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Cryptocurrency exchange BitGrail contemplates exit scheme on Twitter


Things rarely get more blatant than this. Days after losing roughly $195 million worth of users’ cryptocurrency, sketchy exchange desk BitGrail appears to be contemplating its next step: filing for bankruptcy or launching the platform all anew.

The man behind the exchange desk – loosely identified as developer Francesco Firano, but more commonly known under his pseudonym ‘The Bomber’ – took to Twitter to ask users for advice on how he should proceed with the future of BitGrail.

In a tweet posted in Italian, Firano presented two prospects for BitGrail: bankruptcy or re-launch.

Naturally, the tweet attracted a swath of angered customers asking when – and whether – they will receive their funds back.

Filing for bankruptcy will most likely kill any chance users have of claiming their money back, according to Firano. Re-launching, he says, will mean refunding 20 percent of all lost funds immediately, with plans to reimburse the remaining 80 percent sometime in the future.

Of course, there are no guarantees BitGrail can follow up on such promises. Indeed, the $195 million breach practically made the company insolvent.

The bulk of the stolen funds was stored in Nano – a fledgling blockchain startup previously known as RaiBlocks which accounted for more than 75 percent of BitGrail’s total trading volume. Indeed, one of the reasons many crypto-enthusiasts trusted BitGrail was because the Nano team vouched for the exchange desk.

Following the unfortunate breach, many have argued that Nano should be held accountable for endorsing the dubious exchange desk.

To give you some background, the situation first began taking a turn for the worst, when in late January BitGrail abruptly revealed its platform will soon suspend support for non-European users to comply with certain undisclosed legal troubles.

Instead, the purported legal obstacles turned out to be the beginning of a series of suspicious events that ultimately led BitGrail users to doubt the legitimacy of the platform.

Firano has since stated the company is working with authorities to pursue the hackers, but has not provided any updates on this development. Some users have since questioned the authenticity of these claims.

In any case, this turn of events should hardly come as a surprise. As some more inquisitive Redditors have pointed out, Firano used to proudly boast the following motto.

O muori da programmatore, o vivi tanto a lungo da diventare uno scammer.

Or as it translates in English: “You either die a developer, or live long enough to see yourself become the scammer.”

Published February 20, 2018 — 11:33 UTC