It has become evident that some things are not adding up for the BitGrail exchange. Not too long ago, the company made an unpopular decision to shut down the service for all users outside the EU without much in the way of prior warning. Earlier this week, the company allegedly lost US$170 million worth of cryptocurrency due to a hack. It is only normal that people would start to speculate this may not have been a hack after all, although there is no real evidence to support such speculation.
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO BITGRAIL?
The decision to limit the BitGrail exchange service to European users was rather controversial. A lot of people are not too happy about this decision, mainly because they had no say in the matter. Moreover, they were forced to liquidate all of their Nano – formerly Raiblocks – holdings and withdraw money in Bitcoin only. At that time, a lot of people feared the exchange owner might attempt to pull an exit scam, although no evidence has ever been provided to back up such claims.
Things only get more confusing now that the exchange has apparently “lost” US$170 million worth of Nano due to a hack. While the timing of this incident is rather interesting, we will have to wait and see whether or not there is an actual hack to speak of. According to the exchange’s owner, the police are already on the matter and an official investigation is underway as we speak. There is no reason to doubt the owner’s credibility in this regard.
What makes this situation even more remarkable is the fact that BitGrail offers a large number of other currencies. For some reason, only the Nano currency was affected by this hack, as the thieves didn’t steal any of the other accessible funds. While it is true BitGrail holds a significant amount of Nano – or held, anyway – it is unclear why the “hacker” didn’t go after all the money in one go.
All withdrawals and deposits to and from BitGrail remain suspended until further notice. It is unclear how long it will be until the service resumes its operations. It is not the first time a cryptocurrency has gotten hacked, mind you, and it will not be the last. Centralized exchanges are a major security concern when it comes to cryptocurrency trading, and the need for decentralized peer-to-peer solutions is only becoming more apparent as time progresses.
Additionally, some users are wondering whether or not BitGrail will reimburse them for their losses. The way things stand right now, that seems highly unlikely, as it is doubtful the company has another US$170 million in reserves to cover these losses. We will have to wait and see how this situation evolves, as this latest “hack” may put BitGrail out of business for good. Given all of the negative speculation surrounding this exchange already, this may very well be the final nail in the coffin of the Italian exchange.
As one would expect, the news has impacted the Nano price in a negative manner. With a 6.63% drop in the coin’s dollar value and a 13.59% decline against Bitcoin, it’s evident someone is pushing the XRB price down as we speak. With Binance leading the charge in terms of trading volume, it is unclear if some of the stolen funds were moved there. The latest price recorded on BitGrail is certainly a lot lower compared to all other exchanges, even though there’s only US$3 million worth of daily volume to speak of. With US$170 million to be potentially liquidated on the market over the coming days, things are not looking all that great for Nano.
Source: The Merkle