For those who have not been keeping tabs on the news, the Italian BitGrail exchange claims it lost not less than US$170 million worth of the Nano currency due to a hack. Ever since this news was made public, a lot of people have doubted this platform suffered any hack. Until proven otherwise, however, we will have to assume something malicious has indeed taken place. It does not appear that the stolen Nano funds have been dumped into the markets as of right now, but that could change.
What makes people doubt the “hack” story even further is the recent Twitter poll posted by the BitGrail exchange operator. More specifically, “Francesco the Bomber”, who currently owns and operates the exchange, is wondering how he should proceed. A Twitter poll question written in Italian asks users whether or not he should file for bankruptcy or simply reopen the exchange. There is no mention of refunding users or absorbing the losses in one way or another.
While it is not uncommon for hacked exchanges to come back online, they never ask for users’ opinions regarding these matters. Relaunching a hacked platform should only occur if and when the original security flaw has been addressed. Moreover, most BitGrail users want to get their money back first and foremost, yet it seems unlikely that will happen anytime soon at this rate. In fact, it is possible there never was any hack and that the funds have simply been in the hands of Francesco all along. It seems unlikely we will ever get the full truth behind this story, unfortunately.
As one would expect, most Twitter users have not taken too kindly to this Twitter poll. It only further fuels speculation that BitGrail was never breached in the first place, yet there is no actual reason to think otherwise as of right now. With this Twitter poll, the BitGrail owner has certainly stirred up a hornet’s nest, even though no one is too sure what he hoped to achieve by doing so.
A recovery plan for BitGrail would be a far more suitable outcome. It seems a lot of users are willing to take their share of the losses, assuming a recovery plan is put in place to reimburse users down the line. So far, Francesco has not demonstrated any intention of doing so, even though showing some goodwill would certainly help his case.
Surprisingly, most Twitter respondents voted in favor of BitGrail filing for bankruptcy. Doing so would mean users could not quickly recoup their losses. It might give affected users legal ground to file a lawsuit, but even that offers no guarantee of getting back one’s money either. Assuming such a lawsuit is actually filed, it will take years, if not decades, until a verdict is rendered. It seems there is no way for BitGrail’s customers to win unless this money is suddenly reimbursed to them out of the blue.