Better late than never. After a 10-year wait, former customers of the bankrupt crypto exchange Mt. Gox are finally preparing to be reunited with their lost bitcoins.

Mt. Gox, which once handled 70% of all global Bitcoin transactions, filed for bankruptcy in February 2014 after a series of hacks led to the disappearance of up to 950,000 bitcoins – worth more than $58 billion at today’s prices. Mt. Gox attributed the loss to a bug in the cryptocurrency's framework.

On Friday, the Mt. Gox trustee announced that the company has started making payments in Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash to some of its creditors. Of the missing bitcoins, 140,000 were recovered, meaning roughly $9 billion worth of bitcoin will be returned to owners at today’s prices. In 2014, one bitcoin was valued at about $300, whereas the current price exceeds $55,000.

The announcement also mentioned that repayments to other users of the hacked exchange would be "promptly made" if they meet certain conditions, including account verification and subscribing to one of the designated digital asset exchanges through which the bankruptcy estate is facilitating payments in digital tokens.

One might think this is great news – a defunct exchange making things right. However, it added selling pressure on bitcoin and the broader crypto market. Following the news, BTCUSD dropped to as low as $53,600, its lowest level in four months. The decline led to the liquidation of over $580 million in bullish bets.

BTCUSD Chart by TradingView

Analysts expect the Mt. Gox repayment plan to trigger some heavy selling in Bitcoin, although they believe this will be short-lived and followed by price gains later this year and in early 2025.

The total amount owed to creditors – approximately 140,000 bitcoins – represents about 0.7% of the total 19.7 million bitcoins currently in circulation. Analysts suggest that while this is likely to impact prices, there is enough liquidity available to cushion the blow of any intense sell-off.

Bitcoin, being the world’s major digital asset, sets the trends for the entire crypto market. When Bitcoin declines, other major cryptocurrencies often follow suit. ETHUSD has seen a price drop alongside Bitcoin. Many altcoins are also losing value as investors move away from riskier assets. Stablecoins like Tether (USDT) are also affected by the decreasing confidence in cryptocurrencies.

One should not forget that hacks and cyberattacks on crypto exchanges are commonplace. Mt. Gox is just one of many exchanges that have been compromised. The cryptocurrency market's history is replete with examples of even the most secure platforms being breached. As long as these risks persist, the cryptocurrency market will remain volatile.