Bitcoin Threatens $60K on Mt. Gox News, but Sales Could Be Less Than Feared

At least one analyst believes fewer coins will be distributed than is commonly thought and thus the sell pressure might be less than expected.

AccessTimeIconJun 24, 2024 at 4:39 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 24, 2024 at 4:49 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin (BTC) is leading crypto prices sharply lower Monday after the trustee for the defunct Mt. Gox crypto exchange said it will begin returning more than 140,000 BTC in July to clients whose assets were stolen in a 2014 hack.

At press time, bitcoin was trading at $60,700, down more than 5% over the past 24 hours and at its weakest level since the beginning of May. Ether (ETH) was lower by similar amount as was the broader CoinDesk 20 Index.

Those selling today are contemplating the effect of more than 140,000 bitcoin hitting the market in less than one month. Putting that number in perspective, it would be just less than the immediate liquidation of Fidelity's spot bitcoin ETF, which at last check held 167,375 bitcoin.

"We think fewer coins will be distributed than people think and that it will cause less bitcoin sell pressure than market expects," said Alex Thorn, head of research at Galaxy.

Thorn said his research suggests 75% of creditors will be taking the "early" payout in July, meaning a distribution of about 95,000 coins. Of that, Thorn believes 65,000 coins will be going to individual creditors, but he thinks they may prove more "diamond-handed" than most expect. Among the reasons, he said, is that they've already resisted years of "compelling and aggressive offers from claims funds," not to mention the capital gains taxes involved given bitcoin is up 140-fold since the bankruptcy.

Turning to those claims funds, having had discussions with some, Thorn suggests the overwhelming majority of the partners in those funds are high net worth bitcoiners looking to build their stack at a discount, as opposed to arbs looking for a quick profitable trade.


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Stephen  Alpher

Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's managing editor for Markets. He holds BTC above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.

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