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Ex-clients of once the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange demand the lifting of bankruptcy proceedings. The controversial Mt.Gox owner would otherwise become a billionaire. The dispute shows what the hype surrounding the digital currency has triggered.

Mark Karpelès was already a lot in the Bitcoin world. As the owner of the once-leading Bitcoin exchange, Mt.Gox, the Frenchman was one of the first heroes of digital currency before he was labeled a Bitcoin bandit. Because his Tokyo-based trading center collapsed after computer problems, currency robbery and – so the assumption of the Japanese police – a deep grip on the stock exchange in 2013. A year later, officially followed the bankruptcy. Now, the boom in the first global cryptocurrency could turn the Bitcoin lapse into a dollar billionaire – were it not for his old customers and creditors today.

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This week, in a new volunt in the trial of Mt.Gox and Karpelès, the Japanese judges called for the bankruptcy proceedings to be dismissed. For in the opinion of the creditors, the value of the remaining bitcoins in the bankrupt estate exceeds the liabilities by a multiple. This would make the stock market liquid again.

The motive of the ex-customers is clear: It is about the distribution of the billions of treasure of Mt.Gox. And they see themselves unfairly fed up with crumbs, while their enemy Karpelès could benefit massively from the price gains in the currency since 2014.

When Mt.Gox filed for bankruptcy in 2014, 850,000 bitcoins were missing in the stock market balance sheet. Karpelès asserted his innocence, while the police have so far tried quite unsuccessfully to convict him as guilty of robbery. But the sighting of the remaining assets became really interesting when the bankruptcy trustees found 202,000 bitcoins in a digital account.

This gave the customers hope that they would at least see part of their money again. However, according to Japanese bankruptcy law, only the value of their digital coins would be refunded in real currency. However, since 2014, the currency’s exchange rate has risen 40-fold to more than $ 17,000 – and thus the value of the treasure to around three billion euros.

At the current rate, Mt.Gox would therefore only have to silver around 15 percent of the Bitcoins found to pay off the customers. The remainder would mostly fall to Karpelès, who owns over his company Tibanne 88 percent stake in Mt.Gox. However, should Mt.Gox be declared liquid again, the former clients of the former stock exchange could hope for precious bitcoins instead of real coins.