Dr Ruja Ignatova may not be a household name but among a certain following. She’s a superstar. She was the founder and the face of the cryptocurrency one coin. It was dubbed to be the Bitcoin killer and promised to revolutionize the way we see the money. Dr Ruja toward the world speaking to crowds of people at sold-out venues about how one coin was like Bitcoin, but bigger, better, and easier to use. On the back of one coin and the 3 million people who invested Dr Ruja reached fame and fortune, but suddenly in late 2017, she disappeared without a trace. Where did she go? What happened? What was later uncovered was a story of greed, deceit, fraud, and an international scam worth $15 billion.
stepping on stage to a packed out crowd in 2016 then 36-year-old crypto founder was welcomed with cheers and applause from endearing fans. The song, this woman is on fire, echoed through the Wembley arena, while the lady who stood on stage was a superstar of sorts. She wasn’t a pop singer. It was none other than Dr Ruja Ignatova, the founder of one coin and one of the leaders of the global cryptocurrency movement though unbeknown to the cheering masses. Just a year later, she would be on the missing person list.
Dr Ruja was a commanding figure. She was extremely intelligent and knowledgeable and was said to make high-level bankers look like falls. Her arguments were centred around many of the same ideologies that the wider crypto movement was based on the idea that traditional banks and governments had too much power when it came to currency and that it was time for a revolution to democratize money. That gives the power back to the people on the back of the 2008 global financial crisis. A lot of people were willing to listen and Riley saw on these points, she was right. The one coin founder went on to blame the greed of the big banks for the financial crisis and ultimately proclaimed that the current system was old and outdated and that cryptocurrencies as a whole and in particular one coin would be the future, but it went deeper than that. As dr Regis spoke to thousands of investors at Wembley stadium. She spoke about joining not just a good investment and not just a revolutionary global financial movement, but a family.
We will be the biggest out there and we will write history and the cryptocurrency community will have to rewrite philosophy. Nobody can compare to us. We have today the most users. We are the biggest crypto reserve currency out there and to everybody who tells me that I violate the philosophy of cryptocurrency guys, we are a bigger community. We decide what the philosophy of cryptocurrency. Yeah. In two years, nobody will speak about Bitcoin anymore.
Investors became part of a network called one life. They would join WhatsApp groups with insider information, often being told to ignore the outside haters. They even had their hand symbol, which people would use when meeting other members of one life, but despite all of this, Dr Ruja had the credentials to match a statement she studied at Oxford, had a PhD previously worked in McKenzie, which is a very exclusive global consulting group.
One coin grew fast. Within three years of launching though over 3 million investors from around the world, conferences and seminars popped up everywhere from the United States, China and the U K to African nations. Each event would at least show a video of Dr Ruja when she was too busy to leave her home country of Bulgaria. Things were going great for one coin until late 2017 though earlier in the year, some cracks were beginning to show. In April of 2017 Indian police arrested 18 people in Mumbai for trying to organize a OneCoin recruiting event. Though during the sting, 11 million us dollars was transferred out of bank accounts before the police could get to it. In all of this, what was Dr Ruja going to do?
Dr Ruja was scheduled to speak at a OneCoin seminar in Lisbon, Portugal in October 2017 however, she didn’t make it to the seminar. This was unusual as her colleagues noted that she was extremely punctual. She would often refuse to attend meetings if the other parties were just a single minute late. Her colleagues called her no answer, no messages either. No one knew where she was being the head of a movement as valuable as one coin comes with its targets. The crypto founder was well aware of this and walked around with two bodyguards, fears for her life spread where the room is saying that she was kidnapped by some big bangs or more optimistically that she went into hiding from them. But the thing is nobody has seen Dr Ruja since that day.
After her disappearance talks to Regis, younger brother Constantin had taken her place at the top of the OneCoin empire. He was previously her bodyguard and personal assistant, a tattooed muscular figure who was by the previous account of other employees. A bit dim in March of 2019 Constantin was about to board a flight from Los Angeles to Bulgaria. The FBI arrested him and charged him with money laundering and fraud. The same day US authorities proclaimed one coin to be a fraud. The FBI has secretly charged the now missing Dr Ruja over two years ago. Around the same time, she went missing this raised some questions. Had she been tipped off? There’ll be more on this later in the episode. So what was one coin in the first place? Essentially it was multilevel marketing. Multilevel marketing typically uses people to recruit others. He purchased starter packages. You make a commission for every person that you bring into the business. This includes a cut of that person’s future sales, including everybody that they bring into the business.
The problem with multilevel marketing is that it rarely if ever actually creates any value in the form of a product or a service. Fundamentally, people make money off recruiting others, hence a few people at the top make all the money while the rest leaves everything. One coin is sold in the form of educational packages, which contain tokens which allow you to mine one coins. However, there isn’t any mining going on the blockchain. A fundamental structure of cryptocurrency doesn’t even exist in one coin, and the exchange, which allows real money to be traded for one coin, has been under construction for years and would constant delays. Though the company will tell you that they sell educational packages, helping teach people about financial freedom.
Each of these educational packages could cost anywhere from $100 to $100,000 this is how one coin made their money. A lot of the educational materials in these packages were later found to be plagiarized from other sources. The buyers of these packages are told that the money that they used to buy them would be converted into one coin, which is guaranteed to go up in value. Of course, this turned out to be false, perhaps by hiding behind technicalities and loopholes. They’ve been able to grow so rapidly and fall under the legislative radar.
And when you have a digital product that you cannot touch like an education package, of course, people are more sceptical. So, um, I respect everybody who has questions or who criticize, uh, or just wants to talk to us. But what I do not like is when people do not do their homework and do not check what is going on.
