The defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt Gox has moved 16,000 bitcoins from its vaults to an unknown address, sparking concerns of an imminent price crash.
The current market value of the bitcoins is more than $140 million, according to the CoinMarketCap price index, which values one bitcoin at around $8,800.
The sale of such a large amount of bitcoins could have a significant impact on cryptocurrency markets.
The Tokyo-based Mt Gox went out of business in 2014 after losing around 1 million of its customers bitcoins. At the time, the lost bitcoins were worth around $387 million but the price of the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency has since risen considerably.
The moving of the funds, first spotted by The Next Web, is the first time in over three months that the former exchange has moved any of its assets.
Mt Gox has previously offloaded around $500 million worth of bitcoin, with each sale usually being reflected by severe drops in cryptocurrency markets.
“It appears that the Mt Gox trustees have moved the funds to a walled belonging to an exchange desk,” cryptocurrency analyst Ivo Jonkers told the publication.
“The last time this happened, Mt Gox proceeded to sell the funds at market rate, practically sending the entire market in the red. I wouldn't be surprised if this happens again.”
Some investors have taken to social media to quell fears of an imminent price crash, with some claiming that Mt Gox may have to wait for a court ruling before it is permitted to sell any more of its remaining funds.
Mt Gox trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi has previously claimed that the movement of cryptocurrency from the bankrupt exchange’s cold storage wallets did not affect the price.
“Following consultation with cryptocurrency experts, I sold BTC and BCH [bitcoin cash], not by an ordinary sale through the BTC/ BCH exchange, but in a manner that would avoid affecting the market price, while ensuring the security of the transaction to the extent possible,” Kobayashi said in March.
“Please refrain from analyzing the correlation between the sale of BTC and BCH by us and the market prices of BTC and BCH based on the assumption that the sale was made at the time the BTC and BCH were transferred… as such an assumption is incorrect.”
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