Law Firm Files Bankruptcy Petition Against BitGrail Exchange

BonelliErede Law Firm Files Bankruptcy Petition Against Hacked Crypto Exchange BitGrail

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  • BonelliErede law firm files a bankruptcy petition against BitGrail exchange.
  • The majority would rather see BitGrail file bankruptcy than reopened.

Italy: A representative of BonelliErede, a law firm based in Italy, made an announcement on reddit on Friday, 27th April that the law firm, which is presently representing victims of the BitGrail hack, has filed a petition with an Italian court to pronounce BitGrail bankrupt under article 6 of Italian Bankruptcy Law.

The move by the law firm is the latest development in a war of words and lawyers that took place between Nano Foundation and the founder of BitGrail, Francesco Firano ever since the cryptocurrency exchange reported losing 17 million Nano (XRB) tokens – which worth about $187 million as at that time, but $124 million currently. During an interview, Francesco said the theft took place on 19th January, though the news was first reported on the 8th February.

BitGrailVictimsGroup published a post on Medium stating that BonelliErede is filing the bankruptcy petition on behalf of a BitGrail creditor, Espen Enger, who is representing more than 3000 victims presently. Majority of the victims reported to Espen that they “prefer an immediate accounting of BitGrail’s assets in bankruptcy,” having the fear that their assets may be further depleted:

“In filing for a declaration of bankruptcy, a decision has been made to trust the Italian legal system to resolve the conflict. We are confident that the Italian authorities are best equipped to require Mr. Firano to disclose the facts of what occurred […]  [We] seek an equitable distribution of the assets rather than to permit private resolutions in which some victims might profit over others.”

Nano developing team, last February, posted an accusation that Francesco had asked for the modification of Nano’s ledger “in order to cover his losses,” as well as purportedly “misleading” the crypto community as regards Nano’s solvency.

Francesco replied that the fault does not originate from BitGrail, but from Nano’s “totally unreliable” software, pointing to timestamp irregularities on the Nanode block explorer.

In March, BitGrail made a promise to reimburse its victims, offering to cover 80% of the losses by issuing its own newly created token, BitGrail Shares (BGS), with the remaining 20% in Nano. However, the qualification was that the victims of the hack would have to sign an agreement to decline any legal action taken against BitGrail.

Nonetheless, the legal story exploded in April, when a Unites States class action litigation demanded that the Nano Core Team hard-fork the Nano’s protocol so as to reimburse victims. However, Nano, since then, has chosen to sponsor a legal fund to provide all victims of the BitGrail hack with legal representation, in collaboration with BonelliErede and Enger.

According to a Twitter poll taken by Francesco himself on the 28th February, about 79% of the 7,610 respondents on Twitter would rather see BitGrail file bankruptcy than reopened.

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