How to trade the risk of a $11bn Bitcoin firesale sparked by Mt. Gox and Gemini creditors

How to trade the risk of a $11bn Bitcoin firesale sparked by Mt. Gox and Gemini creditors
Credit: CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Shutterstock
  • Selling pressure from a potential $10.5 billion in crypto is weighing on crypto markets.
  • Short Bitcoin Cash to help bag returns amid the risk, says K33.

Creditors from two bankruptcy estates may seek to cash out their Bitcoin once they’re reimbursed.It’s a worry for crypto markets — a “solid, adverse, uncertain overhang for the coming months,” says Vetle Lunde, senior analyst at K33 Research.

“The next months are rigged to see waves of good old crypto FUD,” or fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

The collapse of Gemini and defunct platform Mt. Gox left creditors out of pocket to the tune of some 27,600 Bitcoin and 141,000 Bitcoin, respectively.

That amounts to roughly $10.5 billion.

They’re now seeking to be made whole. In February, Gemini said it will return $1.8 billion to users of its Earn programme affected by the collapse of lender Genesis Global Capital.

A further $677 million in Bitcoin Cash, a 2016 fork of the eponymous asset, could be returned to Mt. Gox creditors. Mt. Gox’s final deadline for repayments is in October.

Investors worry that once those creditors get their money back, they’ll seek to redeem their Bitcoin for fiat, sparking a firesale.

Lunde said it’s yet another worry on top of other woes, including rampant inflation, uncertainty about central bank policy, and tensions in the Middle East.

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But, Lunde said, that could present an opportunity. Lunde recommended shorting Bitcoin Cash — saying it’s an “appealing strategy” to hedge against potential losses when the Mt. Gox wallet distributions begin.

Once the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, Tokyo-based Mt. Gox faced catastrophic collapse in 2014 after $450 million worth of crypto at the time went missing.

Some aren’t so worried. Even if 30% of the $10.5 billion — some $3.2 billion — were sold in a single day, “I’d expect a 5% pullback,” in Bitcoin’s price, Sam Holman, derivatives analyst at Australian trading firm Zerocap, told DL News.

“Nothing too drastic,” he said.

Sebastian Sinclair is a markets correspondent for DL News. Have a tip? Contact Seb at

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