Italian Lawyers File Against Hacked Crypto Exchange BitGrail

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Italian Lawyers File Against Hacked Crypto Exchange BitGrail

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Hacked exchange BitFrail will be declared bankrupt if lawyers representing the victims are successful in winning their case in an Italian court.

This is yet another episode in a legal saga surrounding BitGrail, which began when a US class action was filed against the company in order to compensate victims for the loss of 17 million XRB (Nano) tokens, thought to have been stolen in January of this year. They were worth about USD 187 million at the time the theft was reported.

The file for bankruptcy against BitGrail by Italian law firm BonelliErede is the latest development in an argument between BitGrail’s owner, Francesco “The Bomber” Firano, and the peer-to-peer platform, The Nano Foundation.

The original hacking prompted BitGrail to freeze trading in February, followed by the Nano community starting a legal fund through creditor Espen Enger who represented nearly 600 victims at the time. Reportedly, BonelliErede is now filing the bankruptcy petition on behalf of Enger who has made contact with over 3,000 claimants who made a statement indicating that a speedy and “equitable” resolution was needed:

“In filing for a declaration of bankruptcy, a decision has been made to trust the Italian legal system to resolve the conflict. We are confident that the Italian authorities are best equipped to require Mr Firano to disclose the facts of what occurred […] [We] seek an equitable distribution of the assets rather than to permit private resolutions in which some victims might profit over others.”

In February, Nano developers accused Firano of asking for the altcoins ledger to be modified, misleading the community as to the financial solvency of the company. Firano, in turn, blamed Nano’s software accusing the company of employing a “totally unreliable” protocol.

In March, Bitgrail said that they would refund victims of the hacking to cover 80% of their losses by issuing a new token (BGS) and the remaining 20% in XRB. However, victims were required to sign off on taking any further legal action against the exchange.

Nano has recently released a statement promising:

“Nano will be matching the contributions of the victims to the legal fund established by Mr Enger — including both past and future donations, for up to USD 1 million — with a goal of establishing a total legal fund valued at USD 2 million.”

So far, the victims represented by Enger have raised over USD 300,000 in multiple currencies (including over 53,000 Nano). Nano claims this amount has now doubled after its contribution.

image source: – Jessica 45


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