Dear Nano Community: We recognize that it has been some time since we’ve spoken publicly about BitGrail’s insolvency or the related ongoing investigations. This is because we have been advised to keep our efforts private in order to best assist law enforcement and the victims’ attorneys in Italy. Despite our low profile, significant progress is being made on a daily basis in the pursuit of justice for the BitGrail victims. To that end, we are reaching out today to share an important update for those impacted by the insolvency.
Upon learning that BitGrail was insolvent on February 8, 2018, we immediately launched a wide-ranging investigation into what happened and how we as an organization of programmers could best support the victims. While Nano Foundation has no control over how third-parties use Nano, we do believe that we can help to promote and empower good behavior. By mid-February, we decided that the best way to offer our help was to sponsor a legal fund to provide all victims with equal access to legal representation. We felt it was important to help ensure that victims who could not afford their own representation would receive the same quality of representation as those who could.
From there, we began to assess how to appropriately distribute that fund and ensure it was used as effectively as possible. As part of these efforts, on February, 24, 2018, we made contact with Espen Enger, a representative of nearly 600 BitGrail victims at the time — now over 1400, announcing our plans to help establish a legal fund. We had a series of productive initial discussions with Mr. Enger. Over time we became confident that Mr. Enger was the best prepared person to manage a legal fund and a large group of BitGrail victims in their pursuit of justice in Italy (the home country of Francesco Firano). Shortly, thereafter, we met with Mr. Enger and the Italian law firm Bonelli Erede.
We have been very encouraged by the progress that has been made to date by both Mr. Enger and Bonelli Erede. As a result, we are announcing today that Nano will be matching the contributions of the victims to the legal fund established by Mr. Enger — including both past and future donations, for up to $1 million — with a goal of establishing a total legal fund valued at $2 million.
So far, the victims represented by Mr. Enger have raised over $300,000 in multiple currencies (including over 53,000 Nano) on their own, which today will double to a value of over $600,000 with our donation. Going forward, we will match the donations received until we have met our joint goal of establishing a total legal fund worth $2 million. To join the efforts of the 1400 victims seeking justice in Italy, send an email to Mr. Enger at firstname.lastname@example.org, providing your name, country of residence and the amount of Nano in your BitGrail account. Mr. Enger will respond to each and every claim received. You can track and read updates concerning the legal action being taken here. To make a donation in any currency to the legal fund, either donate to one of the official BTC, ETH, LTC donation addresses located here, the official Nano donation address or contact Mr. Enger at email@example.com to make a donation in any other currency.
Our team and Mr. Enger have agreed that the legal fund will be spent solely on the efforts of the victims to pursue their legal interests in connection with the BitGrail insolvency. Mr. Enger has assured us that any money remaining after those efforts will be returned to the victims. Beyond the donations we make, Nano Foundation will not have any access to or control over the funds.
We expect all future updates regarding the victims’ legal actions to come from Mr. Enger. Nano remains available to assist Mr. Enger and Bonelli Erede with any requests for information or technical assistance.
With regards to the ongoing investigations, we continue to cooperate with all relevant law enforcement authorities, and are doing our best to help advance their investigations. To date, all reliable evidence we have reviewed continues to point to a bug in BitGrail’s exchange software as the reason for the loss of funds.
While we recognize that the total value of the legal fund pales in comparison to the funds lost by the BitGrail victims, we are hopeful that it will give the victims the best chance to maximize their recovery. It is our belief that through ethical stewardship the cryptocurrency community will make much needed progress in their shared effort to convince individuals, institutions and governments worldwide that global, decentralized currencies are feasible, stable and worthy of support. Most of all, cryptocurrencies rely on the support of passionate, diverse and vibrant communities of users. To that end, we are very thankful for the Nano community and hope that together we can achieve our goals.