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mtgox-newMt.Gox officially filed for U.S. Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection. Although Mt.Gox has already filed for bankruptcy in Japan, the U.S. filing will allow for additional cross-border protections under international law. With an outstanding debt of ¥6.5 billion and missing 850,000 BTC belonging to users the world over, the move to protect Mt.Gox’s U.S. assets is not unexpected.

If the filing is approved, Mt.Gox could be granted “automatic stay” against creditors, preventing the seizure of U.S. assets. Such an approval would need to be granted by the presiding bankruptcy judge. Until the filing is approved, Mt.Gox assets are not under such protection. A hearing on the matter is expected within the next 30 days.

Assuming the filing is approved, Mt.Gox would then be able to safely conduct business in the U.S. without fear of seizures or other actions by creditors, allowing for the bankruptcy process to continue.

In an announcement on the Mt.Gox website last week, the company announced plans to restart the exchange, although it’s unclear to what extent.

Rebuilding MtGox Co., Ltd under the supervision of the court in a legally organized procedure while giving proper explanations will not be for the sole benefit of the company but for that of the whole bitcoin community.

All efforts will now be made to restore the business and recover damages to repay debts to creditors. We hope for the understanding and cooperation of all.

Given the serious loss of credibility, any such resurrection of Mt.Gox may be solely for legal purposes.

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