So you want to know if you should invest in One Coin? Is One Coin a scam or a fantastic opportunity to get rich? My review of this program is very personal, since I have been investigation this company for the last 2 years due to one of my good friends getting sucked into their emtpy promises of a new worldwide monetary unit and losing a rather large sum of money.
Verdict : Scam and Not Paying
Summary: One Coin is a multilevel marketing company, which officially is offering training in cryptocurrency. In reality, they are selling their own internal cryptocurrency, which they claim will be the future monetary unit. Their cryptocurrency, which value the company does not guarantee has a different value on the internal and external market. So far there are no venues where the cryptocurrency can be used, not even internally.
The company has closed branches in several countries, including US and several European countries, including Finland and Germany have opened official investigations towards them. Additionally One Coin has been forced to chance banks due to their financial institution closing their accounts based on suspect of fraud.
They continue paying their affiliates, so people keep on signing new members in. However this is the only way anyone is getting money out of this company, as people are unable to sell their coins on the internal market and the external market is pretty dead too.
The Company: What makes this scam different from many others is that there is actually a legal company behind the scam. Onecoin Ltd is registered in Gibraltar, a known European offshore heaven for financial scams.
Until recently, the company had no real office and very few employees, as most of the work was conducted by contractors! They did however recently moved into an impressive building in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia, but their head office still remains in Dubai.
The company is led by Bulgarian Ruja Ignatova, who herself has a really shady background. Toted as a business woman of the year by the Bulgarian version of Forbes, her background is shady and there nobody has been able to verify her financial business experience and supposed law education. All the information released about her is very polished and her official Facebook page almost solely consist pictures of her in various events. Her LinkedIn profile does contain surprisingly little information and connections for such an accomplished person!
The Website: www.onecoin.eu and the new www.onelife.eu are both registered by One.com and hosted by Cloudfare Inc in California. Their web farms are located in Bulgaria and Hong Kong. Everything in their whois record is available, except registrant, which in itself is rather strange.
Safe browsing also assures that the websites are safe for use and has reports of malware of phishing, neither is it recorded as a spammer, so we can assume that their websites are using the latest and secure setup.
www.onecoin.eu and the new www.onelife.eu both have a standard SSL certificate, issued by COMODO. Their registration runs out end of June 2017. Everything checks out from the safety and security point of view.
The Program: As mentioned in my summary, One Coin officially sells training in cryptocurrency. The fact both the invoice and the disclaimer on the site states the person purchased a certain training package and cryptocurrency is only provided for educational purpose. serves two purposes:
- This circumvents the rules and regulations about not registering as a bank or financial institution. Although cryptocurrency, which is recognized by the law as a currency, is not covered by these laws, several countries are attempting to force cryptocurrency companies to get a financial license.
- This circumvents the changes to the new MLM laws, which regulate that the MLM company has to actually sell a product and cryptocurrency has been excluded from this list.
Their cryptocurrency is both closed source and centralized, which defies the whole purpose of having a cryptocurrency in the first place, as their main attractions and trust based on its open source code and decentralized structure. Officially the source code is closed because the company has fixed the Bitcoin flaws and of course claims to be better digital currency.
Additionally they state that it is important initially to control the value of the currency, before it has reached a certain market cap and has a stable supply and demand. Of course many other alternative crypto currencies have made it without this initial control.
The prices are ranging from 110€ to 100 000€ for an elite package, which all include the different levels of cryptocurrency training and also tokens for the cryptocurrency mining. However no mining is actually happening, the tokens are exchanged for a certain amount of cryptocurrency.
The program holds many additional twists, such the CoinSafe program. If you keep your coins for a certain amount of time, such as 6, 12 or 18 months, you will acquire ‘interest’ on your coins, similar to banks and other financial institutions. The coin also has frequent splits, in which the coin value, regulated by the company, is lowered and the investors get double the amount of coins.
The company also claims that that value of their coin is backed up with Arum Gold. This is their official statement:
Aurum Gold Coin® is a pioneer in the world of cryptocurrency. Each Coin is backed up by 10 mg of pure gold and 0.01 fractions of the cryptocurrency OneCoin. The gold is highly securely stored in a gold vault in Dubai. In your account you can see how much gold and OneCoins back up your AGC portfolio. This is the first ever cryptocurrency backed up simultaneously by both gold and another cryptocurrency. In other words, we have developed a cryptocurrency with double price security!!!
What a ridiculous idea, as the value of the cryptocurrency by its standards is set by the supply and demand of the coin. You can read more about this concept in my article: Is Dollar Collapse Imminent?
What is also strange is that after there started being too many scam reports and investigations of their program, they simply chanced the website name for the MLM program to OneLife, hereby separating the coin from the MLM program. It also helped to comply with the latest chances to the MLM law.
