According to a recent report, Fortress Investment Group is buying bitcoin (BTC) rights from Mt. Gox creditors. After suffering a loss of about $473 million worth of bitcoin in 2014, owing to an evident hack, where some 850,000 bitcoins disappeared from the exchange’s servers. the Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy. Bitcoin allegedly suffered a consequent drop in value, plummeting by 36% over the month when this happened.
Based on the report, Michael Hourigan, a managing director at the New York-based private equity firm, has sent out a correspondence to creditors specifying the buyback offer. In harmony with an evident replica of such a letter, Fortress has offered to buy the bitcoin claims back at around double the bankruptcy value. In the letter, he revealed that he is purchasing these claims for a bitcoin investment vehicle the firm operates.
In other words, creditors of Mt Gox looking to get their bitcoin back from the long-defunct exchange can now get pennies on the dollar by selling their claims to Fortress Investment Group. Switching from bankruptcy to civil rehabilitation last year, creditors of the exchange expected that they would collect their misplaced bitcoin after the switch, rather than the cash equivalent at the time of the exchange’s collapse. The case is at this time sitting before the Tokyo District Court.
$900 Per Bitcoin Instead of $451
In the words of the published letter, Michael Hourigan addressed the creditors with the term of endearment ‘dear’ and explained his involvement in the matter as the manager of the investment vehicle saddled with the responsibility of buying Mt. Gox creditor claims. He moved on to add that fortress will review each claim individually but are now generally able to offer $900 per BTC claim, or an estimated 200% of the bankruptcy value (which was $451 per BTC claim). He revealed their ability to pay for the claims in Bitcoin, or any fiat currency that the clients choose, and that payment would be made within 10 business days of the claim transfer confirmation.
Hourigan contends that the $900 price is fair to both creditors and Fortress’ investors. Similarly, a creditor, who did not wish their identity to be made public, told news reporters that the letter also included their individual claim amount and a letter number. Andy Pag, a former Mt Gox creditor activist revealed in April that he had sold his stake to a New York-based investment firm for $600 per bitcoin. However, he did not identify the firm at the time and did not respond to a request for comment.
Fortress has long been existent in the crypto sphere and was supposedly working to launch a bitcoin investment fund as far back as 2013 – before the Mt Gox saga. According to public reports, Fortress-the New York-based firm-bought about $20 million in bitcoin as at 2013.
Fortress Investment Group
Fortress was acquired by Japan-based SoftBank late in 2017, which on its own has been an active player in the blockchain space (though not as much activity with bitcoin projects precisely). Nevertheless, Fortress stays in command of its everyday procedures, according to news reports. Back in 2017, it was announced that Fortress had been acquired by SoftBank for approximately $3.3 billion in cash.