Money-laundering hack and Japanese law could threaten a wipeout of Bitcoin

At 5pm on a summer’s evening in June, Tokyo’s District Court set in motion a series of events that now threatens a wipeout of the world’s most popular digital currency.

The court started the process of civil rehabilitation for creditors against ­­Mt Gox, a former cryptocurrency exchange based in Shibuya, Tokyo, which was once responsible for facilitating more than 70pc of the world’s Bitcoin transactions.

Mt Gox filed for bankruptcy in 2014 after it emerged that about 850,000 coins, then worth $500m (£382m), had disappeared from its platform in a laundering scheme masterminded by Alexander Vinnik, a Russian criminal who was arrested in Greece in 2017.

Since 2014, investors across the world have…

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