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OneCoin and Cryptoqueen - The Story of a Hellish Crypto Scam
Dr. Ruja Ignatova may not be a famous person to most, but in some circles, she is a criminal mastermind. Perhaps you may know her as the Crypto-queen. She was the founder and face of the famous cryptocurrency OneCoin. She held massive conventions and sold out arenas in the early 2000s. She managed to convince millions of people across the world to invest in OneCoin. She promised people that OneCoin cryptocurrency was going to be the revolution of money. Dr. Ruja achieved her dream of money and fame, after convincing over three million people to invest in her idea. It all went south for investors when she disappeared without a trace in October 2017, in the most genius criminal money laundering crypto scam of all time.
Dr. Ruja Was a Commanding Figure
Dr. Ruja Ignatova was a driving force. She was well educated, connected with others easily and she spoke with so much authority it was easy to be convinced. She filled arenas to the brim and she sold her idea to millions of undoubting and adoring fans. She told the masses that it was time for greedy banks and governments to give the power to control money back to the masses. She convinced people that the banking and governance system is coming to an end, and cryptocurrency was the revolution and future of money. She stood proud with her expensive gowns, red lipstick, and confidence which helped to sell the idea to international investors.
People Flocked to OneCoin Like Sheep to the Slaughter
Within no time, Dr. Ruja was the biggest name in the cryptocurrency circles. A lot of people believed that the current money system was old and responsible for the 2008 economic recession. She blamed governments and banks and she promised a solution to financial freedom. At the time, desperate people threw in the small amounts of cash that they had. Wealthy people and big corporations who were driven by greed all pumped their money into OneCoin. It was fascinating just how this crypto scam won them all, big and small. It seemed like a rocket ship that was never going to come down.
Where Was the Lie?
Dr. Ruja sold her cryptocurrency on the premise that it was the main competition for Bitcoin. Investors joined WhatsApp groups where they received insider secrets. Certain groups even had hand symbols and formed a family. They referred to themselves as the One life family. People did not know how cryptocurrency worked at the time. They relied on information given to them from the OneCoin offices and website. The idea was to trade in the OneCoin cryptocurrency, collect as many as you can, then redeem them later in conventional currency. The details of this conversion were never shared.
Essentially, cryptocurrency works with a blockchain, which is a special database that makes it work. It requires a special technician to make the blockchain databases and to make them functional. A whistle-blower by the name of Bjorn Bjercke was a key character in the fall of OneCoin. In October 2016, he received a job offer from OneCoin to be the Blockchain technician for them since he was an expert. This was a red flag for him since this meant they had been operating without a blockchain which is impossible. He did research and tried to warn some of the major investors but they dismissed him as a hater. Little did they know the news would soon break.
The Shocking Revelations
Dr. Ruja scheduled a convention in Portugal on October 25, 2017. She appeared to be on her way and everything was set, but when the convention started, she was a no show. Frantic calls to reach her went unanswered and she seemingly vanished without a trace.
Her brother Konstantin took over the office and continued to operate. He was later arrested by the FBI and charged with fraud and money laundering. After her disappearance, major cracks in the OneCoin family were revealed. It turns out it was not a cryptocurrency investment. It was the sneakiest multi level pyramid scheme of all time. They made away with anywhere from 4 to 15 billion pounds in cash.
People invested and believed in returns that never came. The US declared OneCoin a crypto scam fraud, but it's fascinating that people still pump money into it up to date.
To this date, many people believe that went into hiding from major banks, and haters. Rumours go around that she went to Greece, Dubai, or Russia.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes