Mt Gox Sell-Off Behind 2018 Bitcoin Lows?
Tokyo-based exchange Mt Gox has ceased trading in February 2014, reporting over 850,000 BTC in stolen funds. Four years later, in February 2018, rumors of a potential laundering of the stolen funds linked to a shell company based in London, and transfers worth $400 million from a former Mt Gox trustee are supposedly behind Bitcoin 2018 lows.
Cryptocurrency markets have witnessed a significant drop during the first two months of 2018, with Bitcoin hitting lows of under $6000 in mid-February. With multiple reasons behind that, including the ban of all cryptocurrency-related ads on popular social media platforms, experts are still to put their finger on the main cause of the significant value drop.
Several news outlets have linked the BTC price drop to several transfers made by former Mt Gox trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi, which add up to a total of 35,000 BTC and 34,000 BCH, and a total value of $400 million according to the exchange rates. The transfers have supposedly started in late December, and followed up to mid-February, synchronizing with the aforementioned lows. What’s more, the last of these transfers, worth 18,000 BTC, took place just one day before Bitcoin finally fell under $6000. Kobayashi had supposedly transferred the amount to Mt Gox creditors who lost funds after the hack.
Meanwhile, a BBC radio expose has linked UK company Always Efficient LLP to the laundering of over 650,000 BTC stolen from the defunct exchange Mt Gox. The company is supposedly involved in processing the funds stolen from Mt Gox in 2014 and is now the main focus of the official FBI investigation regarding the matter. Always Efficient LLP is registered in London, but the fact that multiple companies use the same address as the former caused the investigator to believe the company is likely to be a shell.
Four years after the first major hack of a cryptocurrency exchange, the Mt Gox case is still affecting the cryptocurrency markets. The funds are far from being returned to their rightful owners, but official and unofficial investigations on the case are still working on the case.