A few weeks ago, Bitgrail announced that it will be suspending all XRB withdrawals for its non-EU customers, effective immediately. According to the Florence-based exchange, this move is in compliance with the recent KYC-policies, which has been rather stringent lately. NANO, which was still known as Raiblocks at that time, saw its price drop after the announcement, going from $20.17 to $13.47.
XRB deposits and withdrawals currently suspended for internal system optimization.
Thanks for understanding.
— BitGrail Exchange (@BitGrail) January 28, 2018
Ever since that statement was released, waves of FUD and unease have been spreading like wildfire across the crypto community. Rumors about a hack as well as speculations that the Bitgrail exchange being a scam became the go-to topic of every crypto investment forum.
Bitgrail Releases Statement Admitting To System Failure
Today, the inevitable happened. At 21:30 UTC, Feb. 9, Bitgrail released a statement on its official website admitting to its service failure, which led to the disappearance of 17 million NANO coins. At the current conversion rate, that accounts for a $170 million loss.
To put this into perspective, 17 million NANO coins is almost 12.8% of all existing NANO coins out there. In other words, 1 in every 8 NANO coins went missing in the Bitgrail fiasco.
Reddit Explodes With Rage
Across the /r/nanocurrency subreddit, NANO investors were livid with fury.
“You either die a programmer or become a scammer,” said one user, wistfully.
The funny thing is, this phrase is exactly what one of the moderators of the Bitgrail subreddit, Francesco had in his Twitter bio. Francesco was also the one who first released the statement about Bitgrail suspending all XRB withdrawals two weeks ago.
Edit: Francesco’s Twitter bio has since been modified.
Binance Shows Support
A few hours after this tragedy, the CEO of Binance tweeted that they have contacted the NANO developer team regarding this incident and will be freezing deposits from identified addresses as they receive them. This move is to prevent any massive selloffs of the stolen digital currency on their exchange.
We are in contact with Nano team (re: Bitgrail) and will freeze deposits from identified addresses as we receive them. This is one reason we require coin CEO/founder to submit listing requests. Binance will assist where we can. We need to work together to protect users.
— CZ (@cz_binance) February 10, 2018
This scam comes just two weeks after the CoinCheck hack, where $53 million worth of NEM coins were stolen from the Japanese exchange.