An Italian court has given an order for the immediate seizure of bitcoins belonging to wallets of cryptocurrency exchange, BitGrail. This order is a part of the BitGrail’s bankruptcy proceedings. In a statement on June 15, 2018, the digital currency exchange company announced that its assets had been seized and further revealed that it had turned over the bitcoin wallets on June 5 following an order from the Tribunal of Florence. According to the statement on the BitGrail official website:
“On June 5, 2018, pursuant to the Tribunal of Florence orders, the Bitcoins contained in the company’s wallets were seized and brought under control of the judicial authorities pending further Court decisions in the prebankruptcy proceeding.”
Seventeen Million Nano (XRB) Lost to Cyber Hackers
The BitGrail platform encountered a significant cyber-attack in February 2018, this led to the loss of about seventeen million Nano (XRB), which was equivalent to about $180 million as at when the exchange suffered the hack. Nano (XRB) formerly known as RaiBlocks is a cryptocurrency that was also listed in BitGrail’s exchange and the cyber-attack also resulted in an immediate halt of trading on the BitGrail exchange. According to the founder of BitGrail, Francesco Firano, these seventeen million missing Nano were nearly all of the platform’s Nano (XRB) reserves; he also insisted that it would be impossible to return the stolen Nano (XRB).
Due to the uncertainty on whose platform was attacked by the hackers at that time, this cyber hack also resulted to a disagreement and controversy between the Nano foundation and BitGrail exchange as both parties tried to blame the cyber theft on one another. Later in April, Nano’s developer team insisted that a bug in the exchange’s software platform had led to the loss of the funds and accused Firano of covering BitGrail’s vulnerabilities for a lengthy period. Nano’s team stated that: “To date, all reliable evidence we have reviewed continues to point to a bug in BitGrail’s exchange software as the reason for the loss of funds.” The Nano foundation also announced that it would assist the clients who lost their funds in the cyber-attack in recovering them.
Despite being hit by these previous controversies and setbacks, BitGrail exchange decided to re-open in May. However, the exchange was forced to shut down merely three hours after re-opening as a court approved a petition to halt the exchange company from resuming its operations.