Users of the Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange platform Mt Gox — which suspended trading in 2014 and announced 850,000 bitcoins were “missing” — finally have a chance to try to get some of their money back through Japanese bankruptcy court.
The platform’s bankruptcy trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, posted a notice this week instructing Mt Gox account holders on how to file a claim online for their missing bitcoin. Because many account holders don’t live in Japan, there’s an online claim form that can be accessed with a Mt Gox login and password, but users can also mail in forms (particularly useful if a user doesn’t remember her password a year later).
It seems to be up in the air whether users will be able to get money back in bitcoin, or whether they will have to accept fiat currency. Kobayashi is working with another bitcoin exchange, Kraken, to facilitate the transactions, but they still don’t seem to know whether they will be able to give people bitcoins. Here’s what the notice says about it:
By becoming a Kraken user, it may be possible for the User to enjoy certain benefits such as the ability to receive bankruptcy distributions in Bitcoin (this matter has not been determined whether distributions in Bitcoin will be possible, as the bankruptcy trustee is still investigating the matter). Therefore, Users who wish to enjoy these potential benefits are requested to consider becoming Kraken users.
Even if users can get some of their balance back in bitcoin, they won’t be getting anywhere near all of it back. Coindesk reports it’s likely to be less than 20% of the value of the account balances at the time of Mt Gox shutting down.