Bitgrail Bitcoin Assets Taken by Italian Government, Victims Still Fuming


Bitgrail Bitcoin Assets Taken by Italian Government, Victims Still Fuming


Embattled cryptocurrency exchange, Bitgrail, announced ongoing bankruptcy proceedings in Italy have turned full force, as the court seized the exchange’s bitcoin wallets. The ecosystem seems decidedly torn between addressing the fundamental cause, a hack that drained $170 million, and making victims whole.  

Also read: William Shatner Joins Bitcoin Mining Project, Admits He Doesn’t Quite Get It

Italian Court Seizes Bitgrail’s Bitcoin 

“On June 5, 2018, pursuant to the Tribunal of Florence orders,” Bitgrail posted Friday, a full eleven days after, “the Bitcoins contained in the company’s wallets were seized and brought under control of the judicial authorities pending further Court decisions in the pre-bankruptcy proceeding.”

Bitgrail Bitcoin Assets Taken by Italian Government, Victims Still Fuming

Reaction was pretty fierce, if Twitter threads can be believed. @LucChase thundered, “Very bad news to see the court seized the remaining assets. Which idiot thought bringing the courts in could ever be a good move? We need Bitgrail to trade it’s way out of this mess. Now it is a guaranteed loss.” @Bitgrailed struck another note, claiming asset seizure was “Better than in your hands Firano.” @asael2 echoed a popular sentiment, asking, “Somebody know where this criminals live? Local authorities should be notified!” @LookItsLewis put a finer point on the affair, “Wow … and so everyone who predicted all of your funds would disappear and you’d shut down were correct. You should have let everyone withdraw their currency while there was still time. This is now (as if it wasn’t already) officially your fault.”

Indeed, the Italian court seized assets in what appears to be a foregone conclusion: bankruptcy, determination of findings, and eventual redistribution of what’s left to outstanding creditors and victims.

Nano Soldiers On

Bitgrail has had a tough go of early 2018, and was more or less shuttered as far back as February. At first it seemed to be the result of a Mt. Gox-like hack, totalling 17 million nano (XRB) worth something on the order of $170 million. Francisco Firano, founder of the exchange, announced its insolvency, attributing losses to the development team and their failure to secure the token. For its part, developers put the blame squarely on Bitgrail, arguing “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.”

Bitgrail Bitcoin Assets Taken by Italian Government, Victims Still Fuming

The Nano Foundation, an advocacy group charging to recover funds, made the above statement in April. By May, Mr. Firano seemed to be attempting a relaunch of the platform, and some say it was in an effort to make victims whole by offering a new token scheme to fill in gaps of losses. The same day Bitgrail announced its return, it announced it would be unable to launch due to a court injunction.

While the exchange seems to be all but dead, the Nano project soldiers on, releasing three node updates, patches, in as many months.  

What do you think about going to courts for relief in such cases? Let us know in the comments. 

Images via the Pixabay.

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