ONECOIN – THE CRYPTOCURRENCY THAT ISN’T
Cryptocurrencies are the hottest new kid on the block. There are some legitimate ones and there are those claiming to be that are nothing more than a blatant Ponzi. This is my analysis of OneCoin, why you need to stay away from joining, and why I say it is a Ponzi.
OneCoin claims it is a crypto-currency and since its launch in June of 2014 says that is has risen to be the #2 Crypto-Currency in the world with over $3 Billion Dollars; but does not show in the Cryptocurrency Market Capital top 300. On its website, OneCoin says, and I quote:
“The First Transparent Global Cryptocurrency for Everyone. We are open and honest in our dealings. OneCoin will set a new industry standard by being the first cryptocurrency storing KYC documents in its new blockchain. OneCoin wants to make cryptocurrency transparent, and part of our financial culture and everyday life. By working proactively with governments and policymakers, OneCoin will help the industry achieve better regulation.”
For a company to claim that they are the first transparent global cryptocurrency and wants to make cryptocurrency transparent I guess that does not apply to their domain registration as it is set to private. This means that you do not know who owns the company or anything about them. You also do not find any information on their website that provides information about the owners and their bio’s. The only visible executive of OneCoin is Dr. Ruja Ignatova, who has been identified as their CEO, and Sebstian Greenwood who is designated as OneCoin’s Master Distributor.
OneCoin’s headquarters are located in Bulgaria and OneCoin banks with the Bulgarian Bank DSK.
There are three primary components to the OneCoin MLM business opportunity as explained on their website.
The first is a simple recruitment-driven pyramid scheme, backed with a residual binary compensation structure. Affiliates join OneCoin and are then directly compensated on the recruitment of new affiliates, who must spend money on packages to participate in the MLM opportunity.
The second is the Aurum Gold Coins, which appears to be an alternative virtual currency to the OneTokens, and are backed by nothing, at least anything that can be found. They exist only within OneCoin.
The third and most secretive component is the OneCoin Token. Based on how much an affiliate spends on a package, they are awarded a specific number of OneTokens. These tokens are “traded” on what OneCoin refers to as the “OneExchange.” OneCoin’s OneTokens are points pegged to nothing more than the rate of new money flowing into the company via affiliates. This basically makes the OneTokens worthless and mere Ponzi points. Zeek Rewards used the same principle in their using a penny auction for the members to earn reward points, which were Ponzi points. The concept is: The more people join the OneCoin concept, the higher the popularity and value of the currency. OneCoin holds everybody’s money. If money flowing in slows down, OneCoin implements what they refer to as “splits.” Basically everybody’s tokens multiply, which drives down the value of an individual token.
OneCoin is quite secretive about their OneExchange virtual currency trading platform, as little information as possible is revealed. Not exactly the concept of a total transparent cryptocurrency company as claimed is it.
Cryptocurrencies are traded on the open market, but not OneCoin. Dr. Ruja says that the OneCoin trading will remain private. Here’s what Dr. Ruja said in her YouTube video of 1/5/15, and I quote:
“We are not going live on any public exchange, but are intentionally keeping the trading private to fix all the “problems” with bitcoin public trading and mining. All the growth you are reporting is unfortunate for those people if they are not a real crypto currency with public mining, public trading and decentralized control. By being private provides us with centralized control.”
Hmm, what happened to open and transparency? In fact, in viewing the back office it was discovered that there was no mining of coins taking place. Instead it was a loop video taken from Shutterstock. The value of OneCoin is set about every two weeks by Dr. Ruja. No proof is provided this is the value of OneCoin except her word. All the other cryptocurrencies currently in the marketplace have their value shown on the trading exchanges for all to see unlike OneCoin. At the current time, OneCoin’s are useless. There are no merchants accepting them and they cannot be traded on any exchange.
OneCoin in its promotion to the masses was the promise that OneCoin would be providing the best online training on how to profit from crypto-currency, but moreover you position yourself in an unlimited revenue generating program providing you with all the tools you need to succeed. Our training and marketing tools combined with a solid and strong educational product, enhanced by an outstanding payment plan, is why today’s entrepreneurs are joining the One Concept. We are committed to make you successful – and will provide all the support you need to grow your team and business. Only one problem with their training material they offered, it was all plagiarized. It was not OneCoin’s proprietary material at all written by Dr. Ruja.
Unfortunately for Dr. Ruja, it was very easy to uncover that all she did was change a few words, ads a new phrase, modifies numbers, and makes slight variations to sentences thinking that it can’t be searched against and easily found to be plagiarized content. She also used many passages that are copied from eBooks that are not readily searchable. She sourced additional material from behind paywalls or eBooks that have not been web indexed or scanned by Google Books thinking that no-one would be able to expose the training material was plagiarized.
