CoinLab, the former operations manager for Mt. Gox in the US and Canada, has filed an objection to the plan to revive the now-defunct exchange issued by Sunlot Holdings, an investor group that includes John Betts, Matthew Roszak and Bitcoin Foundation board member-elect Brock Pierce.
A Seattle-based digital currency company, CoinLab entered into an agreement to handle the purchase, sale and exchange of bitcoin for Mt. Gox customers in the US and Canada back in November 2012. It later filed a lawsuit against Mt. Gox, claiming it was not provided with the adequate resources to fulfil the agreement. Mt. Gox later countersued in September both lawsuits are still unsettled.
The formal filing asserts, among a laundry list of claims, that the proposal by Sunlot "does not account for the claims of other unsecured creditors" (including CoinLab) and thus needs additional consideration before moving toward any final approval.
The complaint reads:
The submission is expected to be addressed in a status conference in a Dallas, Texas, court today.
The proposal, championed by the global legal team representing the exchange's former users, was given preliminary approval by a US court on 8th May.
At the time, representatives of the class action told CoinDesk they were optimistic that the plan would soon move to Japanese courts for review. Under the proposal, Sunlot would purchase Mt. Gox for 1 BTC, assuming the company's liabilities and providing former users with a 16.5% stake in the revived exchange.
CoinLab detailed how it is seeking to ensure its complaints are addressed before any proposal regarding Mt. Gox is finalized:
Perhaps most notably, CoinLab took aim at Sunlot's exclusive bid for the exchange, claiming that since its agreement to service Mt. Gox clients in North America is still active, and that as it has direct experience working with Mt. Gox, it is uniquely suited to continue the exchange's operations on behalf of creditors.
While CoinLab stopped short of issuing a bid, it did raise awareness to the fact that, should it chose to do so, no formal process for this filing is in place.
These statements were called into question by lawyers representing the international class actions against the exchange, who said in a separate filing:
CoinLab also critiqued how the proposal, if approved, would effectively place Sunlot in the role currently being filed by Mt. Gox's Japanese bankruptcy attorney.
The company argued this would be problematic given that the company has certain vested interests, saying:
CoinLab also critiqued the cost that Sunlot plans to impose on former exchange users for certain services.
For example, of the investigation into missing funds rumored stolen from the exchange, CoinLab says that Sunlot will take 10% of net recoveries, a fee it critiqued as "difficult to justify" given that other parties, such as itself, have asked to assist in the process.
CoinLab continued, offering its services for the investigation again, saying it will perform such a service for less, and that further, it is qualified and has a legal right to do so:
Lawyers for the US class action have expressed the desire for additional discovery, speculating that the remaining coins could be currently under the control of Mt. Gox or its related entities.
CoinLab also took issue with how the proposal would settle claims against former Mt. Gox employee Gonzague Gay-Bouchery and former owner and current equity stakeholder Jed McCaleb, stating that the individuals "do not own or control the asset that they purport to settle".
It also commented on the relationship between Mt. Gox and Sunlot, claiming:
In a separate filing, Mt. Gox bankruptcy trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi discussed CoinLab's filing, stating that such concerns are not the responsibility of the US courts, and by extension, the exchange's Chapter 15 bankruptcy filing that they are overseeing.
Further, he concluded by stating that, as the Japanese courts are not currently looking at any revival proposals for the exchange, CoinLab's filing is "premature".
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