OneCoin is a Ponzi scheme promoted as a cryptocurrency by Bulgaria-based offshore companies OneCoin Ltd (registered in Dubai) and OneLife Network Ltd (registered in Belize), both founded by Ruja Ignatova in concert with Sebastian Greenwood. OneCoin is considered a Ponzi scheme due to its organisational structure and because of the previous involvement of many of those central to OneCoin in similar schemes. It was described by The Times as “one of the biggest scams in history.”
US prosecutors have alleged the scheme brought in approximately $4 billion worldwide. In China, law enforcement recovered 1.7 billion yuan (US$267.5 million) while prosecuting 98 people. Ruja Ignatova disappeared in 2017 near the time a secret US warrant was filed for her arrest and was replaced by her brother, Konstantin Ignatov. Most of the leaders have now disappeared or been arrested. Greenwood was arrested in 2018, as was Ignatov in March 2019. In November 2019 Ignatov pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering and fraud. The total maximum sentence for the charges is 90 years in prison.
According to OneCoin, its main business is selling educational material for trading. Members are able to buy educational packages ranging from 100 euros to 118,000 euros,or, according to one industry blog, 225,500 euros. Each package includes “tokens” which can be assigned to “mine” OneCoins. OneCoin is said to be mined by servers at two sites in Bulgaria and one site in Hong Kong. Each level (except six and seven), or package, gives new educational material, which is plagiarized from several sources. However, in a typical OneCoin recruiting meeting recruiters mainly talk about investing in cryptocurrency and the educational material is barely mentioned.
The only way to exchange Onecoins for any other currency was OneCoin Exchange, xcoinx, an internal market place for members who had invested more than just a starter package. Onecoins could be exchanged for euros, which were placed in a virtual wallet from which they could be requested for wire transfer. The market place had daily selling limits based on which packages the seller had invested in, which greatly limited the amount of onecoins which could be exchanged.
On 1 March 2016, without notice, OneCoin issued an internal notice that the market would be closed for two weeks for maintenance, explaining that this was necessary due to the high number of miners and for “better integration with blockchain”.On 15 March 2016, the market opened again but no visible changes had been made; most of the transactions expired as before and daily limits stayed on.
On 10 July 2017, Ruja Ignatova, the CEO, was charged in India with duping investors as a part of the Indian investigation. On 17 and 18 January 2018, Bulgarian police raided OneCoin’s office in Sofia at the request of the prosecutor’s office in Bielefeld, Germany. German police and Europol took part in the bust and the investigation. Also 14 other companies, tied to OneCoin, were investigated and 50 witnesses were questioned. OneCoin’s servers and other material evidence were seized. On 3 May 2018, the Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) banned all foreign exchange transactions related to OneCoin and OneLife. The bank had earlier in March issued a warning about OneCoin. CBS describes OneCoin as a very high risk pyramid scheme.
On 21 November 2019 the New York Federal Court found lawyer Mark Scott guilty of money laundering and bank fraud for his role in routing US$ 400m out of the US. On 24 November 2019 the BBC published a detailed investigation of OneCoin and Ignatova titled Cryptoqueen: How this woman scammed the world, then vanished. The reporters believe that Ignatova resides in Frankfurt under a false identity
Onecoin promised the world but only proved to be a trail of destruction. — About ColdFusion — ColdFusion is an Australian based online media company independently run by Dagogo Altraide since 2009. Topics cover anything in science, technology, history and business in a calm and relaxed environment. If you enjoy my content, please consider subscribing! I’m also on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ColdFusion_TV Bitcoin address: 13SjyCXPB9o3iN4LitYQ2wYKeqYTShPub8 Script by Fil Zivko — New Thinking Book written by Dagogo Altraide — Learn the stories of those who invented the things we use everyday. Get the book on Amazon: http://bit.ly/NewThinkingbook Get the book on Google Play: http://bit.ly/NewThinkingGooglePlay https://newthinkingbook.squarespace.c… — ColdFusion Social Media — » Twitter | @ColdFusion_TV » Instagram | coldfusiontv » Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/ColdFusionTV — ColdFusion Podcast links — Google Podcasts – http://bit.ly/2xo8doR Apple Podcasts – https://apple.co/2WI2IeU Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2KT1taB Stitcher – http://bit.ly/2WI4f4E Sources: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/th… https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07p… https://www.missonelife.com/competiti… https://www.wjsnews.com/crypto/onecoi… https://www.theatlantic.com/technolog… https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-5… https://web.archive.org/web/201602122… https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-5… https://www.coindesk.com/onecoin-foun… //Soundtrack// **coming soon** » Music I produce | http://burnwater.bandcamp.com or » http://www.soundcloud.com/burnwater » https://www.patreon.com/ColdFusion_TV » Collection of music used in videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOrJJ… Producer: Dagogo Altraide