Tech

Dennis Wafula

Bitgrail clients want Italian court to declare exchange bankrupt

Victims of the BitGrail hack in February has filed a petition asking an Italian court to declare the cryptocurrency exchange bankrupt.

BitGrail reportedly fell victim to a hack early this year, resulting in the loss of 14 million Nano coins worth $187 million at the time. The hack was reported on February 8, but BitGrail owner Francesco Firano told CoinTelegraph that the theft happened on January 19.

Last week, Italian law firm BonelliErede filed a bankruptcy petition on behalf of BitGrail creditor Espen Enger, who allegedly was in contact with more than 300 claimants. According to a Medium post, most of the alleged BitGrail victims were concerned that their assets will be depleted further, which was why they “prefer an immediate accounting of BitGrail’s assets in bankruptcy.”

Nano developers previously claimed Firano had asked for the altcoin’s ledger to be modified “so as to cover his losses” and allegedly “misleading” the community regarding the exchange solvency. In his defense, Firano claimed the fault did not lay with the exchange, but originated with Nano’s “totally unreliable” protocol leading to timestamp inconsistencies on the Nanode block explorer.

BitGrail vowed to refund the victims. In mid-March, the cryptocurrency exchange proposed to issue a newly-minted BitGrail Shares (BGS) token, which it said would cover 80% of the losses. The remaining 20% would be covered in XRB, according to BitGrail. However, victims would need to sign an agreement to forgo any legal action against the exchange.

This is the second lawsuit filed against BitGrail. In April, U.S. law firm Silver Miller filed a lawsuit on behalf of Alex Brola, an investor who sunk $50,000 into the Nano currency in 2017. In its lawsuit, Silver sought to have the altcoin conduct a hard fork that could “reset” its amount to where it was before the theft took place.

In response to the lawsuit, the Nano Foundation announced it would sponsor a legal fund to provide all BitGrail victims with legal representation.

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