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Onecoin – a possible Ponzi Pyramid Scheme


Key Highlights:

  • Belgium’s FSMA warns of OneCoin

  • False claims made by the owner and COO of Onecoin about her qualifications

  • Two co-founders involved in other scams before

Onecoin, an alleged cryptocurrency and trading undertaking based out of Bulgaria,does not have any provable support to back its business claims which can prove its legitimacy. The Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has also published a warning in this connection. The FSMA stated that neither Onecoin, nor the people promoting it are recognized or authorized by the watchdog. It added “The FSMA once again warns the public of the risks associated with virtual currencies,”

It’s one of the exceptional occasions where a regulator has issued a specific warning for a cryptocurrency or an exchange; however it seems that OneCoine is, in actuality, a multi-level marketing global scam scheme. A publication in 2015 in, and the One World Foundation were declared scam operations. The amount of proof confirming that OneCoin is a pyramid scheme is significant.

Onecoin’s Director involved in scam operations

The directors of Onecoin were earlier involved in other known scam operations. Its resources contain no provable evidence for any of its business claims. Also documentation uploaded to support claims often conflicts with the claims themselves. Quoting evidence the Coin Telegraph said Dr. Ruja Ignatova, the owner and COO of Onecoin has made false claims about her qualifications. Ignatova completion of a Harvard negotiating course is present only on the One World Foundation website even with a scan copy being present in the resume. In her own websites she mentions that she graduated from Oxford with Magister Juris in European in 2004 in Comparative Law .These websites are blogs from WordPress, Blogspot and Weebly. The latter two in German mentions that in 2004 Ignatova started working post her graduation from Oxford. A scanned certificate on states she completed the program in 2009; no document from 2004 is visible.

Co-Founders have history of scam

Besides this,the other two co-founders ,Sebastian Greenwood and Nigel Allan, also have a history of scam. Greenwood earlier worked with obsolete pyramid scheme called Unaico, which was subjected to a warning by the Pakistan’s Securities and Exchanges Commission. The notice said “illegal multi-level marketing” practices and advised consumers “to refrain from investing/ dealing in these so-called lucrative business schemes, launched by the Company.”

Allan, the ex-president of OneCoin, was previously implicated in similar pyramid schemes, namely Crypto888 and Brilliant Carbon.

Onecoin is not exactly a cryptocurrency

As per the Bulgarian business weekly Capital, the company behind OneCoin is said to be registered in Gibraltar. It has also recently set up its front office in a central location in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia. The weekly does not openly declare OneCoin as a scam. However it did imply that it is not exactly a cryptocurrency . It stated that Onecoin’s cryptocurrency can be used only within it’s own digital ecosystem, which is not even functional completely. Furthermore, Capital writes, several companies connected to Ignatova are making enormous investments in real estate property across Sofia.

According to OneCoin’s site, the OneEcosystem has ten sections, including One Forex, OnePay, CoinVegas, OneAcademy, CoinCloud, etc. For example, OneAcademy, claims to have 2101203 “students” taking a six-step educational program, which affirms to turn them into financial experts. Other courses offered are on econometrics, technical analysis, forex trading, risk management, etc,the prices ranging from EUR110 to EUR 27 500.

The company claimed that it has mined 749,970,000 OneCoins and has millions of global customer base in nearly over 195 countries and six continents is free of governments.One can only speculate this fact now that Onecoin is on intensive tour and has recently held glitzy events in Zagreb, Tokyo, London, Madrid, Istanbul, Helsinki, Pristina, Romania, Kazakhstan, etc, promising fantastic profits and worthwhile payouts for those who bring in more people.

Uk’s The Mirror in February 2016 reported that fantastic promises were made during these events, like “making a million in a month”. Similar reports in one of the website of Finland called Yle, said that Onecoin is a scam and has the value equal to “Monopoly money”.

Also, a quick SMN check on the confirmed that Onecoin is nowhere listed amongst the 650 global cryptocurrencies. This one practically does not exist at all.

Unethical marketing stunts

Forbes Bulgaria’s May 2015 issue , published an alleged interview of Ruja Ignatova on the front page. As a marketing stunt OneCoin afterward publicized this on its website. It also circulated this in paper form, at an event held in Dubai. While OneCoin claims it to be an “interview”, however, upon closer scrutiny it becomes clear that the material is a paid advertisement. The cover from the Forbes’ website did not match the one uploaded on .James Dollahan , who works for Filipino consulting firm Worldwide Summit, has circulated an email exchange which appears to hold substantiation of the paid ad campaign from Forbes, however, it is still to be verified.

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1 Comment

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