Italian Crypto Exchange BitGrail claimed $195m Loss Due To Hackers

Last week ended with not-so-bright news for an intriguing Italian cryptocurrency exchange called BitGrail. What actually happened is that they claimed they were attacked by hackers that lead to the approximate $195 million worth of customers’ loss in cryptocurrency. However, the developers who created the stolen cryptocurrency claimed that this may not be completely true.

It’s already known that cryptocurrency exchanges, more often than ever, are becoming the target for high-tech criminals. This week began by the news that hackers used Australian government websites to mine cryptocurrency, but they said they “got off lightly” and that “situation could have been much more worse”.

BitGrail, based in Italy, is one of many exchanges globally which allow the trading of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and it was, until recently one of the main portals for the trading of Nano, a cryptocurrency formerly known as RaiBlocks. Last Thursday, BitGrail founder Francesco Firano claims to have discovered that 17 million Nano tokens, then worth roughly $195 million, had been stolen by hackers. He said that there’s no way to refund 100 percent of what users lost.

He tweeted:


BitGrail’s loss surely cannot be compared as Mt. Gox’s, there is no doubt that there are certain similarities. The Nano team said that they have no “reason to believe the loss was due to an issue in the Nano protocol” and that the “problems appear to be related to BitGrail’s software.

They said that Firano informed them of missing funds from BitGrail’s wallet and that the option that he suggested, was to modify the ledger in order to cover his losses. That, they explained, was not possible, nor is it a direction they would ever pursue.

They added: “We now have sufficient reason to believe that Firano has been misleading the Nano Core Team and the community regarding the solvency of the BitGrail exchange for a significant period of time.”

At the beginning of the year, BitGrail announced that they will enforce identity verification and anti-money laundering protocols for its users, and potentially block non-European users, despite the fact that it did not deal with government currencies or banks. That decision made a lot of people pretty angry, mainly because they had no rights in the matter. Don’t forget that they were also, in a way, forced to liquidate all of their Nano holdings and withdraw money in Bitcoin only. At that time, a lot of people feared the exchange owner might attempt to pull an exit scam, although there was no concrete evidence.

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Teuta Franjkovic

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