The Italian cryptocurrency exchange BitGrail announced it has lost 17 million units of the cryptocurrency Nano, worth about 170 million USD. A message posted on the exchange website states that “internal sources reveal unauthorized transactions that have led to a shortage of 17 million Nano, which were part of the BitGrail-managed portfolio”.
BitGrail has informed the authorities about the case and denies that other cryptocurrencies are affected. However, it will temporarily suspend all withdrawals and deposits.
The publication was unable to contact a BitGrail representative before publishing the information.
This is the second major attack on the cryptocurrency exchange this year. The Tokyo-based Coincheck reported in January that hackers have broken security measures and stole 530 million USD in assets of the customers.
The most scandalous case has so far been the theft of 460 million USD from the Japanese Mt. Gox in 2014.
The cryptocurrency exchanges are an appealing target for hackers. Because they keep a history, bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions can not be deleted, which means that when a hacker can transfer an asset from an online portfolio elsewhere, this asset is very hard to get back.
The price of Nano drops by 6.5% to 10.21 USD. It’s a less popular digital currency with a monthly trade volume of about 53 million USD. Only a dozen exchanges deal with Nano, including BitGrail. None of them have large volumes of transactions.
Nano is the most traded virtual currency in BitGrail in volume. The currency is new, launched in 2015. The development team announced last week that it had re-branded the symbol.