Source: Crypto Slate
BitGrail Re-launch Shut Down Within 3 Hours By Italian Authorities
Controversial Italian cryptocurrency exchange has been shut down a mere three hours after re-launching operations due to a court order. The suspension followed a brief re-opening on Tuesday, shortly after which Italian authorities demanded that the platform cease operations immediately.
BitGrail received the order shortly after markets were reopened on the platform. During the short three hours of operation, all previously supported currencies were available for trade, with the exception of Nano. In response to the order, BitGrail issued the following statement:
“This morning, following the re-opening, we were notified of a deed by the court of Florence requesting the immediate closure of BitGrail and this situation will persist until a decision is made by the courts, about the precautionary suspension request made by the Bonelli law office on behalf of a client.”
BitGrail Debacle Continues
BitGrail has remained a highly controversial topic within the cryptocurrency community since a hack of the platform in February saw the loss of over 17 million Nano (XRB), with a cumulative value of over $170 million. Subsequent to the hack, BitGrail announced that the loss was caused by “unauthorized transactions,” but did not provide specifics on how the hack occurred.
In response to user requests for information regarding the hack, platform founders provided decidedly terse answers:
— Francesco The Bomber (@bomberfrancy) February 10, 2018
Further details emerged regarding the hack that resulted in the filing of a major class action lawsuit and the establishment of a legal fund for affected users wanting to engage in legal action. The legal fund, created by the Nano foundation, will be matched on a dollar basis by Nano until the fund reaches $1 million.
Legal Battle Heats Up
The precautionary suspension request that resulted in the court order appears to have originated from Italian law firm BonneliErede, who last week filed a petition with the Italian court system asking for the courts to declare BitGrail bankrupt.
The court order, as translated by CryptoSlate staff states that the immediate suspension of the platform was executed as a fumus boni iuris, or protective injunction:
“The opening of the BitGrail platform … involves the concrete danger of depletion of the assets (lost in the hack) and possible dispersion of the means of proof for the ascertainment of the causes (of the) loss of Nano, so that the (danger in delay of action) exists that justifies the immediate adoption of the requested measure … to stem this danger”
The court order also appoints lawyer Tommaso Ariani as the curator and custodian of the Bitgrail platform, supported by Swiss computer forensics specialist Dr. Paolo Dal Checco as a technical assistant. The order continues by clarifying the measures placed against the platform:
“(The court) orders the BG Services (Bitgrail) to keep the exchange platform www.bitgrail.com blocked with immediate effect, the immediate cessation of operations, to block and obscure the website www.bitgrail.com, and inhibit the execution of transactions and withdrawals by users of the same (BitGrail)”
With the appointment of a forensic specialist, it’s possible that the court-ordered investigation of the BitGrail hack could shed some light on the cause of the hack. In the meantime, however, the court ordered suspension will prevent the loss of any further user capital.
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