Mt. Gox announced the start of payments. What awaits the crypto market?

The trustee of the Mt.Gox exchange, which went bankrupt in 2014, announced plans to begin paying compensation in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and cash in early July.

The decision was made after the preparatory process, including providing technical support, complying with the rules in each country, and coordinating transfers with each crypto exchange, was completed.

Payments will begin on a first-come, first-served basis to platforms that have confirmed the required information.

“We have taken time to ensure safe and reliable repayment to creditors, including technical remedies for safe repayments, compliance with financial regulations in each country, and discussion of repayment arrangements with the cryptocurrency exchanges.”

Mt.Gox debtors

The market reacted nervously to the publication of the news. Bitcoin (BTC) fell below the $62,000 level. The decrease in the value of BTC led to a drop in the quotes of other cryptocurrencies from the TOP 10 by market capitalization.

Mt.Gox Bankruptcy

Mt. Gox was one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, operating from 2010 until filing for bankruptcy in 2014 after hacking attacks. At its peak, Mt. Gox accounted for about 70% of the total Bitcoin trading volume. In a 2014 hack, 850,000 BTC were stolen. Their current value is more than $57 billion.

The process of agreeing on payments to the bankrupt exchange Mt. Gox started in June 2018. In 2021, a court approved a compensation plan developed by the company’s trustee.

In December 2020, a plan was introduced to pay creditors in fiat money, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Details of the plan were made public in January 2021, and it received court approval in February for a subsequent vote. The compensation plan was supported by about 83% of exchange users.

The exchange’s bankruptcy led to a seven-and-a-half-year legal battle before a plan was put in place to reimburse affected users in 2021. Since not all stolen coins were recovered, customers will only be compensated for a portion of the original amount — 142,000 BTC, 143,000 BCH, and 69 billion Japanese yen.

In December 2023, Mt. Gox customers reported returning money ten years after the collapse. Amid posts on social networks by anonymous users about receiving funds, the Bitcoin rate dropped by 4.5%.

At the end of May, the Bitcoin rate fell to $67,500 amid news of the movement of Mt. Gox’s assets for about $3 billion, intended to pay clients for the bankrupt exchange. Market participants fear that exchange clients, having received billions of dollars in compensation, will begin selling them, impacting the market.

Payout of $9 billion in Bitcoin

Bitcoin fell 3% after the manager of the Mt. Gox exchange, which went bankrupt in 2014, announced plans to begin paying compensation in early July. The price of the main cryptocurrency dropped below $58,000, recovering above $61,000 level at the time of writing.

Mt. Gox announced the start of payments. What awaits the crypto market? - 1
Source: CoinMarketCap

Despite concerns about Mt. Gox Bitcoin, there may be broader reasons for the volatility in the crypto market. News of the distribution of bitcoins to lenders comes amid an outflow of investment from bitcoin-traded funds. Capital losses from regulated crypto funds exceeded $500 million for the second week. This is the highest figure in two weeks since the adoption of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S.

What market participants are saying

According to CoinShares chief analyst James Butterfill, the movement of funds from funds at such a pace indicates the beginning of a real correction. 

Caroline Mauron, co-founder of digital asset derivatives liquidity provider Orbit Markets, agreed with his opinion. She believes bearish sentiment is setting in, and the market is having difficulty digesting large sell orders.

Others view this market behavior as a short-term correction at the beginning of a bull market. The head of Blockstream, Adam Back, wondered why creditors have already waited ten years for compensation. 

“It would be a strange time to sell at the beginning of a bull market.”

Adam Back, chief executive officer of Blockstream Corp.

In May, Galaxy Digital also estimated at 75% the share of coins returned by the platform trustee, the owners of which preferred to receive an early payment in kind at a discount.

While the market may believe that almost all of the 141,868 BTC will go into circulation this year, analysts believe the amount will be significantly less. It is expected that 64,697 BTC will go to individual creditors and another 30,000 BTC to claim funds and participants in a separate bankruptcy.

Head of Galaxy Research Alex Thorn clarified that 20,000 lenders from a pool of almost 65,000 BTC are early adopters of digital gold who have historically held it (11% of the supply has not moved for more than five years)

The expert notes that the majority in this category purchased Bitcoin at $451 or below — they remained holders despite several bear markets over a decade.

What will happen to Bitcoin in July?

According to Mark Cullen, Bitcoin will continue its decline in July. He believes that BTC’s positive dynamics may be followed by a fall to new local minimums. The analyst does not rule out a decline in Bitcoin to $57,000 in early July. At the designated level, according to his observations, there is a liquidity pool that can act as a magnet for the crypto rate.

Trader Doctor Profit agreed with the forecast, implying a Bitcoin decline to $57,000. Unlike Mark Cullen, he is confident that BTC is already close to reaching a local minimum, which an update of the absolute maximum will follow.

The trader is sure the current drawdown should be used to purchase cheap bitcoins.

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