BitGrailVictimsGroup, an advocacy group on January 28 announced that an Italian Bankruptcy Court has ruled against Francesco Firano, the owner of Bitgrail cryptocurrency exchange. Firano claimed that the exchange was hacked and 17 million Nano tokens (about $170 million) were stolen. However, the court has charged him for negligence and authorized the seizure of his assets to restitute affected customers.
Italian Court Asks Authorities to Seize Firano’s Assets
Per the report, an Italian Bankruptcy Court and a technical expert appointed by the court on January 21, 2019, demanded that Francesco Firano be declared bankrupt and the authorities should seize his assets. The Bomber as the founder calls himself stated that 17 million Nano tokens were stolen from the exchange in February 2018.
However, the court’s ruling has faulted Firano for the loss of his customers, and as such, his assets will be used to compensate these clients. So far, $1 million has been seized from The Bomber, and millions worth of cryptocurrencies owned by the exchange has been confiscated, said the report.
Hack Had Occurred Before the Founder’s Announcement
Based on the court’s findings, the hack on the exchange occurred in July and October 2017 where 2.5 million and 7.5 million Nano tokens were respectively moved. Nonetheless, the founder did not inform his customers on time to mitigate losses. Rather, he waited till February 9, 2018, to alert them of the missing Nano tokens, said the court.
Firano’s negligence has also been attributed to his failure to have put safety standards in place and most especially, make the site idempotent. Here, it was possible for a user who had already received their tokens after a withdrawal request, to make the same request again. Alternatively, the court pointed out that this fraudulent act was enabled by the exchange itself which made multiple requests for withdrawal when a user sent it once.
Bitgrail, Popular Platform for Trading Nano Tokens
Bitgrail, the exchange in question, was popularly known as a platform for trading Nano, a digital asset formerly known as RaiBlocks. The Italian Criminal Prosecutors revealed that before the owner of the exchange reported its hack, he had moved 230 Bitcoins to The Rock Trading virtual currency exchange. Firano was also said to have made attempts to withdraw from a Bitcoin ATM owned by the exchange.
Asides triggering the suspicion of its customers, Nano team, the developers of the coin was also sceptical about the claims. According to the media, the founder had asked them to create a forked version of the tokens and replace it with what was missing. Alternatively, the developers on February 9 publicized his request and stated that the Firano has been misleading the team.
BTCNN also reported on January 15 that Cryptopia, a New Zealand exchange stated that they were hacked on January 14. On that note, investigations are being carried out by the New Zealand police. But then, many made have made an allegation that it could be an “exit scam”.