On June 11, 2015, the Bank of Hungary issued an investment warning to its citizens on OneCoin. The bank said, and I quote: “The Bank of Hungary identifies OneCoin’ as a “virtual pyramid scheme.”
Then on June 20, 2015, Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation announced they had launched an official investigation into OneCoin to determine if it is a fraudulent pyramid scheme.
In October of 2015, Bulgaria’s FSC was informing potential investors and consumers on the Internet that activities related to the acquisition, trading and payment OneCoin are not governed by existing EU and national legislation on capital markets. The FSC went on to say, and I quote: “At present OneCoin or other virtual currencies are not recognized and not treated as a financial instrument within the meaning of FIMA and compared them to the requirements of FIMA. Potential investors and users should be aware that an investment in such “cryptocurrencies”, which already exceed 400 different varieties, poses a high risk. In the event the owners of these opportunities files for bankruptcy, investors are not subject to compensation from the Compensation Fund.”
Shortly after this announcement by the Bulgarian FSC, OneCoin suddenly without warning terminated their banking relationship with DSK Bank.
After terminating their banking relationship with DSK Bank in Bulgaria, they opened a bank account with JSC Capital Bank, Georgia in November 2015, and then a little over a month later they closed this bank account and opened a bank account in January 2016 with TD Bank in Florida, US. Again after only about six weeks, they suddenly closed this bank account, and opened a bank account with Commerzbank in Germany in March 2016. After only banking with Commerzbank for less than 4 months, in June they announced:
“We would like to inform you that we have changed our account details in Germany! Please note, that we no longer accept payments in Commerzbank. The change is with immediate action. Our new bank is Deutsche Bank.”
But the bank roulette did not stop there. Shortly after this announcement of banking with Deutsche Bank, Germany announced they were conducting an investigation into OneCoin. And right on cue, OneCoin announced that they had terminated their banking relationship with Deutsche Bank, OneCoin advised affiliates they are to deposit investment funds with United Overseas Bank in Singapore and Bank of Africa in Tanzania. OneCoin, instead of opening the bank accounts in their name, they opened the bank accounts in one of their shell companies name “International Marketing Services Pte. Ltd.”
Then OneCoin announced they were going to also be banking with Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (Banca MPS) in Italy, using the account name “EDUCAMAX SERVICES SRL.” Another one of OneCoin’s shell companies. On their website, Banca MPS claim to be “one of the main banks in Italy.” But before the ink was dry on this announcement, the Italian bank terminated their banking relationship with OneCoin/EDUCAMAX SERVICES SRL. It took less than 24 hours for this bank account to be terminated.
Remember that back in June 2015 OneCoin had come under investigation in Finland and the Bank of Hungary had issued a warning to its citizens, and that was just the start of ongoing investigations into OneCoin or outright banning OneCoin to operate in several countries.
In January 2016, In an official notice published on the regulator’s Lotteri Inspektionen website, the Swedish Gaming Board have declared OneCoin to be “a chain letter game or similar.” In Sweden a chain letter game or similar is the same as an illegal pyramid scheme in other countries.
In February The Mirror.co.UK published a scathing review of OneCoin written by Andrew Penman. Previously in September of 2015 Nikolay Stoyanov, a reporter for a Bulgarian Newspaper, also wrote a harsh review of OneCoin.
March 2016 was going to prove to be a very interesting month for OneCoin:
The Norwegian DSA (Direct Selling Association) in their March 3rd publication stated and I quote:
“(We) don’t want to be the police” The Norwegian DSA called OneCoin out for being an “ugly” pyramid scheme. According to the DSA, their alarm bells go off every time they read a headline like “Pyramid scheme promises millions in returns.”
The company OneCoin is a good, but ugly example (of this). The DSA goes on to say that OneCoin is marketed in Norway as an investment scheme. An “enormous” ROI of about 18,000% is cited in OneCoin promotional material, along with claims OneCoin can be used like a bank account that pays 13% interest.
While claiming to be the new BitCoin, they instead concentrated on selling so-called “Tokens”… which multiply themselves with express speed when they frequently split, which means that the number of tokens doubles (company-wide) without a drop in value. This, the Norwegian DSA claim, is evidence of pyramid scheme fraud.”
Also in March, Latvia announced that OneCoin was an illegal pyramid scheme in its country.
The Finnish authorities announced in March that it had been monitoring OneCoin for quite a lengthy period of time, and their spokesman Vuorinen said their investigation had revealed, and I quote:
“That Bulgarian Rina Ignatova owns 90 percent of the OneCoin parent company. However the cash that’s being harvested in Finland and other countries flows through a different organisation.
Monies are handed over to a Bulgarian firm known as One Network Services Ltd, as Yle discovered after sifting through the Bulgarian trade register. It turned out that the Bulgarian company also owns another local business, which in turn owns a third.
