On 9th February 2018, the BitGrail cryptocurrency exchange from Italy released a public statement that it was rendered insolvent after an alleged hack of $170 million.
Read the public statement here: https://bitgrail.com/news
The BitGrail Cryptocurrency Exchange was one of the main portals for trading Nano (formerly RaiBlocks), the cryptocurrency of which 17 million units seem to have been stolen, according to BitGrail founder Francesco Firano. This prompted skepticism after the recent BitGrail activity.
The exchange blocked all withdrawals and deposits of the aforementioned digital coin in early January, as well as the Lisk and CryptoForecast tokens. Then, it announced that users’ identity would have to be verified according to AML protocols, with a potential ban on non-European users – in spite of its independence from the bank of governments.
Following these hacks, Firano asked the developers of the Nano currency to “fork” their records to restore the funds supposedly stolen from the exchange – which came as a surprise, due to the fact that many believe that cryptocurrency transaction records are and must be kept unchanged.
The devs turned down the request publicly, sharing a copy of such conversation with Firano. They said, “We now have sufficient reason to believe that Firano has been misleading the NanoCore Team and the community regarding the solvency of the BitGrail exchange for a significant period of time.”
This hack seems to be a bit more complicated. One day after the company’s announcement, the team behind Nano posted an announcement of its own, in which they claim that Francesco “The Bomber” Firano has contacted them and asked them to modify Nano’s ledger in order to cover the losses. But the Nano team claims there have been no technical issues with Nano’s underlying ledger. “The problems appear to be related to BitGrail’s software,” the announcement said.
The Nano team did not provide further specific evidence of this claim, however, and would have obvious motives for drawing attention away from any security flaws in their own technology. Firano, 31, told the Italian news site Sole24ORE that he has received multiple death threats since announcing the hack and filing a police report, which he said is now being investigated. Users on Twitter and Reddit are circulating photos of Firano, accompanied by implicit and explicit threats.