As the burned-out husk of Mt.Gox winds its way through the Japanese bankruptcy system, a new partnership between Chinese ATM maker BitOcean and New York-based exchange-platform provider Atlas ATS will soon be vying for its assets. The company, BitOcean Japan, was profiled by the Wall Street Journal yesterday. According to the story, the partnership has committed to providing over $1 million in bitcoin to restart the exchange under a new name.
The BitOcean Japan proposal would provide 49% of the newly formed exchange’s equity to Mt.Gox creditors, and will not use Mt.Gox’s existing assets during the rehabilitation process. Existing assets would be liquidated and dispersed to creditors, leaving the new entity in possession of several hundred thousand now-active bitcoin accounts. In principle, the move would allow BitOcean to save a huge amount of money in promotion and customer acquisition costs.
BitOcean is hardly the only company making offers on the Mt.Gox assets. A U.S.-based investment group called Sunlot Holdings has made a similar offer, and there are rumors of secretive offers from China’s OKCoin and U.S. Mt.Gox creditor CoinLab. Mt.Gox’s court-appointed bankruptcy trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, has thus far been silent on all of these offers.
The WSJ reports that even should BitOcean Japan lose its bid, perhaps to the Sunlot Holdings offer, the principal investors plan on launching a bitcoin exchange in the country. The company will be launching its Japanese exchange, Mt.Gox’s status notwithstanding, in August. BitOcean CEO Nan Xiaoning told the publication: “The collapse of Mt. Gox caused great negative impact to the Bitcoin community. BitOcean wants to make some contribution to the community and creditors.”
Bitcoin itself is rapidly becoming a hot topic in Japan. Widely vilified during the Mt.Gox collapse, bitcoin is increasingly seen as a viable economic tool in the country. Yesterday, the CEO of Rakuten, Japan’s largest online retailer, said that his company would begin accepting bitcoin “sooner or later.”