A ghost from the past has decided to haunt the current market. This is the story of how Mt. Gox is likely to make some big waves on March 10, but before we jump into that, if you’re new to crypto and not familiar to the Lore of Mt. Gox, allow me to introduce you to it.
Mt. Gox was founded in 2006 by Jed McCaleb as a platform for trading Magic: The Gathering Online cards. However, McCaleb sold the platform to Mark Karpeles, a French entrepreneur, in 2011, who transformed it into a Bitcoin exchange. Under Karpeles’ leadership, Mt. Gox quickly grew to become the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world, and at its peak, it handled over 70% of all Bitcoin transactions globally.
The hack that caused the downfall of Mt. Gox is one of the most significant incidents in the history of the cryptocurrency industry. In early 2014, customers started reporting issues with withdrawing their Bitcoins from the platform. Mt. Gox initially blamed a bug in the Bitcoin software, but as the number of customer complaints increased, the company finally admitted that it had lost over 850,000 Bitcoins, worth over $460 million at the time.
The hack not only led to the collapse of Mt. Gox but also had a significant impact on the wider cryptocurrency market. The price of Bitcoin dropped by more than 50% in the weeks following the incident, and the overall confidence in the security of cryptocurrency exchanges was severely shaken.
It was later discovered by WizSec, a security company, that most or all of the missing Bitcoins were stolen straight out of the Mt. Gox hot cryptocurrency wallet over time, beginning in late 2011. This incident has been labeled as the biggest black swan in history and had a significant impact on the cryptocurrency industry.
After the hack, Mark Karpeles faced numerous legal battles and was eventually found guilty of embezzlement and data manipulation charges in Japan in 2019. However, he was acquitted of more severe charges related to the loss of customers’ funds.
The Mt. Gox hack was a crucial turning point in the history of the cryptocurrency industry, leading to increased regulations and security measures for cryptocurrency exchanges globally. Many experts believe that the incident played a significant role in driving the development of more secure and decentralized cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
Fast forward to the present day, the unlocks of the Mt. Gox Bitcoins are set to begin on March 10, 2023. A total of 137,890 Bitcoins will be unlocked, which is worth over 3 billion USD at the current Bitcoin price of $22,470. This represents a massive increase for the creditors who had lost access to their Bitcoins when the value of Bitcoin was around $800.
The question on many people’s minds is how this will affect the price of Bitcoin and how much of the unlocked Bitcoins will be sold. The creditors are sitting on a significant profit thanks to their forced HODL (hold on for dear life) strategy. It is worth noting that in 2022, a relatively small percentage of the Bitcoin supply caused a significant drop in the price of Bitcoin.
The timing of the unlock is essential. The release of a large amount of Bitcoin into the market could cause a drop in the price of Bitcoin, especially if the market is already experiencing a downturn. If the Bitcoins are released during a bullish market, however, the impact may not be as significant. During a bear market there is less buying power, so therefore less opportunity to “soften the blow” and assimilate the newly unlocked BTC.