In the latest twist to the ongoing Nano/XRB and BitGrail saga, an American investor named Alex Brola has become the face-case for a class action lawsuit that has been brought against Nano. The lawsuit is being handled by the Steven Miller law firm and it is in regards to the recovery of the XRB coins that were stolen from the BitGrail cryptocurrency exchange platform in February 2018. BitGrail which is an Italian based cryptocurrency exchange platform had been the largest platform for XRB transactions handling about three-quarters of the total global XRB trade. XRB is the native coin of the Nano blockchain protocol.
The story began when BitGrail was hacked in February 2018 and about $150 million in XRB tokens was stolen. In the aftermath of the hack, Francesco Firano, popularly known as ‘the bomber’, was roundly criticized for the way and manner in which he handled the situation. There were suspicions that he may have been involved in the theft seeing as the only tokens stolen from his platform were the XRB tokens.
Even before the hack, traders on the BitGrail platform were already gearing up for a lawsuit as they were unable to make withdrawals from the platform. This was a violation of the platform’s terms of service. The Nano development team accused BitGrail of having a faulty security system which they claim aided the hackers. When the theft occurred, Nano issued a statement saying that it was distancing itself from the exchange platform. For their own part, BitGrail alleges that the theft of the coins was not due to any fault of theirs. Instead, they lay the blame firmly at the door of Nano claiming that the theft was made possible by flaws in the blockchain software.
When trouble rises up in the crypto community, a hard fork is usually one of the options on the table. In fact, this has been the response used by a number of blockchains in the aftermath of hacking. XRB traders on the BitGrail platform were incensed when Firano stated that the platform had no way to pay investors who had lost their money due to the hack. He instead proposed that the development team at Nano perform a hard fork so as to restore the funds of the affected investors. In response, Nano has made it clear that they have no interest in carrying out a hard fork.
Now, the investors are suing Nano, alleging that Nano had knowledge of the fact that BitGrail was facing a number of issues yet it did nothing to discontinue its association with the platform. The plaintiffs are accusing Nano of being partly complicit in the hack of February 2018. The lawsuit wants the court to compel Nano to carry out a hard fork so that they can be compensated for their losses.
Needless to say, that this is a legal grey area. Some commentators who have spoken on the matter have acknowledged the unprecedented nature of the case. According to the suit, the plaintiffs claim that the defendants (Nano) are unwilling to take any action due to the fact that they now have a significant advantage over the average XRB holder. All eyes will be on the court to see how the case proceeds.