Kraken says significant progress made in MtGox bankruptcy bitcoin probe

NEW YORK, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Global bitcoin exchange Kraken said on Wednesday significant progress has been made in the investigation into claims of creditors of bankrupt exchange MtGox.

In 2014, MtGox Co Ltd, a Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange, was forced to file for bankruptcy after hackers stole an estimated $650 million worth of customer bitcoins.

Kraken was appointed in November of that year to assist Tokyo district court-appointed trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi in the bankruptcy investigation of missing bitcoins, receiving claims and distributing remaining assets to creditors of MtGox.

Kraken said in a statement, citing the Tokyo-based trustee, that out of the 9,863 persons who filed bitcoin-only claims through the Japanese trustee or through Kraken’s online service, 7,952 claimants have been approved. The approved creditor claims are equivalent to around 12.6 billion yen in bitcoins, with about 27.5 billion yen in bitcoins still on hold.

According to the trustee’s report shared by Kraken, a total of 24,733 people around the world have filed bankruptcy claims related to the MtGox exchange.

The total amount of bankruptcy claims filed in both bitcoin and fiat currencies are about 2.7 trillion yen. The trustee currently holds 202,163.41191816 bitcoin, worth more than $84 million.

“Although the investigation into MtGox claims is still ongoing, we have made significant progress for creditors,” said Kobayashi.

One bitcoin is currently worth around $418.88 on the BitStamp platform. (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Bernard Orr)