Status of all MtGox claims determined as Japan approves bill to regulate digital currency exchanges
The status of every claim filed by MtGox creditors has been determined, according to a press release sent to CoinReport.
During a creditors’ meeting Wednesday in Tokyo, court-appointed Trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi said 24,750 creditors have to date filed claims to retrieve funds from the defunct bitcoin exchange.
The meeting took place the same day the Diet – Japan’s legislature – enacted a bill to regulate digital currency exchanges.
According to The Japan Times, the law will require exchange operators to register with the Financial Services Agency, which will be authorized to do on-site inspections and issue administrative orders as needed.
According to the release, the amount claimed by MtGox creditors totaled more than ¥263 trillion (more than $2.4 trillion USD), though a single, individual claim of roughly ¥260 trillion is likely to be rejected.
Overall, the amount of bitcoin the MtGox estate holds is approximately 202,185 XBT, or more than $91 million USD at Wednesday’s bitcoin price of roughly $451, which global digital asset exchange Kraken will help distribute.
“The latest update from the Trustee is a major milestone because, for the first time, all the creditor claims made to date have been reviewed,” said Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, whose company is helping Trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi with the liquidation and investigation process, to CoinReport. “Each [claim] has been accepted or rejected, and now all claimants will be able to learn the status of their claim.”
Claimants will be directed to visit the MtGox website to check their status. If claimants wish to receive their funds in bitcoin, Powell noted, they will have to create a Kraken account if they don’t already have one. He said the Trustee claimed to have secured, as of May 23, more than ¥1 trillion.
The next creditors’ meeting will take place in late September, according to the website. In the meantime, “the Trustee has to handle some remaining lawsuits, among other things, but has said he would do his best to begin the payout as soon as possible,” said Powell. “Kraken will continue to support these efforts as much as we can.”
On the advice of Kraken, the Trustee’s office earlier this month decided not to disclose bitcoin addresses from the MtGox record to the public.
“Previously, there have been scattered leaks of the MtGox database containing partial names and email addresses from MtGox users,” Powell explained. “That information has not been validated, which has served to protect the privacy of users affected by these leaks. Had the addresses been released, the leaked transactions could be traced, breaching the privacy of many.”
With the Diet ruling, cryptocurrency exchanges will be more responsible for securing and protecting customer funds, said Ayako Miyaguchi, managing director of Kraken, Japan, to CoinReport.
Miyaguchi, who was at the Diet to witness the bill’s passing, added that exchanges will have a responsibility to maintain compliance, including auditing and reporting, in order to crack down on malicious activities such as money laundering.
“We understand that some people in the industry might somehow believe that this legislation could have a negative impact on the blockchain space, especially since Japan has been known as a country who decided not to regulate the space previously,” she noted.
But that’s not the case.
“In fact, the main reason why the original decision was made was to ensure that the bitcoin and blockchain industries could grow, without overburdening restrictions,” Miyaguchi said. “Now [that] an appropriate time has passed, we feel that this law was a natural process for the country to take [in] the cryptocurrency space. It’s an increasingly mature industry and consumers must be able to use and trust their services with comfort. [Wednesday’s] news is a positive for Japan and for the cryptocurrency industry.”
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