Address linked to now-defunct crypto exchange distributes 5,000 BTC

An address called “18xGH,” created on December 19, 2013, reportedly sent 5,000 BTC to various multi-signature Bitcoin addresses on Sunday⁠—the coins were dispersed on Monday morning. The address and the fund were found to be connected to Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based crypto exchange that filed for bankruptcy in 2014.

Taisia, an admin of the GFISchannel Telegram group, said that the situation was “quite strange." She explained that, according to experts, the likely belonged to Mt. Gox founder Jed McCaleb, who sold the exchange to Mark Karpelés. Taisia also said she spoke with Karpelés, who neither confirmed nor ruled out the fund belonged to McCaleb.

“If these are really McCaleb’s bitcoins, why won’t he make a statement to stop speculation on this topic?” Taisia said. “And, returning to the original question, why are all these movements going on right now? In the midst of the FUD with trustee payments and Vinnick’s recent extradition to the United States.”

Taisia referred to previous transactions linked to Mt. Gox. On August 28 and 29, two addresses sent 10,001 BTC to various crypto wallets. According to data, it was the first time after around nine years that funds in Mt. Gox-related addresses were moving.

“The blockchain visualization clearly shows that in each of the transaction chains associated with both withdrawals, the same wallet (1McUC) actually appears, which received a large amount (134K BTC) from Gox, just at the time of the described events,” Taisia said.

“And, as we remember, the founders of the BTC-E exchange, which was created later, and later WEX was also suspected of the subsequent hacker attack.”

Mt. Gox’s case

Mt. Gox used to handle up to 70 percent of BTC transactions worldwide during its peak. However, its system was hacked in 2014. Reportedly, the hackers began attacking Mt. Gox's system in 2011.

Data showed that 740,000 BTC were stolen from 24,000 Mt. Gox’s users and another 100,000 units from the company itself, leading to its bankruptcy. The defunct crypto exchange later found 200,000 BTC in its old wallets and promised to distribute the funds to consumers. Nobuaki Kobayashi, the appointed rehabilitation trustee for the Mt. Gox case, announced earlier in July that the process had begun.

At the end of August, there were rumors within the crypto community that Mt. Gox would distribute around 140,000 BTC it had kept for years. However, the rumors were later dismissed by Eric Hall, who claimed to be one of Mt. Gox's creditors. According to Hall, there were no set dates for Mt. Gox to distribute its coins.

The eventual distribution came as the BTC saw a continuous price drop in recent weeks. At the end of August, Bitcoin’s value dropped by 4.5 percent in a week, with the price dropping below $20,000 per unit.

News about Mt. Gox’s plans to redistribute dormant Bitcoins was met with apprehension from investors as it might affect the cryptocurrency’s already volatile price. However, analysts have since assured that the rehabilitation committee would not unload all Mt. Gox's funds at once. The process reportedly can take months to complete.