Mark Karpeles announces the launch of commemorative NFTs for Mt. Gox users

The former CEO of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox has announced that certain users will be eligible to receive non-fungible commemorative tokens, or NFTs.

In a Monday message on Twitter, Mark Karpelès said called that crypto users who were Mt. Gox customers between 2010 and 2014, during which time the exchange was hacked and subsequently declared bankrupt, could register to claim a free NFT. According to the CEO, the offer has been extended to users claiming losses from the defunct exchange or who had a balance.

“Mt. Gox customers were early adopters, some of them were on BitcoinTalk when Satoshi Nakamoto was still posting.” it says on the project website. “A new NFT token or airdrop is a great way to attract users while also making up for some of the loss sustained on Mt. Gox.”

Mark Karpeles announces the launch of commemorative NFTs for Mt. Gox users
Mark Karpeles announces the launch of commemorative NFTs for Mt. Gox users

Mt. Gox users must confirm that they were customers of the exchange who registered accounts prior to February 25, 2014, are issued on the Polygon blockchain and are identified by users’ Mt. Gox account numbers. and your remaining Bitcoin (BTC) and Japanese Yen balances, although including the balance is optional.

“A hard-coded limit prevents NFT from being created out of reach of Mt. Gox accounts. This minting method has no ownership restriction, but instead requires the issuance of an externally signed token to users who have completed verification.”

First created by programmer Jed McCaleb in 2010 and later purchased by Karpelès, Mt. Gox was once one of the largest exchanges in the world. But, A 2011 hack that resulted in the loss of 850,000 BTC ($460 million at the time and about $40 billion at press time) and the collapse of the exchange left thousands of cryptocurrency holders penniless.

Nobuaki Kobayashi, the trustee of Mt. Gox, has been working to compensate the exchange’s creditors for years, and announced in November 2021 that a recovery plan filed with the Tokyo District Court had become “final and binding.” According to the NFT memorial website NFTs are “completely separate” from the Mt. Gox bankruptcy case and “100% self-funded.”

Although the recently announced NFTs appear to be the only “official” ones to emerge from the Mt. Gox collapse, some crypto users have followed the controversy surrounding the exchange’s hack and bankruptcy since 2014. One of the cards in Spells of Genesis, a blockchain-based trading card game, parodies a photo of cryptocurrency trader Kolin Burges protesting outside the Tokyo Stock Exchange headquarters in 2014, holding a sign that reads “Where is he? our money?”. The game released 700 of the Gox, the Fallen Mountainlord cards in 2015.

The project’s whitepaper also said that post-release NFTs could be modified to include art, and hinted at other use cases:

“An NFT from Mt. Gox shows you are OG. You were there in the early days of Bitcoin, and now you can prove it on the blockchain […] it’s possible to use this in ways not yet known in the future.”

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