One coin recruited the best and most experienced multilevel marketing sellers to start the chain and the scheme was far-reaching even as far as you Uganda. The seminars sprouted all over the world and brought evermore people into the get rich scheme. Sadly, some sold their houses or their farm animals to buy-in. Just exactly how much did you lose and what effect has it had your life personally? The last 10,000, Judas and the friends, um, collectively one loss has been 250,000 euros. It has been devastating for the unsuspecting person.
It’s not hard to see how they could be fooled. She wowed the crowds with their inspirational speeches, her credentials constantly upholding her. However, not all was as it seems one of the first Google image search results that you get from Dr Ruja appears to be her on the front cover of Forbes magazine here. She looks the part of a pioneering genius, but in reality, this wasn’t the front cover of Forbes far from it. It was a paid advertisement in Forbes, Bulgaria magazine. The advert appeared halfway through the magazine next to another advert selling watches. Of course, it was just a method to trick people into thinking. Forbes had done a front-page interview with her.
While it remains that Dr Ruja has a PhD, attended Oxford and is undoubtedly intelligent. The careful fabrication of other aspects of her persona was an attempt to build authority and credibility around her. Hence when she spoke at events, people were not only enchanted by her words but impressed by her credibility. This is what made buying one coin look very attractive. What were you told about investing one coin and what he could earn?
You are told that it would, it’s the value of it when she purchased the bread packages. So I find those in pain package when you bought it at tendon to admit that you took a cut in C value of 40. So you sense that’s how it was approached to you. Um, which sounds like an amazing financially life change. Yeah.
Well this founder finishing off the face of the earth and the indictment of her brother who took over the helm, the one coin show must go on in homage to its glamorous founder. One coin bizarrely held a beauty contest. It was a hastily organized event intended to promote one coin in time with doubt. Shrouded the company, the whole thing was a very strange affair.
The top five contestants won $25,000 of plastic surgery vouchers or the equivalent amount. In one coin, the company claimed that it would have an audience of 20 to 50 million people and that it was sponsored by Vogue. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There was only a few hundred people at the event and folk had no idea about the contest. Reading the website, miss onelife.com grammatical errors can be clearly seen and it does look like a run of the mill internet fraud, but regardless, it’s amazing to think that this organization pulled in $15 billion in investments beneath the smiles.
The glitz and glamour lie an uncomfortable truth, a truth that not only reflects individual human nature but society as a whole such as our perception of information in the tech age coupled with greed and a herd mentality.
Dr Ruja is one example of blowing wide open the floors of the modern age with so much information being constantly created on the internet, people don’t have time to fact check people and companies can openly lie about facts and get away with it. The small portion of people who find the truth have a much smaller voice than the lie that was first told, and even if lies are exposed, it’s also easy to blame fake knees haters or simply just put out opposing content. Multilevel marketing, which relies on a community and person to person selling can share some similarities to a cult. The people inside are convinced to believe that the outside is against them.
This us versus them mentality was one of the reasons that one coin seemingly continued to go on so effortlessly. The believers, the entire financial sector, and most of the world’s governments wanted to shut down a revolution. Many still believe that dr rouges disappearance was for her safety as opposed to her scamming everyone and running away with their money. So where is Dr Ruja? Well, right now that’s anyone’s guess. Her brother and former bodyguard Stanton do reveal more details. However, during testimony, after being arrested by the FBI, the States Dr Ruja was living in Bulgaria before she vanished. She told him that she was quote, very tired of all the haters and was afraid somebody close to her was going to give her up to the FBI. Some of the final details we have are that Dr Ruja bought some plane tickets to Vienna, Austria, and then Athens. Greece. Constantin hasn’t spoken to your sister since she disappeared. He hired a private investigator to find her, but this has been unsuccessful.
She’s warranted by the United States. Her brother is in custody awaiting trial, and yet her company is still somehow functioning with steadfast believers and new ones buying in each day. According to BBC journalists, as much as $1 million is still being pulled in each week, her lawyer has recently been found guilty of fraud to the tune of 50 million us dollars and is awaiting sentencing. It’s difficult to predict where she is, however, there’s a high chance that she’s still alive and just laying low by accounts of former OneCoin employees. Her mother was unnerved by her daughter’s disappearance, suggesting that Dr Ruja made a calculated exit. As mentioned, her last known travel destination was Athens. Greece, though some clue is pointed to by London and Russia. With all of this being said, the wealth she acquired from one coin may mean that finding her is impossible.
So two things really, it’s trying to figure out where this woman is, which there are theories like you wouldn’t believe about where she is, what’s happened to her, and also try to sort of uncovering just how she managed to pull this off. I mean in some strange way. This is a remarkable achievement to fold so many people and then to have vanished off the face of the earth. This was becoming almost like a religion.
Dr Ruja through one coin has exposed some glaring faults and society technology is developing so rapidly that it’s difficult to keep up. This can generally be a great thing though. On the flip side, many people can be fooled into believing in technology they don’t understand, especially in this day and age, with so many sides to each story and the emergence of fake news surrounding the internet, it’s easy to get lost in an echo chamber of confirmation bias today. It seems much more difficult for people to change their minds and consider opposing information. Dr Ruja, who was thought to have run away with $400 million may never be caught. Some even believe that she’s drastically changed her appearance with plastic surgery sources say that the money lost ranges anywhere from 4 billion to $15 billion for the sake of all of those investors who were scammed and lost everything.
We can only hope that Dr Ruja Ignatova resurfaces somewhere and has to answer for her misconduct. It’s such a sad thing to see happen, but the only thing that can be learned is always to do your research before investing in anything.