Perhaps some of you never heard of OneCoin nor about Dr. Ruja “Cryptoqueen” Ignatova. OneCoin took advantage of Bitcoin going mainstream in 2014 and scammed millions out of people oddly enough the story is not over to this day.
According to the U.S government, they stole around $4 billion, but some internal sources that worked with OneCoin claim that they could steal up to $19.4 billion.
When OneCoin founder was stage in front of the huge crowd during her world tour, with “This girl is on fire” playing in the background. It looked like a cult, believers that are worshiping their “God”. Dr. Ruja was an equivalent of a perfection, fluent in several languages, Ph.D. degree granted on Oxford university, appeared on several magazine covers including Bulgarian Forbes, Financial IT and most notably with incredible charisma. As for today, it’s obvious that the OneCoin team got close to 0 blockchain knowledge, only using “Bitcoin” and “Cryptocurrency” as a buzzword to attract more investors. Using only basic crypto phrases that were easy to remember. Preaching the financial revolution, speaking about banking the unbanked, bashing banks all this with enormous charisma and persuasion. Whoever tried to call OneCoin out was destroyed by charismatic speakers and blind believers. They call such people “haters” or “jealous” to further manipulate excited fans around the world. Most of the participants got no knowledge what so ever about cryptocurrency, all they were able to see is that OneCoin is the next Bitcoin and they can’t miss such an opportunity to get rich.
People could choose between several education packages that cost between €110 and €188,000. Each package includes “tokens” which can be assigned to “mine” OneCoins. The only way to sell the tokens were thanks to the internal exchange that was for users that bought more than just a starter package. OneCoin wanted to create an illusion that you can sell your tokens obviously, there was no demand so they needed to put selling limits per user, to achieve that only small selloffs that could be covered by OneCoin company. Since 1 March 2016, the “exchange” is closed. However, it wasn’t a real exchange. People were able to trade the tokens for euros with OneCoin company, not with the users. Obviously, there was a huge, proper Ponzi affiliate program. The only profit for members is coming from inviting others and getting a commission from it. 60% in EUR and 40% in tokens, but the tokens are useless so only 60% in fiat counts.
OneCoin was promoted as a revolution, competitor to banks and “Bitcoin killer”, but it was never a cryptocurrency. There was not a public blockchain nor a private one. All there was a centralized database of people and the tokens or more accurate we can call them “coupons” that victims were acquiring by buying packages. OneCoin did manage to buy two blockchain audits by some unknown German lawyers. So whenever someone confronted them that there is no evidence of a blockchain they replied that they have 2 blockchain audits and all is good. Thanks to not having a blockchain OneCoin was never listed on any public exchange. According to early respected Bitcoin adopter Bjorn Bjercke, he was approached in 2016 by recruitment group from China offering him 250,000 $ in salary, car and two apartments to become a global CTO for OneCoin and create a blockchain for them. 2 years after the so-called cryptocurrency was launched they wanted someone to create a blockchain for them... Just for notice, he Refuses. What’s even funnier is that 2 weeks before that Dr. Ruja announced their “new and better blockchain” on one of their public events. To my surprise, during that event, she announced that they will increase the maximum supply and double everyone's coins.
There was never a price of OneCoin, there was only a price that Ruja has come up with and everyone believed that their investment is going up. So simple, yet so powerful.
People started to be impatient even the high ranked members were waiting for regular public exchange, which would allow people to exchange their tokens for fiat or other cryptocurrencies. However, empty promises kept them faithful. Meanwhile, Dr. Ruja was all over the place Dubai, Sofia, London, every possible country that u can think of and the houses were packed, until Lisbon in October 2017. Everyone was expecting her on the stage, but she never arrived. High-ranked members, team members, and even her own brother were shocked. From this day the FBI has 1 last record of DR. Ruja, she booked a flight from Sofia to Athens and since that day she vanished.
After Ruja run away her brother Konstantin Ignatov took her spot. After 2 years in charge as a OneCoin CEO, he was arrested and pleaded guilty to several charges, including money laundering and fraud at Los Angles International Airport in March 2019. Dr. Ruja received several charges as well, but she is still missing. You might think “after that OneCoin can’t scam more people”, but oh boy all is possible in the scammy world, there is still a strong base of OneCoin supporters and leaders to this day. To give you perspective a petition was made to free Konstantin Ignatov and it was signed by almost 20,000 OneCoin supporters. There is still content that is coming out on a daily basis about OneCoin and it’s great growth, speaking about that exchange is coming soon, etc… To understand such an irrational behavior from some people, I’ve listened to someone who was taking part in it. Jen McAdam invested in OneCoin as well as persuaded her family to invest, the final amount of money lost grow to £216,000. Right now she is trying to expose OneCoin as much as she can to redeem herself, even tho she is getting death threats because of it.
‘I’ve been looking over my shoulder for the last two and a half years. It’s very cult-like and that’s what’s terrifying and it gives me anxiety because you never know who would actually take action.’ -Jen McAdam for Metro.co.uk
When it comes to OneCoin people that were deeply involved in this scam are scared to talk out loud about the scam. When there is such a big amount of money there is most likely mafia involved and other dark powers that we are not aware of. People that are part of the movement are told that everyone who is trying to expose OneCoin is a hater, jealous or a Bitcoin troll
OneCoin is one of the biggest scams in the history of scams, not only in the cryptocurrency world. The funniest part is that it was never a cryptocurrency, to begin with. They scammed a lot of money it could be anywhere from $5 to $19,4. The sad part is that they are operating to this day. They made people believe that Dr. Ruja is a “God”, they made people believe in OneCoin, combining that with fake events, fake promotions and offline meetings to pump adrenaline into the people and gain their trust, they created a monster.
That monster is scamming millions out of the poor, uneducated and greedy people it seems like it can’t be killed. People were so blind that they believed in their OneCoin fake USD balance that was shown on the website. If this was all true and they would be able to sell the tokens on such rates that would take a lot of them into the top reachest people on the planet.
There is an awesome BBC podcast investigation series about the whole OneCoin scam. Leaked sensitive company documents, exposing emails, and any other things didn’t kill the belief of some hardcore members. This story is exciting and terrifying at the same time. After a deeper investigation of OneCoin, it’s almost clear that it wasn’t just “some” people scamming poor investors, but the well-organized and dangerous group that most of the members’ names will never be known.
Thank you for your time everyone
(Originally published here)