The defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox will give out non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to users who had accounts throughout the lifespan of the platform. The prospective NFT drop is not part of the civil rehabilitation process for creditors of the exchange.
Mt. Gox Drops NFTs to Bitcoin OGs
According to the Mt. Gox NFT website, 1,066,097 Ethereum-based NFTs exist in the collection. This number corresponds to the total number of accounts that were created on the now-defunct bitcoin exchange.
Founded in 2010, Mt. Gox provided numbered accounts to users who created profiles on the platform. Jed McCaleb, who founded the exchange in 2010, was designated as account number one.
The Mt. Gox NFTs will comply with the ERC-721 token standard, one of the two token standards for non-fungible tokens, with the other being ERC-1155.
Users who mint the NFTs can choose to have them display their final account balance on Mt. Gox or elect to disable this feature when they fill out the forms to claim the tokens.
Mt. Gox account holders interested in the drop must pass a verification process that involves providing identifying information about themselves including their full names, bank statements, and last account balance on the platform. The team handling the drop will then verify the information as part of the claims process.
Users who pass the verification step will receive a certificate that will serve as a minting pass for the NFTs. According to the website, receiving a claim certificate and minting the NFT will serve as a means of proving one’s status as an “OG bitcoiner.”
The website added that owning one of these NFTs shows that the owner was an early Bitcoin adopter, a claim which can now be proved on the blockchain. An excerpt from the announcement reads:
“A new token or NFT airdrop is a great way to engage users and at the same time erase a bit of the loss incurred in MtGox.”
Indeed, Mt. Gox account holders rank among some of the earliest Bitcoin adopters, with some traders possibly executing trades while Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto was still posting frequently on the Bitcointalk message boards.
Detailing other points of utility for the NFT, the website stated that the claims process will create a list of Ethereum addresses linked to Mt. Gox traders that can serve as a useful database for future airdrops for OG bitcoiners.
Mt. Gox Saga Nears its End
In 2013 and part of 2014, Mt. Gox handled over 70% of Bitcoin transactions, making it one of the world’s biggest exchanges at the time. But later in 2014, the platform suffered a major hack, which resulted in the loss of about 850,000 BTC ($40.7 billion), which subsequently led to the collapse of the Japanese-based company.
While about 200,000 BTC from the stolen funds were later discovered, many users have yet to get their money back. A rehabilitation plan was later filed at a Tokyo District Court in February 2021 to try to reimburse affected victims.
According to Mt. Gox trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi, roughly 150,000 BTC ($7.1 billion at Bitcoin’s current price) is available to pay victims. In October 2021, Kobayashi revealed that about 99% of the creditors voted in favor of the draft rehabilitation plan, which meant that the victims could soon be compensated.
Later in November, Kobayashi announced that the rehabilitation plan was “final and binding,” which signaled the conclusion of one of the longest-running sagas in the crypto industry’s history.