The person at the end of the chain of ownership is another Bulgarian, Veska Ignatov. Yle asked Tommi Vuorinen where the money trail ends.
“Veska? Ruja’s mother,” Vuorinen responded, referring to Ruja Ignatova, an individual who has appeared in public as the Oxford-educated developer of OneCoin.
Vuorinen confirmed that the money earned from selling currency purchase options and training packages eventually went to the mother of the OneCoin company founder.”
On March 16, the Guandong police raided a promotional event and the three top Chinese One-Coin investors holding the event were arrested and assets totaling 200 Million RMB ($30.8 Million USD) were seized. Authorities investigating OC estimate that some 600 Million RMB ($92.4 Million USD) has been invested by thousands of OneCoin affiliates in Guangdong, Shandong, Liaoning, Sichauan, Henan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Hunana and other locations.
Then on April 24, the Chinese Provincial Public Security Economic Crime Investigation held a public-awareness event, which was specifically aimed at raising awareness of “new types” of Ponzi fraud, specifically mentioning cryptocurrency Ponzi points model that OneCoin uses.
The Swedish Police announced in late March they were conducting an investigation into OneCoin.
In April Austria warned its citizens about investing in OneCoin. Columbia said that OneCoin was an illegal MLM company, and not allowed in their country to do business.
In June, Bangladesh authorities announced:
“Following an investigation by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Counter Terrorism Unit, two OneCoin investors have been arrested in Bangladesh. Officers of the DMP’s Counter Terrorism Unit, Cyber Security and Cyber Crime Intelligence agencies had been monitoring what they refer to as an “MLM fraud gang” for some time.
On Wednesday June 15th at approximately 10pm, DMP officers arrested Nazrul Islam Mamun and Zahirul Islam Zahir. The suspects stand accused of promoting the OneCoin, Ilgamos and ImpaxGold Ponzi schemes.”
Poland’s National Prosecutor’s Office found after investigating OneCoin was potential breaches of “unfair market practices.” The findings were forwarded to the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, who have since launched an official investigation. The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection are being assisted by the National Prosecutor’s Office, who continues to collect information on OneCoin. If breaches of Poland’s consumer protection laws are found, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection will initiate further proceedings against OneCoin.
In June, OneCoin held a big event in London and Dr. Ruja made some major announcements but these were the most pertinent to this analysis of OneCoin, and she said and I quote:
“On 1st October, OneCoin will adopt the biggest ever blockchain of history with a capacity of 120 billion coins to be mined!
On 1st October, all existing member’s coins will be DOUBLED as a gift from Dr. Ruja regardless of the split procedure, just because we are the pioneers of OneCoin
From 1st October mining time will be reduced to 1-2 weeks only”
Now why these are important is that when OneCoin launched Dr. Ruja said, and again I quote:
“OneCoin’s algorithm creates 1.2 billion OneCoins, as it cannot create more or less.”
Now what she wants you to believe is they have discovered this new algorithm that will enable OneCoin to have the largest blockchain in history. Only one problem, there is no mining taking place. It was proven their mining was nothing more than a video loop from Shutterstock.
In an attempt to continue to grow its membership, OneCoin has bought the membership databases of several failed Ponzi’s and illegal cash gifting schemes. For OneCoin to survive, they have to have new blood coming in or it will collapse. Their recruiting has slowed down so they must revert to buying these membership databases.
OneCoin announced that they would not enter the US market until they had received the proper approval from the regulatory authorities. They lied. They haven’t applied to any US agency to be approved to conduct business in the US. They are now holding seminars in the US trying to get US members into OneCoin. But in holding these seminars, they cannot announce they are about OneCoin, so they use the false pretense of their seminars being about the new cryptocurrencies. They can’t even be honest about what their seminars are really about.
To add confusion to what OneCoin is claiming to be, Dr. Ruja said in her presentation in Budapest, Hungary event in January that, and I quote: “OneCoin is not a network marketing company. We are actually are in financial services”. This means that OneCoin is not operating legally anywhere it is doing business, as they must be a registered financial services company and they are not.
It was just announced on September 26 that the City of London Police have opened an investigation into OneCoin. The FCA, The Financial Conduct Authority also issued a warning to the citizens of the UK to be wary of OneCoin. They went on to say, and I quote:
“OneCoin is not authorised by us and we do not believe it is undertaking any activities that require our authorisation. However, we are concerned about the potential risks this firm poses to UK consumers. As OneCoin is not authorised, consumers who deal with it will have no protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.”
The problem with writing an article like this with an active company is that it cannot ever be the most current information as things change daily. I have just touched the tip of the iceberg in this article. I hope this information was helpful to you in seeing through all the rhetoric and hype that is on the Internet portraying OneCoin to be the biggest cryptocurrency that will replace BitCoin. OneCoin is about as transparent as mud contrary to their claims of being the most transparent company.