that frustrate public policy or violate the law.
Civil rehabilitation (CR)
A type of corporate restructuring in Japanese law that allows a company to reorganize itself such that it’s better situated to pay off its debts. For us, the advantage of this would be that creditors are able to devise their own plan for how to divide up assets, rather than have a court make this decision. See the FAQ for more information.
Options A, B, C, etc.
These are the different CR distributions plans proposed by Mt. Gox Legal members. Although we’ve since concluded that none of them are legally permissible as written, they’re provided here for reference.
Creditors committee (CC)
A group of people who represent a company’s creditors in a bankruptcy proceeding. The creditors’ committee is usually further divided between secured and unsecured creditors. Secured creditors own assets that have a clear separation from assets of other creditors. An example of a secured asset might be a mortgage, where the creditor holding it has rights to the entire property in a bankruptcy. Depositors, on the other hand, are all unsecured creditors, because Mt. Gox lumped everybody’s assets together in a pool. Additionally, a Japanese court has ruled that the remaining bitcoins cannot be considered secured assets, and thus would need to be divided among creditors.
Tibanne Co. Ltd., founded in 2009, is the parent company of Mt. Gox, holding an 88% ownership of Mt. Gox. Tibanne is wholly owned by Mark Karpelès. The company is named after Mark’s cat. On February 28, 2014, Tibanne Co., Ltd. filed for Bankruptcy in the Tokyo District Court.
Mark Karpelès (MK)
Mark Marie Robert Karpelès (born June 1, 1985), also sometimes known by his Reddit/Twitter alias MagicalTux, is the former CEO of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. He moved to Japan in 2009. Poor security on the Mt. Gox exchange resulted in the majority of its bitcoins being stolen, during the time when he was Mt. Gox CEO.
Mystery creditors (MC)
The group of Mt Gox Creditors responsible for the filing of a CR petition with the Japanese court, posted on the Mt. Gox website and at mtgox-creditors.com.
According to an article (Paywall : Click on the result dated 2017/12/12), it is said that the group consists of at least 4 major creditors.
It has been revealed that a person named Richard Folsom is a member of this group at the 10th creditors’ meeting.
Represented by Fukuoka of Nishimura & Asahi, one of Japan’s most prominent law firms.
Fukuoka Shinnosuke (MC’s lawyer)
A lawyer hired by the MC from Nishimura & Asahi who has filed for Civil Rehabilitation to the court. His profile.
Nobuaki Kobayashi (Bankruptcy trustee)
Attorney-at-law Nobuaki Kobayashi, from Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, has been appointed as the bankruptcy trustee for Mt. Gox by the Tokyo District Court on February 28, 2014. His profile.
On August 25, 2014, the office of the bankruptcy trustee moved as follows:
(Before) MtGox Co., Ltd. Office of Bankruptcy Trustee Shibuya 2-11-5, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (After) MtGox Co., Ltd. Office of Bankruptcy Trustee Kojimachi 3 chome building #202, Kojimachi 3-4-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Telephone: +81-3-4588-3922 (Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Japan time)
Mugi Sekido (Mt. Gox Legal’s Lawyer)
The lawyer hired by Mt. Gox Legal to represent the group legally. He’s from MHM Japan, one of the biggest law firm in Japan. His profile.
Hisashi Ito (Examiner)
The appointed examiner via the Mystery Creditor’s filing to investigate the possibility of the civil rehabilitation commencement. His profile.
He is tasked to investigate civil rehabilitation act, article 25, item 2 to 4 and submit the result by the end of February 28th.
Official announcement of the appointment.
US-based bitcoin exchange. Kraken has a relationship with the Mt. Gox bankruptcy and is a potential sponsor for moving Mt. Gox into civil rehabilitation. Initial customer claims filed against Mt. Gox required filing through Kraken for the ability to receive payment in bitcoin.
In April 2018, it has been announced (English at the second half) that Kraken will be leaving Japan for its trading service but will continue to support the Mt. Gox case.
Used to be Mt. Gox’s partner company and now suing Mt. Gox with an ongoing lawsuit making part of the reason for the delayed payout. They are bankrupt as well and are pursuing this claim particularly hard because it’s the only thing they have left.
CEO of the now defunct CoinLab.
One of the main operators of the bitcoin exchange BTC-e. Analysis by WizSec revealed that Vinnik transferred large amounts of BTC that were stolen from MtGox to BTC-e, suggesting that he was involved in the theft and/or laundering of the stolen coins. He was seized by authorities in Greece, and a court there has ruled that he should be extradited to the United States. BTC-e has also been investigated by Japanese police.
Nobody knows what will come of this, but there is speculation that, if he still possesses some of the coins, they might find their way back to depositors. There hasn’t been much concrete information released yet, probably due to the ongoing investigation, and it’s probably too early to get our hopes up. Nevertheless, it’s worth considering the unlikely possibility that future coins might be recovered, if only to have a plan for how to distribute those hypothetical coins.