Digital doubts after Bitcoin Debacle

Tibanne, the holding company of collapsed bitcoin exchange MtGox, is looking to sell its trademarks including the word 'bitcoin', according to the Wall Street Journal.

The company hopes to raise at least 100m yen ($1m, €0.72m, £0.58m) from the sale of bitcoin trademarks in Japan and the European Union as well as the domain name, the WSJ said, citing a company executive.

The executive noted that Tibanne had no use for the trademarks, and therefore it planned to sell them.

Tibanne received approval for using the bitcoin trademark in Japan and the EU in 2012. The trademarks will expire in 2021 in the EU and in 2022 in Japan, if the company does not renew it.

It is unclear if the company would use the sale proceeds to pay back MtGox's creditors. Tibanne has no obligation to repay the 127,000 creditors of MtGox, according to lawyers familiar with bankruptcy proceedings of the exchange.

However, MtGox creditors were of the view that Tibanne should use at least a part of the proceeds to help them.

"Even though the company is not obligated to, it should repay customers with assets it has. That's the way it should be. For anyone it's obvious that Tibanne and Mt. Gox were operating as one company," the WSJ quoted Keiichi Hida, a Mt. Gox creditor, as saying.

Tibanne is headed by former MtGox CEO Mark Karpeles and the two companies share the same office address in Tokyo's Shibuya district.

MtGox, which at one point hosted 80% of the world's bitcoin trades, collapsed after reporting that 850,000 bitcoins were stolen in what it claims was the result of a two-year long cyber attack. The company later said it recovered about 200,000 of the missing bitcoins.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan on 28 February and subsequently in the US.

The exchange later filed for liquidating its assets following its failure to restructure its business under the country's bankruptcy protection scheme.

Subsequently, a Tokyo court ordered the administrator of the bitcoin exchange to start liquidating the company's assets to pay back its creditors.