Following MtGox's recent filing for civil rehabilitation, there have been a lot of talks of what would make a good rehabilitation plan. The situation is complex, and various factors need to be taken into account.
I will list here details that I have clarified by discussing with creditors, lawyers, etc.
- Currently, creditors who filed for claims based on currency liabilities ("currency creditors") are entitled for full repayment. Any plan that changes this would be seen as disadvantaging those creditors, and make any objection they file be legally justified. Ideally such a plan would involve payment of all such creditors prior to moving with distribution of remaining assets between non-currency creditors.
- CoinLab, which has a disputed claim for some 88 million JPY against MtGox, would need to be addressed. While I've read some people seem to think civil rehabilitation can just cast CoinLab aside, things are not that easy nor simple. Until CoinLab's claim is recognized as invalid, it has in the eyes of the court as much potential legitimacy as any other claim. Creditors cannot exclude one creditor without due process just because they do not like that creditor.
Currently CoinLab and the trustee are in a process known as "assessment procedure" (査定手続き) where CoinLab and the trustee fight in front of the bankruptcy court until both reach a settlement. If this fails, it can escalate into a lawsuit, which can then be appealed, which means there is potentially years of procedure before a conclusion is reached. One option for the civil rehabilitation plan would be to put aside the requested amount of money, plus enough to cover future potential legal fees and interests. Alternatively, reaching a settlement with CoinLab could benefit all creditors and might be a course of action allowing a conclusion to be reached sooner.
Of course I do not personally agree with such a thing, as it would be paying CoinLab millions of dollars for accomplishing virtually nothing (except hurting MtGox business and keeping millions of USD that should have transferred to MtGox) and I believe a fair settlement would be one where both parties agree to drop the case there. CoinLab did take a lot from MtGox, and also received Bitcoins from MtGox now worth tens of million of USD, but it is unlikely to be possible to recover any of that (not like CoinLab ever had any kind of actual profitable business).
- Distribution of remaining MtGox Bitcoins (cash and whatnot) as bitcoins can and should be performed directly from the trustee to creditors. There is no need for an exchange to hold those bitcoins to perform distribution. Actually, creditors have made quite clear they do not want to see an exchange hold their bitcoins based on their own experience (which I can understand). Under Japanese law there is no requirement for a Bitcoin exchange to be involved in the actual distribution. Technology makes it possible, and actually quite easy, to perform a direct distribution in a fully transparent, pre-verifiable and auditable way.
- Of course, such a distribution should come at no cost at all to creditors. The cash distribution will have a cost, of course, as sending cash worldwide isn't cheap (costs can be limited by using proper methodology, however crypto-currency distribution should have no cost at all. Which brings me to...
- The rehabilitation plan should come at no cost to creditors. While some costs may be unavoidable (transfer fees, legal fees, etc), the actual process of transferring Bitcoins, for example, should be done free of charge. Of course it means whoever sponsors the operation will only get costs from doing so, but then, that's what a sponsor is about. What I'm worried most is people trying to submit plans in attempt to get financial profit from the situation (as back in 2014) however considering the current situation this would be very much unacceptable.
I will continue to work toward a solution for MtGox creditors which fulfills all those points, and even more. What I listed here are minimum requirements for any kind of civil rehabilitation plan in order to have some kind of baseline of what can be expected.
As I see things CoinLab is still today the largest obstacle to getting this situation solved promptly, and if Peter Vessenes can be made to see some sense and drop this frivolous lawsuit and claims rather than qualifying people (me) of "asshat" on his "company" blog, we might actually get somewhere. The only reason there has been virtually no progress this past couple of years with the MtGox bankruptcy is CoinLab, asking for outrageous amounts in exchange of having done nothing of value, taking into hostage some 25000 creditors in an attempt to grab some cash out of this whole mess.
And actually, it may work, because Peter can not only keep this situation in deadlock for the years to come but also shift the blame on the bankruptcy.