Back in mid-February, Italian-based cryptocurrency exchange BitGrail, most widely known for being among the first exchanges to offer Nano (at the time known RaiBlocks), was hacked with losses amounting to over $170 million. Over 17 million Nano were stolen in the “hack,” which the Nano community and dev team consider may actually be simple mismanagement, or worse, BitGrail laundering the money.
However, BitGrail appears to be attempting to clear its name of any wrongdoing, according to a statement claimed to be from Francesco Firano, the founder of BitGrail that also goes by the handle “The Bomber.”
The document, which was published by the Telegram group BitGrailVictims - formed after the hack as a means for the community to unite, seek justice and retribution - says that BitGrail plans to reopen soon, considers itself not responsible for the theft, and it will take steps to reimburse customers who lost funds during the hack.
BitGrail’s plan to reimburse investors will see the creation of a new token, BitGrailShares. Users who lost their Nano will receive 20% of their original balance returned in Nano, while the remaining 80% will be replaced by BitGrailShares. Users will not be able to withdraw BitGrailShares, but will be able to trade them. At the close of each month, BitGrail will use up to 50% of profits generated that month to buy BitGrailShares back from its customers at $10.5 per token.
BitGrail will also resume trading and reopen withdrawals for customers. However, in order to use the platform and withdraw any funds remaining on the exchange, they will first have to sign and upload a waiver releasing BitGrail from any future legal action and claims.
BitGrail still has some hurdles to jump through. BitGrail must first receive permission from European authorities before non-European customers will be able to exchange the tokens for the promised $10.5 rate. More importantly, since the reimbursement is dependent on monthly profits, it may take a long time before investor confidence is restored enough in BitGrail for enough revenue to be generated to reach enough profitability to fully reimburse customers. Given BitGrail and the reputation of The Bomber, this may never happen.