Italy Crypto: ‘The Bomber’ Bankrupted, Senate Moves to Define Blockchain
News of fresh cryptoverse developments in Italy are starting to make the rounds in the West. An Italian bankruptcy court has found Francesco Firano, a.k.a. “The Bomber,” as responsible for the loss of 17 million NANO from the now defunct BitGrail crypto exchange. And the nation’s senate has angled toward definitive legal definitions of blockchain and smart contracts.
Subscribe to the Bitsonline YouTube channel for great videos featuring industry insiders & experts
Bomber Down in Italian Bankruptcy Ruling
In news that’s just hit the anglophone world, the Bankruptcy Division of the Court of Florence ruled one week ago that former BitGrail operator Francesco Firano, or The Bomber, was liable for conduct that led to the disappearance of 17 million NANO from the exchange between 2017 and 2018.
In their ruling first published Jan. 21st, the court formally found BitGrail insolvent and declared Firano bankrupt, paving the way for creditors affected by the lost funds to file claims for assets that have been seized by the case’s special administrator.
“In this case, the Company is clearly insolvent, since it is unable to return an equal number of cryptocurrencies of the same kind to its users, following the hacking of Nano on the platform,” the court said.
“The bankruptcy petition is therefore granted.”
While Firano had maintained all along that a hack was responsible for the lost NANO, the court also found that BitGrail’s faulty node infrastructure had allowed traders to make multiple identical withdrawals from the exchange’s NANO cold wallet in 2017.
And while Firano finally alleged publicly that a hack had occurred in Feb. 2018, the court found that millions of NANO had been moved off the exchange via the multiple withdrawals fault at different points in 2017.
Now, creditors will have a chance to file claims with the appointed Receiver, or custodian, any time within 30 days of the case’s next hearing, May 21st, 2019.
The development comes after the Nano Foundation matched victims’ contributions to the bankruptcy petition’s legal fund by up to $1 million USD last spring.
In a Jan. 28th message to the public BitGrail Victims group on Telegram, The Bomber acknowledged the bankruptcy proceedings:
“It was never my intention to go against users. Many of you write to me in private and within the limits of the possibilities I have always tried to keep you updated. What I did is try to avoid bankruptcy that brings benefits only and exclusively to technicians and advocates. I would not be surprised if in [the] future the seized funds are only sufficient to repay legal expenses.”
In a later message to that same chat, Firano noted that beyond the bankruptcy case he hadn’t received any notifications of criminal proceedings against him to date.
What’s in a Blockchain: Italy Moves to Define Terms
As domestic policymakers around the world are scrambling to set out formalized legal definitions for rising blockchain jargon, Italy’s senate, known in country as the Senato della Repubblica, has thrown its hat into the ring.
That’s because the institution published an amendment proposal last week that would define distributed ledgers and smart contracts and would lead to a formal legal basis for blockchain timestamping in the country’s legal system.
While the amendment is small in scope, it echoes the international legislative efforts to grasp blockchain and crypto as of late. For example, in America two members of the bipartisan Congressional Blockchain Caucus have introduced H.R.528, which would similarly define blockchain and other related terms within U.S. law.
As for Italy, their senate’s actions come after Italian officials joined officials from seven other European Union nations last month to make a de facto Southern European blockchain bloc.
“We strongly believe that the use of such a technology may lead to more cooperation in the Mediterranean basin,” the officials said in a joint statement.
What’s your take? Will Italy become a leader in crypto and blockchain in Europe? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images via Pixabay