The final deadline for submitting a rehabilitation plan for Mt. Gox creditors, Oct 15, 2020, is fast approaching. As such, speculation over what it means for the victims of the infamous hack and for the Bitcoin market itself is growing.
In a document published on June 30, the Tokyo District Court issued an order to extend the submission deadline for the rehabilitation plan to reimburse creditors until Oct 15.
After many years, dozens of lawsuits, and a plan to relaunch the exchange, the rehabilitation plan was set up to compensate the victims. The court has already delayed this deadline numerous times before, but if it doesn’t do so again, this is the date that it will become clear how and when creditors might expect to be repaid.
To date, over 1,000 creditors have claimed more than 150,000 bitcoins, representing around 15% of all funds lost during the hack. In a tweet posted on October 5, well-known crypto investor ‘Mr. Whale’ voiced concerns over the implications of a refund:
On October 15th 2020, almost 150,000 #Bitcoin's are set to be sent back to customers that fell victim to the Mt. Gox exchange "hack' in 2013.
While this deadline has been moved back numerous times, it's important to consider the catastrophic impact it could have on the markets. pic.twitter.com/nbWR3sSOgX
— CryptoWhale (@CryptoWhale) October 4, 2020
Operating under the assumption that there could be a largescale refund, Mr. Whale said, “If 150,000 BTC is sold on the market, it would cause a brutal drop, and fear would quickly spread across the markets.” Given the price increase since 2014, he concluded, “I’m assuming once returned, many will begin taking profits on the over 2,600% ROI.”
The tweet sparked a debate, but no clear consensus. Some commenters doubted that a return would happen all at once; some predicted another delay, while others downplayed the issue by pointing out the cost of returned BTC in relation to current trading volume.
In terms of selling pressure, 150,000 BTC in today’s prices is close to $1.5 billion — for reference, trading volume from Oct 4 was around $17 billion.
Ultimately, Mt. Gox creditors seem likely to have an even longer wait in store. In a letter published on Reddit, one victim disclosed correspondence from the court discouraging people from attending proceedings due to COVID-19 as evidence that more delays were imminent. The next creditor’s meeting is scheduled to be held on October 7 in Tokyo District Court.