BitGrail Re-opens for Three Hours as Italian Court Prevents Operations

BitGrail re-opened on May 2 for three hours before ceasing operations following a deed by the court of Florence. This situation will persist until a decision is made by the court on May 16. 

All coins were available for withdrawal except NANO, previously known as RaiBlocks which is the focus of a legal dispute since funds were stolen in February. NANO operations were set to be re-opened for users in the near future but this will depend on the legal battle.

The announcement to re-open was made on May 1, just days after BitGrail owner Firano 'The Bomber' published an article criticizing comments made to him and the lawsuit that has been set up in response to the exchange's closure in February. 

In the article he published screen shots of a user called TheEnger who threatened to produce a feature film exposing the exchange. He used the messages he received to back up his statement that the lawsuit should be discarded. 

Firano said: "The NANO Developers Team has also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to this “victims fund,” thus taking their part in the blackmail and extortion by the above user. We are also aware that an exchange (Nanex.co) has also donated to this group. We have been informed from studying various similar situations and have come to the conclusion that it takes many years of litigation for a lawsuit to be completed and users will most likely not see anything for 5–7 years, at a minimum."

The BitGrail exchange was closed in February following news of a loss of funds involving the NANO coin. Firano blamed the loss of funds on "known failures in the NANO team's various softwares." However, the creator of NANEX argued that “The RPC API was being used improperly.” He pointed out that there are two options for an exchange, one of which has checks to stop ‘double withdrawal’ and one that does not and that BitGrail used the wrong option.

On April 26, Bonelli Erede filed a bankruptcy petition to an Italian court for BitGrail on behalf of 3,000 users. It was reported that: "Mr. Enger learned that a majority of those who lost money on Bitgrail preferred an immediate accounting of Bitgrail’s assets in bankruptcy rather than a plan announced by Mr. Firano to reopen the Bitgrail exchange."

As an alternative to the lawsuit, BitGrail has proposed a settlement agreement for users who agree not to be part of the lawsuit. Firano said: "BitGrail will commit to the users that, on the first day of every month, 50% of the accrued trading fees of the previous month will be used to reimburse, proportionally to the shares, to those users who have signed the settlement agreement."

The NANO operations will be re-opened once the proposed settlement agreement is presented to those who lost funds and they will only be available to users who have signed the agreement.