The Compensation Plan: It is rather straight forward, you get 10% of the package price of your direct downline. If you have one of the higher packages, you can also earn up to 4 levels down fort he tycoon packages, the percentages being 10%-10%-20%-25%. They also have additional bonuses, such as the first 30 days after you joined, you can get 20% of their package prices instead of the usual 10%.
Like with most large MLM companies with One Coin you can earn ranks depending on how successful you are recruiting people into the business. These ranks ranging from Sapphire to Crown diamond grant you extra privileges, such as Apple electronics, a Rolex watches or diamond ring. In order to make any of these ranks, you need to invest enough money to buy one of the tycoon packages.
One Coin also has a OneLife club, which allows you to earn things such as luxury vacations, watches and other unnamed rewards, based on the value of the purchases your downline makes. All in all their package sounds pretty great, right?
The Payouts: One Coin does currently pay their members the bonuses they have earned by sponsoring others on weekly basis. Only 6% of the earnings is paid out, the rest 4% is being placed on an other account and you have to buy tokens with this money. This is suppose to lead to demand on the internal exchange, but despite the best efforts of One Coin, their internal exchange is pretty much dead and nobody is able to sell their coins.
There have also been times when the payouts were delayed by several weeks, according to their spokesperson this was due to them changing banks. In order to withdraw money, you need to supply a KYC and the approval process is really long in an attempt to delay the payouts as long as possible. The fees for the bank transfer are currently set at a semi reasonable 15€.
The company has introduced a UnionPay MasterCard, which you can purchase for 100€ and use to withdraw your earnings on. The card is only valid for the amount deposited on it, making it a debit card and it has widespread acceptance issues.
The Support: Like any affiliate program, One Coin also needs a support program. The support consists of email only and the response time depends on your inquiry. There are no phone numbers. All the Skype or WhatsApp groups are run by the leaders, not the company itself. If you want to join them and want to get some basic information, you will receive a friendly reply within few business hours.
If you are asking about the status of the KYC, missing payment, points and bonuses or complaining about not being able to sell your coins, the answer can take weeks, if ever. If you receive an answer it’s likely to be very generic, but hey, you should count yourself lucky, as more and more often these are left unanswered. The support personnel is definitely non-native English speaking.
The Marketing: If there is something One Coin is good at, it’s marketing. One Coin is one big marketing machine, which is partially reason for it’s huge success. There is huge amount of marketing materials available, from banners, to presentations and videos. They arrange huge luxury events in exotic locations, with local celebrities and politicians. The events hype on any of the latest chances and reward local leaders, the show is rather spectacular. Their figure head is Ruja Ignatova herself, she travels around the world, dressed like a pricess and has achieves a cult like following.
One Coin is also running their own charity called One World Foundation. It claims to be active in 22 countries and have supported so far, at the time of writing this article 55 projects and helped 4448 children and youth. Their motto is:
Empower Children to Reach Their Potential through Education and Long-Term Support!
Funnily enough this foundation is actually working via the members, who donate their One Coins or of course cash for their cause! There is also very little evidence of all these project ever taking place. This was actually the first so called product of their so called ecosystem, which also by now includes investment funds, a casino, where you can play with your OneCoins, but not withdraw them and an auction MLM company that One Coin bought.
One Coin plans to add a partnership program of businesses which are willing to accept One Coin as a currency, but there is so far no release date beyond the 1M members within the next 18 months statement together with a Merchant App.
The Grapevine: There are plenty of people still making money with One Coin and the Internet is split in their opinions. Some truly believe tha One Coin will make them rich one say. They save their coins as an investment and keep on recruiting new people to generate the huge market cap that is needed for good supply and demand in order for the One Coin to emerge as a new world standard as toted by One Coin.
Most people though have long time ago realized that One Coin is a clever ponzi scheme, where the only people who will ever make money with One Coin are the leaders and the owner. Social media is full of scam warnings and even several websites exist solely to warn people about joining to One Coin. Also since people cannot sell their coins, you see tycoon packages for re-sale by people desperate to recover at least some of their money for under a quarter of their new value.
My Honest Thoughts: One Coin is one big scam. I personally think it was never intended to be more than a short term ponzi scheme. However after it gained popularity, there has been some attempt to legalize some of it’s aspects and add more depth to the program. This is not enough to convince me of their honorable intension though as in my opinion this is just done in order to keep the game rolling little bit longer, in order to make few more billions for the business owners.
I am not alone with my doubts, authorities in several countries are investigating this company and many more have issues warnings. This alone is enough for me to advice people to practice extreme caution when thinking about joining this scheme!
Confused about how to actually make money online legally? Take a look at here for my recommendations: How To Earn Money Online Legally – Key To Success