Appearing on Reddit today have been posts relating that addresses attributed to MtGox in the past continue to hold 100’s of thousands of bitcoins, thereby providing reason that customer funds have been found. The bitcoin addresses date back to 2011 transfers, where MtGox CEO Mark Karpeles had issued transfers from one address to others to prove solvency and the company’s control of client funds. Reviewing where funds were sent revealed that at least 200,000 bitcoins were still located within the addresses which were believed to be in control by Karpeles.
The question then becomes what happened to control of these accounts. Providing answers, Redditors have provided several theories. Among them include the creation of paper wallets which were deposited in safe deposit boxes of which are no longer accessible to MtGox due to investigations by their banks. Another theory is that the private keys used to lock the wallets have been lost. Either way, the establishment of funds existing has provided hope for account holders that there may be a possible return of customer funds.
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However, not everyone is convinced that these wallets are controlled by MtGox. In a response post using his Reddit user name ‘nullc’, Bitcoin Core Developer Gregory Maxwell wrote that the evidence doesn’t prove that the addresses that were sent coins by MtGox to prove its solvency were in fact controlled by the exchange. As such, the addresses may have large holders, with MtGox simply issuing a transfer to these large account holders. According to Maxwell, using MtGox transfers are problematic since so many addresses have a connection to transactions initiated by the exchange. To establish ownership, Maxwell preferred to see a transaction signature that was attributable to MtGox. He stated that he understands that people want to find hope, but added that there are also those looking to boost the price of goxcoins on BitcoinBuilder, who would benefit by news of possible returns of MtGox customer funds.
Overall, the current speculation adds to the enigmatic story of MtGox which has featured a mysterious crisis document, regulator investigations for unknown reasons,transaction malleability , as well as the disappearance of the company from its headquarters and its website.