BitGrail refuses to admit responsibility for last month’s successful cyber heist on its exchange but plans to reopen and will “voluntarily” reimburse affected customers.
In a recent update published on the BitGrail Victims Telegram chat, the exchange’s founder and operator, Francesco “The Bomber” Firano said that the exchange “still sees themselves as not responsible for the theft and therefore they believe they have no obligation to refund stolen coins”.
In mid-February, hackers managed to steal $170m worth of Nano (NANO) tokens from the exchange, comprising 80% of its total Nano holdings. Firano said he would be pressing charges against the Nano Development Team for making him the victim of “unfounded accusations” and “libellous” announcements which had forced him to bring in the authorities.
In response, Nano said the heist stemmed from a fault in the BitGrail’s software and that Firano has purposefully misled the development team and the community regarding the exchange’s solvency.
Firano also told the Bitgrail Victims group that “purely voluntarily”, the exchange would create a cash fund that will reimburse customers with a new non-withdrawable token, BitGrail Shares (BGS). Affected users will be able to access 20% of their Nano funds and the remaining 80% will be in BGS with the exchange able to buy back the tokens from customers at a fixed price of $10.50 per token. Firano also said that the tokens will be tradeable with other coins at a later date.
BitGrail, which has plans to reopen, will make all non-Nano funds available and withdrawable. However, users will have to sign an agreement that will waiver “all rights for legal action” before they can use the exchange. According to the group’s admin, Firano has not given reasons why the news wasn’t announced through official channels.
The Bitgrail Victims group was set up as a channel of communication between victims of the heist and BitGrail as well as “The Bomber”. According to an FAQ Google doc, the non-affiliated group that is comprised of affected customers, is looking to help BitGrail users recover their funds and update users on any further developments.
According to screenshots between the group’s administrators and Firano, the exchange is currently unable to set up a bank account following the heist and cannot pay for a third-party company to verify the exchanges alleged 50,000 pending users. Verified users will then be able to withdraw their funds.