We’ve been covering the Chinese investigation into OneCoin since April, 2016.
Owing to Ruja Ignatova’s roots with BigCoin, a similar Ponzi points scheme that primarily targeted Asia, China initially emerged as a primary source of OneCoin investment.
Along with all but a few third-world countries, investor recruitment in China died early last year after OneCoin suspended ROI payments.
Last week Chinese regulatory action against OneCoin and its promoters concluded, following prosecution of the remaining four suspects.
In total some 98 Chinese OneCoin affiliate investors have been prosecuted for promoting the scam.
One particularly interesting aspect of the case emerged in its wake, relating to how Chinese authorities have differentiated OneCoin from legitimate cryptocurrencies.
Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Beijing-based attorney Jack Ding stated;
Public documents show that cases about Bitcoin or Ethereum accounts being stolen have rarely been accepted by Chinese police since last September.
This is because the police think it’s hard to determine the real value of the stolen crypto properties.
However, the OneCoin case falls into the category of an alleged internet pyramid sales scheme, which makes it different to the stolen cryptocurrency cases.
While I’m certainly not condoning cryptocurrency fraud at any level, it’s interesting to see an official differentiation between OneCoin’s Ponzi points and legitimate cryptocurrency.
OneCoin and it’s affiliate investors have insisted OneCoin is a cryptocurrency since 2014, despite
- the company centrally controlling distribution of OneCoin points
- no evidence of a OneCoin blockchain existing
- there being no true public value to OneCoin points and
- no public trading or adoption of OneCoin points
As part of the Chinese investigation authorities were able to recover $267.5 million before OneCoin could launder the money out of the country.
Globally Chinese authorities estimate OneCoin has duped investors out of around $2.4 billion dollars.
OneCoin’s founder Ruja Ignatova has been in hiding since mid 2017. Her current whereabouts are unknown.