It’s been a long time coming, but Mt. Gox customers who lost their funds can finally make claims against the exchange, which filed for bankruptcy in February of 2014.
According to the Notice of Commencement of Filing of Bankruptcy Claims issued on April 22, 2015, by bankruptcy trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi, users can register their claims online under certain conditions or by mail.
Customers can choose to file the Exchange-Related Bankruptcy Claim online form via the Kraken Bitcoin Exchange system or through the bankruptcy trustee’s own system on the MtGox website. In order to file through Kraken, users are required to be verified Tier 2 account holders.
Claimants opting to use either of the two online options must know their usernames or email addresses and passwords originally registered with MtGox. They also must still be able to use that same email address. If not, they will have to fill out and mail paper claims.
By filing through Kraken, customers may be able to receive their eventual payouts in bitcoin rather than fiat, though that possibility is still under investigation by the trustee. Kraken is also offering claimants up to $1 million in free trading volume at the lowest fee tier of 0.1 percent, as well as claim and payment support via live chat and email.
“We see our involvement in this process as an opportunity to restore faith in the community by showing what we need more of in the Bitcoin space — trusted leadership,” said Kraken CEO Jesse Powell in a post on the Kraken blog.
Kraken announced in November that it would be assisting the trustee in the investigation of Mt. Gox’s missing bitcoin assets, in the creation of the system to file and investigate claims, and in the eventual disbursement of assets to creditors.
At a third creditors’ meeting held on April 22, 2015, the trustee confirmed that JPY 1,375,885,620 (USD $11,507,618) worth of MtGox’s missing user funds had been recovered thus far.
Regarding the expected timeframe going forward, Powell added in a Reddit post, “It’s expected that there will be a two month period of filing claims followed by a two month period of evaluating claims. No firm payout date has been made yet but I believe we’ll see payouts by the end of 2015.”
An FAQ documentreleased by the trustee, however, is cautiously vague: “The timing of the bankruptcy distributions has not yet been determined, and it will be announced when a decision has been made.”
Users have until May 29, 2015 (Japan time) to file their claim. Anyone who filed a claim electronically will eventually be able to view the results of that claim online as well. Users who make paper claims will receive notices in the mail.