As expected (and predicted), the bankruptcy judge in Dallas, Texas granted Mt. Gox’s request for an order of “recognition” that the debtor’s Tokyo insolvency action was a “foreign main proceeding.” She will also allow Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy trustee, Nobuaki Kobayahsi, to act as the “foreign representative” of the debtor in connection with whatever relief it might seek in the Chapter 15 case.
Tuesday’s hearing did give a preview to an issue that has apparently been ruminating just under the surface. The attorney for the putative class action plaintiffs noted that a recent filing by Kobayashi indicated that the data that had been on servers in the U.S. had been deleted when the server leases were terminated. The attorney suggested that Kobayashi take steps to preserve that data since it might contain information regarding the bitcoins that had been reported as lost and might be different from the data that had been retained in Japan. The attorney has not filed a formal motion for this relief, without which the bankruptcy judge cannot order relief on this data preservation.
Making some basic decisions dealing with customer claims (involving claims for bitcoin, fiat currency or both) will soon become a hot topic in the Japanese insolvency proceeding. The most recent information from Kobayashi on May 21, 2014 indicated that the final day for filing claims in Japan would be November 28, 2014. But, he has yet to outline the process he proposes for customers from around the world to file their claims or if he will propose a conversion rate(s) to be used to convert bitcoins and the various fiat currencies into claims presented in a common currency. This has not prevented a few creditors in the U.S. from filing proofs of claim with the Texas bankruptcy court asserting their claims in dollars – even before the Chapter 15 case received recognition.
The bankruptcy court did rule that the putative class action plaintiffs have until mid-July to request that the venue of the Chapter 15 case be transferred to another bankruptcy court somewhere in the U.S. They agreed to a deadline to file a motion to transfer venue or have the venue remain in Texas. CoinLab, Inc. had previously reserved the right to seek to transfer the case to another court if any other party requested a change of venue.