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Why is Bitcoin’s Tokyo Whale cashing in?

One of the major Bitcoin holders, Nobuaki Kobayashi, better known as the Tokyo Whale has recently begun selling his Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash and now the cryptoworld is watching.

Since last September the trustee for the now-bankrupt Mt.Gox exchange has sold over $400 million of Bitcoin and just as the market begins to plummet, he is rumoured to be planning to offload a further $1.9 billion, reports Bloomberg.

The Japanese business man’s profile has been marred by the colossal hacking of Mt.Gox exchange last year, of which he is bankruptcy trustee and attorney. The exchange, set up by Mark Karpeles was embroiled in still quite a mysterious hack which saw hundreds of millions of coins stolen, half of which have then found their way into rival exchange BTC-e. The whole debacle, Karpeles told the BBC, made him feel like he was ‘about to die’ after falling from a building.

The hacking has since been linked to a Russian named Alexander Vinnik, who, suspected of major crypto laundering was arrested on a beach in Greece last July –  but the Mt.Gox damage, leaving thousands out of pocket, was by that point seemingly irrecoverable. Alas, Kobayashi has stepped in to save the day.

Following a consultation with the courts, the recent sale will, in turn, be the start of the reimbursement process for over 25,000 creditors claiming their money. It’s a start at least as the Whale pushes to sell the coins at the highest possible value he can whilst appeasing the out-of-pocket community watching the exchange’s every move.

The online keyboard-warrior family, of course, have their own thoughts and theories upon the recent sales. One Reddit user is calling to sue Kobayashi, claiming that the BTC market would’ve continued to grow and made a number of millionaires if it wasn’t for the sell-off. The responses are of course greatly entertaining: You want to sue a guy for selling his crypto? Do you always sue people for selling their stuff? You must be a fantastic neighbour’.  Some are now pitting him to have the whole future of the cryptocurrency in his hands, a single dump would send the whole balance into meltdown. Others, however, note that despite the sales recently the market has managed to some degree withhold itself and low and behold the currency remains safely as unstable and unpredictable as ever.

In a space of the 24 hours that have seen the Bitcoin value plunge yet again, and an interesting yet suspicious spike occur for the obscure altcoin Viacoin, the news of Kobayashi selling a fraction of his estate at least can deliver a hint of comfort for former creditors. In the meantime, however, it seems the rest of the crypto-community anxiously hangs in the balance to see what damage the expected larger Bitcoin sales will do.

About the author

Tamara Davison

The Medellin-based Mancunian started her journalism career in a London startup and has since travelled around the globe covering arts and culture news, as well as climbing the Himalayas and being lost in remote places. She claims her knowledge of Bitcoin is a healthy obsession that she picked whilst studying the fascinating repercussions new technology has around the world.

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