Bitcoin Association acting as Observer in Japan Mt. Gox hearings

Currently the Mt.Gox bankruptcy proceedings are about to enter the “liquidation” phase. This means that after some due diligence the Japanese trustees may sell off the remaining assets of Mt. Gox and use those proceeds to reimburse creditors and customers in an order that the trustees determine. This would most likely result in an outright sale of the remaining 200,000 Bitcoin held at Mt. Gox.

One of the Bitcoin Association’s key concerns regarding these proceedings is that the Bitcoin held and lost by Mt. Gox should be considered the property of it’s customers and not of the corporation itself. We believe it is important for the future success of Bitcoin that all exchanges, courts and others recognize Bitcoin they hold for customers as customer assets.

Consequently, it is the position of the Bitcoin Assocation the coins held under custodianship by the Mt. Gox trustees are the property of the customers of Mt. Gox. To the extent any plan offered will assist in the timely return of these customer assets, making the customers as whole as possible, the Bitcoin Association would be in agreement with such a plan.

We support the concept of any plan which states it will return customer assets and we would challenge any plan sponsors who did not follow through with this commitment or any court who seeks liquidation rather than return of the assets or any party who seeks to use the remaining customer coin for purposes other than return to customers. We also support a more full and transparent investigation as to what happened to the remaining missing Bitcoin. Thus far there has been no indication that a serious and sophisticated investigation proportionate to the size of the theft is under way.

What has happened at Mt. Gox is not a failure of Bitcoin. It was a failure of one company. The situation is far from ideal and has caused pain for many. Be it continued court proceedings, immediate liquidation or efforts to return the coin, there is no ideal solution to what occurred and nothing will magically undo the damage that has been done. At this stage, the best possible solution is to return the proportionate share of customer assets remaining.

The Bitcoin Association plans to attend the negotiations and will participate as a neutral independent observer representing a portion of Bitcoin and Crypto currency community. We have no specific financial or organizational relationship with any party involved. We have some members who have coins which were held at Mt. Gox but no other financial interest. We are receiving no fees for our participation. The Bitcoin Association seeks to help the customers be made whole as soon as possible, to provide more transparency and work with the community to reduce risk points such as reliance on trusted parties in the future.

Best regards,

Greg Simon
Founding Member, Regulatory Outreach Committee Chairman
Bitcoin Association

The Bitcoin Association is an industry group focused on education and advocacy for Bitcoin and related cryptocurrency technologies, working with charities, governments, businesses and individuals.

The Bitcoin Association is committed to openness and transparency and has pledged to convert all officer and board member roles to a token-driven vote system which is fair and flexible.

This process is complex and evolving. The Mt. Gox failure is, at the very least, the result of gross negligence with a large scale impact. There is no ideal solution apparent. We welcome proposals, thoughts and ideas from members, Mt. Gox customers, and those in the community regarding actionable alternate plans, support of liquidation, or other courses of action.

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