BitGrail Operator May Have Hacked Own Exchange to Steal €120M, Police Allege

Italian police said the Florence-based man is either behind the breaches or took no action after the first attack came to light.

AccessTimeIconDec 21, 2020 at 4:04 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:46 a.m. UTC

A man who ran the now-bankrupt BitGrail exchange may have been behind a series of hacks that stole €120 million ($146.55 million) in cryptocurrency from his own platform, Italian police claimed Monday.

  • It's estimated that 230,000 BitGrail users lost funds in the breaches, which targeted the platform's stores of the nano cryptocurrency, as reported by Reuters.
  • The police said the perpetrator, a 34-year-old man from Florence named only as "F.F.", is either behind the breaches or took no action to prevent them after the first attack came to light.
  • “It is not yet clear whether he participated actively in the theft or if he simply decided not to increase security measures after discovering it,” Ivano Gabrielli, director of the national centre for cyber crimes, said in Reuters' report.
  • While in February 2018, F.F. contacted the Italian police to report the first hack, Italian authorities said it would have been simple to avoid later hacks, but instead, he "knowingly failed to prevent them.”
  • The accused man faces charges of computer fraud, fraudulent bankruptcy and money-laundering.
  • The amount lost in the attacks is the largest from a hack in Italy and one of the largest worldwide, according to police.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Read more about