In a recent announcement, the now-closed bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox revealed that it will begin returning assets stolen in a 2014 hack to its clients starting the first week of July. This marks a significant step forward after numerous delays over the years.

Nobuaki Kobayashi, the trustee responsible for overseeing the repayment process, stated on the Mt. Gox website that preparations are underway to distribute repayments in Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) according to the Rehabilitation Plan. Kobayashi emphasized that the repayment process will begin in early July 2024, but also noted that careful checks and safety measures will be implemented before any payments are made.

The distribution of these repayments is expected to create selling pressure on the bitcoin market. Many early investors, who acquired their bitcoins before 2013, will receive assets that have significantly increased in value. As a result, these investors might be tempted to sell at least part of their holdings, which could impact the market, according to traders.

Mt. Gox was once the leading crypto exchange globally, managing over 70% of all bitcoin transactions in its prime. However, in early 2014, it suffered a massive hack, resulting in the loss of approximately 740,000 bitcoins, which would be worth about $15 billion today. This hack was the largest among several attacks the exchange faced between 2010 and 2013.

To address this, trustees have been developing a repayment plan for several years. In 2023, a Tokyo court set a deadline for the plan’s completion by October 2024. In May, Mt. Gox made a notable move by transferring over 140,000 BTC, valued at around $9 billion, from cold storage wallets to an unknown address in 13 transactions. This was the first time such a significant movement occurred in five years.

Following the announcement from Mt. Gox, bitcoin prices experienced a slight dip. Data from CoinGecko indicated that bitcoin prices fell from over $62,300 in the early Asian trading hours to below $62,100 shortly after the statement was released.

In summary, Mt. Gox’s plan to repay its clients marks a crucial development in the long-running saga of the 2014 hack. While the repayments are a positive step for affected investors, they also have the potential to influence the bitcoin market due to the anticipated selling pressure from early investors. The careful execution of this repayment process will be essential to ensure market stability and the protection of client assets.