Italian exchange BitGrail has announced that “unauthorised transactions” have led to a loss of around $170 million of the cryptocurrency Nano. The police have been informed and as a “precautionary measure” all deposits and withdrawals from the exchange have been halted. No other currencies on the exchange are reported to have been affected.

Further information has come from Twitter user “Francesco the Bomber”, who is apparently BigGrail’s owner, Francesco Firano. Unlike with the Coincheck hack, it seems that BitGrail will not be compensating its investors, at least not in full. Claiming the exchange has insufficient funds he said, “Unfortunately there is no way to give it back to you at 100% (we only got 4 MLN XRN right now)”.

Firano has accused the Nano developers of not helping to find a solution to the problem, saying, “The devs, as you have guessed, don’t want to collaborate”. The Nano team have responded with claims of their own.

First, they believe that the problems “appear to be related to BitGrail’s software” and not because of “an issue in the Nano protocol”. Next they allege that Firano asked them to change the ledger to erase the unauthorised trades and “cover his losses ”. The Nano team say this is “not possible nor is it a direction we would ever pursue.”

Finally they state that they believe that Firano has been dishonest about the exchange’s financial position. They write that they 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.

They conclude that they are closing down dialogue with Firano and instead preparing their materials so they may cooperate fully with law enforcement.

The Nano price has dropped as news of the theft has spread. At time of writing it stands at $8.11, down 20% over the last 24 hours.

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