Chinese Bitcoin ATM company BitOcean is partnering with Bitcoin exchange platform provider Atlas ATS to form a joint venture called BitOcean Japan, which seeks to fill the void of bitcoin exchanges in Japan left by MtGox. They are looking to launch an exchange by August.
Ideally, they would like to build off of MtGox’s existing assets, but this can face complications from the bankruptcy proceedings administered by trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi. It may also face competition from the SaveGox proposal, which seeks to revive the failed exchange. The BitOcean venture plans on proceeding on its own even if unsuccessful in acquiring these assets.
It is worth noting that two of Atlas’s co-founders, Ken Abe and Shawn Sloves, are also listed as partners in BitOcean.
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As previously discussed on the SaveGox proposal, any new exchange looking to replace MtGox is faced with an uphill battle. Gox’s market share has already been snapped up by other major exchanges. The space is becoming increasingly crowded with new venues popping up frequently. Most significantly, the horrors of MtGox and the hundreds of millions they lost are permanently etched in Bitcoiner’s minds. In today’s competitive market, customers will be averse to a new venture maintaining any ties to the old Gox.
Indeed, BitOcean co-founder and MtGox creditor Daniel Kelman said that they have scrapped considerations of reusing the MtGox brand.
Kelman also says that unlike MtGox, whose partner bank Mizuho had pressured the exchange to close its account out of anti-money laundering concerns, his new venture has already opened three accounts and that one of the founders has a solid relationship with local banks.
Also unlike the SaveGox proposal, there was no mention of plans to recover the lost coins. With Bitcoin decentralized outside the control of authorities, the odds of their safe return are virtually nil, even if their location happens to be discovered.