On Thursday, 26th of April, 2018, BonelliErede — on behalf of a BitGrail creditor who is part of a group of 3000 users damaged by the loss — filed a petition asking an Italian court to declare the entities that operated the Bitgrail exchange bankrupt under article 6 of the Italian Bankruptcy Law. The petition was filed against WebCoin Solutions di Francesco Firano and BG Services S.r.l., formerly BitGrail S.r.l.
On February 9, 2018, Mr. Firano, the owner of Bitgrail, announced “that internal checks revealed unauthorized transactions which led to a 17 million Nano shortfall….” Following this announcement, over 3000 claimants made contact with Espen Enger, a Norweigen citizen who has sought to organize the claims of those who lost money on Bitgrail.
From interactions with the claimants, 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, which in the opinion of many claimants would lead to a further depletion of the remaining assets of Bitgrail. Furthermore, on 18th of February, 2018, Mr. Firano himself hosted a Twitter poll asking the victims if they would prefer Bitgrail to close or reopen — with 79% of those responding voting to close the exchange.
Nearly three months after Mr. Firano announced that his exchange was insolvent, no new evidence has come to light to give the victims hope of recovering their lost property. In filing for a declaration of bankruptcy, a decision has been made to trust the Italian legal system to resolve the conflict. We are confident that the Italian authorities are best equipped to require Mr. Firano to disclose the facts of what occurred and to reach a solution that is in the best interests of the victims.
In choosing to file for bankruptcy, a decision has been made to seek an equitable distribution of the assets rather than to permit private resolutions in which some victims might profit over others. We ask that those who disagree with the decision to file for bankruptcy to respect their fellow victims and to refrain from acting in ways that could undermine the claims of their fellow victims. Most importantly, it is important to respect the judicial process. The victims of the Bitgrail exchange will be most effective in pursuing their interests when they are unified.