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Creditors for Kiwi bitcoin company Bitcoinica eye payback

Creditors of New Zealand-registered Bitcoinica LP are another step closer to payback with a decision on acceptance of their claims expected next month.

However, how much the 204 creditors get back and in what form the distribution will be made is still uncertain.

Bitcoinica’s cash and bitcoin assets are held in accounts on the MtGox exchange in Japan, which was the world’s largest bitcoin trading exchange before it collapsed in April 2014.

Auckland-based liquidators Christopher McCullagh and Stephen Lawrence of insolvency firm PFK have been chasing MtGox for repayment of funds following a hacking incident and purported theft in 2011 that led to the exchange’s collapse.

The stakes are high, especially given the rollercoaster bitcoin and other crypto currencies have ridden this past 15 months. The liquidators have received unsecured claims from 204 creditors of Bitcoinica for 104,714 bitcoins, US$323,241 in cash and US$276,135 of leveraged trading positions.

Initially the claims were to be valued in Japanese yen at the date of bankruptcy, which would have been based on US$483 per bitcoin, but creditors successfully filed a petition to pull MtGox out of bankruptcy and into civil rehabilitation.

Since then the price of bitcoin initially soared to US$20,000 before plummeting back to around US$4000.

The next hearing is due to be held in February and the Trustee has advised that it expects to make a full distribution to creditors this year.

“It is unknown at this stage what assets will be available for distribution to MtGox creditors (including Bitcoinica), when a distribution will be made and in what form the distribution will be made,” PFK said in its latest liquidators report.

The liquidators have sought advice on the legal status of bitcoins under New Zealand law, the valuation of creditor claims and creditor entitlements in the liquidation.

They plan to seek directions from the High Court once Bitcoinica receives distribution from MtGox.

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