The story of one of the largest pyramid schemes in history: OneCoin

Muhammet Karal / Particular Content material

Historical past of Know-how – Episode 11: “The story of one of the largest pyramid schemes in historical past: OneCoin”

“Cryptocurrencies are very talked-about currently. In reality, everyone knows the Thodex hit that has been on the agenda of Turkey in the previous weeks. In the eleventh episode of our Know-how Historical past article sequence, we’ll take you again a couple of years and take a better have a look at Ruja Ignatova and the ‘OneCoin’ mission, which disappeared with 4 billion {dollars}.”

Ruja Ignatova was often known as ‘Cryptoqueen’ and vanished with a report $4 billion rip-off over a three-year interval. Furthermore, his whereabouts are unknown even as we speak. Right here is the story of OneCoin, one of the greatest frauds in historical past…

Born in Sofia in 1980 Ruja IgnatovaHe moved to Germany along with his household at the age of 10 and obtained his PhD in European non-public legislation from the College of Konstanz in 2005.

However Ignatova apparently wasn’t very in the episode she was studying. As a result of the younger girl He was convicted of fraud by a German court docket in 2012.

The case involved him and his father, Plamen Ignatov, shopping for an organization that had suspiciously declared chapter.

Ignatova solely obtained a suspended sentence of 14 months, which clearly didn’t deter her from the felony path.

A yr later, in 2013, he predicted that cryptocurrencies would grow to be massively standard. Ignatova launched a brand new advertising rip-off: Massive Coin.

Nonetheless revered for her tutorial credentials, the girl garnered many supporters. Nevertheless, this fraud try was quickly found and closed.


Ruja Ignatova, who didn’t hand over the crypto cash enterprise, this time in 2014. brother Konstantin Ignatov and began OneCoin with Sebastian Greenwood.

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OneCoin began to be offered to traders in bundles. Furthermore, the highest bundle was offered for 225 thousand euros.

These bundles didn’t include OneCoin, they contained tokens that might later be traded or used to mine OneCoin.

Mining was allegedly finished on servers positioned in Bulgaria and Hong Kong. Additionally, every pack got here with promotional/instructional supplies which later turned out to be copied from a number of sources.


The contents of these packages have been hardly ever talked about at the conferences held. The fundamental factor that was talked about at the conferences and occasions was how OneCoin could make everybody loopy wealthy.

With a view to instill hope of simple cash in prospects sooner, some prospects’ packages have been doubled and rapidly paid for.

Later, the OneCoin mission was a pyramid. Those that promote new packages are advised that 10 p.c of what they promote shall be paid as fee.

Regardless of all the warning indicators, there was an unimaginable demand for OneCoin.


{People} who invested in OneCoin have been tricked with numerous false guarantees and made them extra linked to the system.

Those that opposed the OneCoin mission have been closely criticized by Ignatova and OneCoin prospects.


At lavish occasions resembling the ‘Coin Rush’ present at London’s SSE Area, Ignatova has dubbed OnceCoin the ‘Bitcoin killer’.

The members even had an indication to greet one another, with their thumbs and index fingers touching one another in a circle. To individuals, this signal represented the “O” of OneCoin. Nevertheless, it later turned clear that this signal may very well be none apart from “Zero”.

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Earlier in 2016, OneCoin was claimed by promoters to be the second most dear cryptocurrency in the world by market cap, with a market cap of $3 billion. Bitcoin took the first place with $ 5.7 billion.

Nevertheless, specialists by no means noticed the title of OneCoin when main cryptocurrency exchanges.

OneCoin’s greatest doubt was the lack of a blockchain or community, in contrast to different cryptocurrencies. All knowledge was merely saved in a database, indicating that the mission was pure fantasy.

Those that observe cryptocurrencies carefully have written many articles about OneCoin warning individuals. For instance, in Might 2015 the Cointelegraph web site wrote:

“OneCoin, an alleged cryptocurrency and buying and selling startup primarily based in Bulgaria, is suspected of being a pyramid scheme with no verifiable proof to help any of its buying and selling claims.”

Lastly, governments and establishments began to warn individuals about OneCoin. Nevertheless, individuals continued to take a position massive sums of cash in this mission.



OneCoin founder Ignatova claimed in early 2016 that OneCoin will obtain a brand new and improved blockchain, doubling each member’s cash in consequence.

Different claims, contradictions and lies started to build up day-to-day. In March 2016, the OneCoin alternate was closed with the promise of renewal. Nevertheless, as you’ll be able to think about, the new one was by no means opened.

After 2016 and 2017, governments began to step in and folks have been warned about OneCoin. Even some individuals who organized OneCoin occasions in India have been arrested. Regardless of all this, individuals continued to purchase new membership packages.


OneCoin started to collapse when Ruja Ignatova disappeared in October 2017. Nevertheless, Ignatova’s brother continued his fraudulent actions for 2 extra years and in March 2019 He was arrested in Los Angeles.

Ignatova admitted to the fraud and her sister lipstick Regardless of testifying towards Ignatova, an estimated $4 billion was lacking.

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Neither Ruja Ignatova nor the misplaced cash have been discovered since then.



Fraud happened on a world scale. Though OneCoin claimed to have 3.5 million members, as with most of its claims, this was in all probability an exaggeration. What was sure was that tons of of 1000’s of individuals misplaced loads of cash.

In the aftermath of what occurred, response teams have sprung up round the world. In the present day, many governments and establishments are monitoring the $4 billion misplaced.

The echoes of OneCoin, which went down in historical past as one of the largest pyramid schemes in historical past, proceed as we speak.

With the arrest of Ignatova’s brother and the shutdown of her web site, the rip-off has almost come to a standstill. Nevertheless, there are additionally OneCoin officers who’re nonetheless not arrested right now.

And most significantly, Ruja Ignatova remains to be lacking with 4 billion {dollars}….

(Observe: This content material has nothing to do with Concord, which presently makes use of the acronym “ONE” on cryptocurrency exchanges.)

Assets: CoinTelegraph, The Mirror, Medium (Jason Ward), Coindesk, The Wall Avenue Journal.

You possibly can attain different elements of the Historical past of Know-how from the hyperlink beneath. See you on our subsequent Know-how Historical past journey. Goodbye.

#story #largest #pyramid #schemes #historical past #OneCoin

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