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OneCoin is a type of digital currency, similar to Bitcoin, which was established in 2014. It was promoted as an investment opportunity and said to operate on a private blockchain. However, it has been criticized and investigated in several countries due to accusations of operating as a Ponzi scheme.


The phonetics of the keyword “OneCoin” is: /ˈwʌnkoʊɪn/

Key Takeaways

  1. OneCoin is a controversial cryptocurrency that was launched in 2014 by Ruja Ignatova in Bulgaria. It’s marketed as an investment opportunity but however, has been accused of operating a Ponzi scheme due to its multilevel marketing structure.
  2. The value of OneCoin is not determined by market supply and demand but is instead set by the OneCoin company itself. This is not the norm for cryptocurrencies, causing discomfort among many financial experts and authorities.
  3. Several leaders and promoters of the OneCoin scheme have faced legal action globally, including its founder, who disappeared in 2017 and is currently on the run. Throughout multiple countries, the selling of OneCoin has been declared as illegal due to its scam like nature.


OneCoin is significant in the finance industry world as it serves as a notable example of a cryptocurrency scam. Founded in 2014 by Ruja Ignatova in Bulgaria, OneCoin was presented as an investment opportunity, promising high returns and a revolutionary shift in the world of finance. However, it turned out to be a fraudulent Ponzi scheme, resulting in billions of dollars lost by investors worldwide. OneCoin’s story emphasizes the importance of transparency, regulation, and investor education in the rapidly evolving realm of digital currencies and blockchain technology. Its case reiterates the risks and the need for due diligence associated with emerging fields that promise quick returns on investments.


OneCoin was created with the purported purpose of being a new-generation cryptocurrency that could compete with Bitcoin. Its promoters claimed it was an investment opportunity for people worldwide, highlighting its potential to increase in value over time. Users were encouraged to buy OneCoin packages which allowed them to mine OneCoins, with the promise of astronomical returns upon the eventual public listing of OneCoin. The idea was for people to leverage this digital currency to make transactions and purchases, or hold it as an investment for future profit. However, it’s important to note that OneCoin gained notoriety due to its controversial reality. It was later revealed to be a scam operating under the guise of a cryptocurrency. The entire operation was essentially a pyramid scheme in which early investors were paid using the funds of later ones, with the claimed value of OneCoin being heavily manipulated and inflated by its founders. In 2019, several people involved in promoting OneCoin were charged with fraud, making it a strong reminder of the diligence needed when investing in cryptocurrencies or any such speculative assets.


1. Prosecution of OneCoin Leaders: One of the most notable examples related to OneCoin is the prosecution of its leaders by the US Department of Justice. In 2019, Konstantin Ignatov, the leader of the OneCoin cryptocurrency scheme, was arrested and charged with multiple crimes including wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering. These charges were related to his role in marketing and selling fraudulent cryptocurrency investment packages.2. OneCoin’s Pyramid Scheme: The business model of OneCoin was a notable example of a pyramid scheme. Participants were encouraged to sell one-time investment packages to others. The more people they could get to join, the higher they would rise in the pyramid and the more money they would make. However, this model was unsustainable and resulted in significant financial loss for many who invested in the scheme.3. Global Scam Impact: OneCoin claimed to have over 3 million members worldwide at the height of its operations, showcasing the scope of this fraudulent scheme. Its operations spanned several countries, and it managed to swindle billions of dollars from its investors globally. This serves as an example of how these types of fraudulent financial schemes can have worldwide impacts, affecting millions of individuals and families.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is OneCoin?

OneCoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that was created in 2014. It was promoted as an investment opportunity and was part of a marketing network led by Ruja Ignatova, who disappeared in 2017.

Who created OneCoin?

OneCoin was created by Ruja Ignatova and Sebastian Greenwood.

What is the value of OneCoin?

The exact value of OneCoin is not known because it is not traded on any public cryptocurrency exchange. Its value was set by the founders and it is largely considered to be worthless.

How can I buy OneCoin?

It is important to note that buying OneCoin is not recommended due to its controversial nature and accusations of being a scam. It is not available on any acknowledged cryptocurrency exchange.

What is the controversy surrounding OneCoin?

OneCoin has been accused of being a Ponzi scheme, with its creators making profit off of recruitment of new investors. Ignatova, one of the founders, was charged with money laundering and fraud, and she disappeared in 2017.

Is OneCoin a legitimate cryptocurrency?

Most experts in the field of cryptocurrency consider OneCoin to be a scam rather than a legitimate digital currency. It’s very different from other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum because it is not decentralized and it is not based on blockchain technology.

Can I make a profit with OneCoin?

It is highly unlikely as OneCoin is not recognized as a valid currency by any country or financial institution. It is also important to remember that it has been associated with fraud and scams.

Is OneCoin available globally?

While the initial promotion of OneCoin reached a global audience, many countries including the United States and several European nations, have issued warnings against it or taken legal action against its promoters.

Is OneCoin still active?

The activity around OneCoin has significantly decreased following legal actions around the world. The founder disappeared in 2017, and it’s widely considered to be defunct.

What happened to the founders of OneCoin?

Ruja Ignatova, one of the founders, disappeared in 2017 and is currently on interpol’s wanted list. Sebastian Greenwood was arrested in 2018.

Related Finance Terms

  • Pyramid Scheme
  • Cryptocurrency Fraud
  • Financial Crime
  • Fake Cryptocurrency
  • Investment Scam

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