An Italian cryptocurrency exchange by the name of BitGrail has become the latest victim of cyber-attacks. On Friday, 17 million Nano (XRB) (formerly known as RaiBlocks) tokens were swiped from the exchange, amounting to $170 million in losses. News of the hack pushed Nano down 23.23%, through afternoon trading on Saturday, February 10, 2018.
BitGrail is not the only exchange to be targeted by a large scale hack this year. The Japanese exchange Coincheck had $530 million in digital currency stolen just last month.
Korean exchanges Youbit and Nicehash were also attacked in December. The attacks resulted in the shutdown of Youbit. Nicehash, on the other hand, lost $70 million in cryptocurrency.
BitGrail did not refer to the loss as a hack. Rather, they stated in a note on their website that “internal checks revealed unauthorized transactions which led to a 17 million Nano shortfall.”
The owner of BitGrail, “Francesco The Bomber” Firano, informed users via Twitter that they could not reimburse users with 100% of their losses. The exchange only has 4 million Nano in their possession; less than half of what was stolen.
It seems that BitGrail is engaged in a dispute with the developers of Nano. Firano stated on social media that the developers did not want to cooperate. In a different tweet, he referenced “unfounded accusations” the dev team had made against him. It appears private conversations between Firano and developers had been leaked, prompting him to get the police involved.
According to developers, Firano had requested that Nano ledgers be altered in order to cover the losses. They released an official statement via the Medium blog, saying “we have sufficient reason to believe that Firano has been misleading the Nano Core Team and the community regarding the solvency of the BitGrail exchange for a significant period of time.”
All transactional activity through BitGrail was suspended following the hack. Many BitGrail users felt the response of the exchange was poorly handled. Members of the Nano community are currently working together to file a class action lawsuit.
Nano prices continue to see selling pressure following the hack. However, other major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum seem to be unaffected and continued to rally.
Article By: Frank Marino-Moore