A few days after Mt.Gox filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan, an obscure Twitter user named Eren Canarslan reported that he had heard from an inside source that Mt.Gox had “found” their lost coins. Canarslan later claimed that Mt.Gox CEO Mark Karpeles had confirmed this rumor. Two weeks later, Mt.Gox announced that nearly 200,000 BTC had, in fact, been located in a neglected “old format” wallet that had been unused since June of 2011, seemingly confirming Canarslan’s claim.
Today, Caraslan posted the following tweet.
— Eren Canarslan (@CanarslanEren) March 25, 2014
It’s unclear if Canarslan means that an additional 670,000 BTC have been found (bringing the recovery up to 870,000 BTC, nearly 20,000 over the estimated loss), or if 470,000 newly located coins will be added to the 200,000 found last week.
While this is still extremely speculative, and should definitely be considered little more than a rumor, it does present an interesting possibility. Mt.Gox may not have lost all funds to hackers. It’s possible that an error in their custom-designed, never-audited hodge-podge of code resulted in the funds being “temporarily unavailable,” as Karpeles has claimed from the start.
There has been some additional speculation in recent days that while Mt.Gox may have had its “hot wallet” hacked through the transaction malleability bug, the crisis was actually caused by the site’s cold storage system being inaccessible. If the rumor proves true (admittedly a BIG if) Mt.Gox may have filed bankruptcy protection to buy time additional time from their creditors while they untangled their internal systems. The Mt.Gox users who have all but given up hope in ever recovering their funds may soon be able to retrieve them, and the lawsuits in the U.S. and Canada will have very little motivation to continue.
Some bloggers are already speculating about the potential impact of “found” Mt.Gox coins, and the Reddit bitcoin community is ablaze with discussion. The potential return of nearly $500 million to jaded Mt.Gox victims would, if nothing else, result in a new wave of trades, sell-offs and deposits in fully audited wallet providers.
Then again, it could all be just another rumor by a wishful thinking Twitter.