Once the eye candy of crypto investors, OneCoin scammed millions of investors before the founder disappeared in the dark. Here’s the story.
Debuted as “Bitcoin Killer”, OneCoin was launched in 2014 by Ruja Ignatova and Karl Sebastian Greenwood in Bulgaria. The founders took advantage of the early wave of cryptocurrency when Bitcoin started getting a lot of attention from mainstream users, especially from the United States.
Within 3 years of inception, the project saw a massive inflow of $4 billion from investors. However, things started taking U-turn when people began questioning the way this business was operating.
OneCoin wasn’t a cryptocurrency but a pure pyramid scheme disguised as a crypto project. Its growth was fueled by multi-level marketing where existing members received commissions for recruiting new members to the club by selling cryptocurrency packages.
However, the coin wasn’t mined by any member. It wasn’t listed on any crypto exchange and also it doesn’t have a ledger (public or private) to showcase list of transactions on the network. In reality, it wasn’t a blockchain project but a scam in the name of Bitcoin Killer.
Before the warrant was issued, Ruja Ignatova (in pic) suddenly disappeared in Oct 2017 and her partner Karl Sebastian Greenwood was later arrested in Thailand and extradited to the US.
The irony is, both the founders referred Bitcoin as a “trashy coin” and even called the investors idiots who are invested in BTC.
According to recent updates, Greenwood pleads guilty and was charged with money laundering & wire fraud. Each charge will land him in prison for 20 years. Ruja Ignatova – The CryptoQueen is still missing and is now part of the top 10 most wanted criminals list by FBI with $100,000 bounty reward for information leading to her arrest.
Moral of the story: Do your due diligence before investing in any cryptocurrency project. You will find a lot of hyped coins with little to no use case or no technical architecture. Stay alert and & guard your funds.
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Paras is a blockchain writer & video creator at Katoch Tubes. In his free time, he loves watching space exploration documentaries & Hollywood movies.