Italian Cryptocurrency Exchange, BitGrail shuts down almost immediately after it re-opened

Italian Cryptocurrency Exchange, BitGrail shuts down almost immediately after it re-opened

Bitgrail cryptocurrency exchange which was reportedly hacked in February resumed services last week Wednesday only to shut down three hours later.

Through a Twitter post on May 2, Bitgrail announced that it was reopening its platform after several weeks since it suspended activities. Customers were yet to settle to the news when a second announcement came in three hours later that the exchange would once again be closed.

The cryptocurrency exchange further explained the reason for the shutdown on the news section of its website. The statement read:

“This morning, following the re-opening, we were notified of a deed by the court of Florence requesting the immediate closure of BitGrail and this situation will persist until a decision is made by the courts, about the precautionary suspension request made by the Bonelli law office on behalf of a client.”

The statement explained that the exchange will be forced to close “any Bitgrail business” immediately until May 16 when the case will be heard.

The Bitgrail Hack

On February 8, founder, Francesco Firano claimed that Bitgrail cryptocurrency exchange had been hacked and 14 million Nano tokens (XRB) worth about $187 million were stolen. The exchange confirmed the hack via a post on Twitter and the Nano team put out a post on Medium to tell their side of the story.

The claim of the hack raised speculations among customers and observers who couldn’t tell it was a scam, a bug or indeed a hack. Bitgrail raised suspicions in January when they stopped withdrawals and deposits of Lisk tokens, Crytpoforecast tokens, and Nano tokens—formerly Blockrail tokens. They followed with announcements of new ID verifications and Anti-money laundering (AML) protocols.

Post Bitgrail Hack events: Refund Promises, Litigations, and calls for Bankruptcy

Despite Bitgrail promising to repay victims of the hack, some victims have sought redress in court. Its forced shutdown last week is the result of the latest petition by investors to declare the exchange bankrupt.

Bitgrail had initially asked the Nano team to fork to replace the lost coins but was declined. In March the exchange proposed to repay victims with its own native token, the BitGrail Shares (BGS) token. Victims would receive 80 percent in newly minted BGS and 20 percent XRB while forfeiting the right to petition the exchange in the future.


Solomon Sunny is the market reporter for Smartereum, one of the global leaders in Ethereum, blockchain and currency news. He produces technical price updates on digital currencies and writes recent developments about blockchain.


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