Bitgrail exchange reopens; immediately shut down by Italian courts

CLOSED stamp with red text on white background

Just hours after the surprise reopening of the BitGrail exchange it has been ordered to close by “a deed by the court of Florence”.

In February 2018 Italian exchange BitGrail revealed that “unauthorised transactions” had resulted in a loss of $170 million of Nano. As a “precautionary measure” the exchange stopped all exchange deposits and withdrawals.

Victims of the theft banded together to launch a lawsuit to recover whatever funds they could. According to BitGrail, actors involved in the lawsuit were attempting “extortion” of the exchange. In a statement BitGrail said that “various bad actors have tried to take advantage of the situation by creating fake usernames to collect funds and also lawsuits that do not help victims”.

The exchange argues that a lawsuit is “the worst possible outcome for everyone involved, especially the victims” as it may force BitGrail into bankruptcy and “lead to years in court and liquidation of the assets”. Instead the BitGrail team argues that they have “worked extensively to create a fair solution to our users” who have become “victims of unforeseen circumstances that were beyond our control”.  

Yesterday the exchange announced that it was reopening on May 2nd, with “markets and withdrawals will be operating for all coins, except for NANO/XRB”. The NANO/XRB market was planned to start on a future date.

However, within hours of its reopening this morning, the exchange abruptly shut down all trading, announcing on Twitter that the exchange was closed “pending future notice”.

According to the exchange’s news section, they were notified today of “a deed by the court of Florence” demanding “immediate closure of BitGrail”. The exchange will be shuttered “until a decision is made by the courts, about the precautionary suspension request made by the Bonelli law office on behalf of a client”. That decision is due May 16th.

BitGrail notes that though it doesn’t “agree with this decision”, it is “obliged to respect the law and to suspend any BitGrail business immediately”.

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