While I may be a little late to the OneCoin/OneLife party as far as reviews go, due to some interaction I had with one of their budding young superstars last year, I figured I’d throw a review up and include some snippets of the public chat we had about OneCoin, an alleged cryptocurrency opportunity.
There are already a lot of OneCoin/OneLife reviews and sources of information out there, so in addition to my own opinions, we can take a look at some of that as well and you can decide whether OneCoin/OneLife is a scam, another overhyped MLM, or a game changing cryptocurrency/financial education breakthrough.
IMO, MLM’s should be more about products/services than recruiting, so let’s see what they are offering on the product end of things first. OneLife claims that they are “providing access to a diverse portfolio of products and services, that aim to add individual and social value to its members’ lives and grant them with opportunities for both professional and personal development.” In a nutshell, they claim they primarily sell educational products and services.
OneAcademy Education Packages From OneLife
The packages and their prices are as follows;
- Rookie Package – Free
- Starter Package – 110 Euro
- Trader Package- 550 Euro
- Pro Trader Package – 1100 Euro
- Executive Trader Package – 3300 Euro
- Tycoon Trader Package – 5500 Euro
- Tycoon+ Trader Package – 7500 Euro
- Premium Trader Package – 13750 Euro
- Infiniti Trader Package – 27500 Euro
After the Rookie Package, which is essentially just to get you in the door and includes a free ebook, the next 5 packages(Starter through Tycoon) include escalating levels of e-learning, i.e. the Starter gets Level 1 training while the Tycoon gets Levels 1-5.
This brings me to the little discussion I had with the OneCoin rep mentioned in the opening of this review. After observing his ongoing, moderately entertaining battle with BehindMLM and other OneCoin antagonists, I accepted an open invitation to chat with him on a YouTube video titled MESSAGE TO THE BLOGGERS SHEEPLE!!! Note: He likes to use caps and although he claimed he wouldn’t delete comments, he has since wiped them out and turned comments off. The discussion occurred back in May of 2016 and I did make a copy of our exchange here.
It’s About Recruitment and Tokens, Not Education
One of the points I make in the chat is that for a company claiming they are selling education, OneCoin does not provide a very clear curriculum to tell people exactly what they are getting for each package. Closing in on a year later, they still don’t. They have since listed a few courses with curriculums included for each course, but it doesn’t tell you which, if any, package these are included with and the package descriptions still don’t tell you exactly what you are purchasing.
However, each package does clearly tell you how many “promotional” tokens and the BV(business volume) that is included.
In addition to the core packages of Starter through Tycoon listed above, you can see OneCoin sells the Tycoon+ through Infiniti packages and has sold packages priced well above 200,000.00 Euros!!! How can you claim you are all about selling education when you don’t even bother to give significant details on the exact education you are selling?
The simple answer is that it’s not really about education. It’s all about recruitment commissions and the tokens that are included in each package. The more “education” you buy, the more tokens you get and the more splits you may have. A split is when your tokens magically split and double based on a “split barometer”. More tokens allow you to mine more of the as yet publicly unusable self-proclaimed cryptocurrency that is OneCoin.
The rep I chatted with was proud to confirm my thoughts when I asked him this simple question: “Can you honestly say that you would have paid 5530 euros for the Tycoon education package only?” He clarified that his first package(he has at least 7) was with a business partner, so I had to rephrase things: “You and your business partner would not have bought that first Tycoon package if there weren’t OneCoins and what you believe will be a greater than 100% ROI attached to them.
His gleeful reply was:
THIS IS TRUE, IF I DID NOT UNDERSTAND HOW HUGE THIS IS YES TODAY I WOULD NOT OWN 7 PACKAGES WHATS YOUR POINT … AND NO DONT ASSUME YOU KNOW ME AND IF WE WANT TO GO OFF WHAT I HOPE IT MUCH HIGHER THEN 100% MY FRIEND IVE ALREADY 25X MY MONEY OVER 13 MONTHS LOL YOU TALKING 100% ROI HAHA ANYWAY BUT NO I WAS JOINING A INNOVATION WITH MY FINGERS CROSSED AND THANK GOSH I HAVE BIGGER BALLS THEN SOME YOU FEARFUL SIDELINE CHEERLEADERS IVE CHANGED MY LIFE CAUSE THIS OPPORTUNITY 🙂
Straight from the horse’s mouth, as they say. No tokens attached, no sales of “education”. As a relatively early joiner and the owner of multiples of the same “education”, he believes he’ll be able to cash in big time on OneCoin if it ever goes public. BTW, why would somebody need to buy the same education multiple times over? Maybe because it’s not about the education, hmmm. LOL
Because it’s not a publicly traded cryptocurrency, OneCoin gets to make up it’s own value and what a shock, that value has never gone down and the fake value is now claimed to be 9.85 Euro. With OneCoin founder Ruja Ignatova predicting that OneCoin’s value will hit 25 Euro by next year(2018) when they claim they will go public, some critics proclaim that Onecoin is a ponzi and that the educational packages are simply a front for what is actually just an investment scam.
The OneCoin/OneLife Compensation Plan
The full description of the OneCoin/OneLife compensation plan can be found at onelife.eu/en/global-compensation-plan
OneLife pays its reps a 10% commission when they recruit other reps by selling them one of the packages mentioned above. Of that 10%, 60% of it goes into a cash account and 40% goes into what they call a Currency Trading Account.
There are also Team Building and Matching Bonuses available down multiple levels, based on factors such as how much the individual rep has spent on their own package(s), how many reps they have recruited, and how many reps their reps have recruited.
OneCoin origins, shady affiliations, and questionable technology
OneCoin officially launched late in the 3rd quarter of 2014 and was allegedly founded by Ruja Ignatova out of Sofia, Bulgaria. For all of her supposed accomplishments, there is very little verifiable information found online about her.
Quite a few of the leaders and major promoters of OneCoin have pasts that include felony convictions and shady “opportunities”, including Ignatova, who was previously affiliated with Sebastian Greenwood in the failed cryptocurrency scam BigCoin immediately preceding the launch of OneCoin. Longtime OneCoin nemesis BehindMLM has a couple interesting articles tying the two opportunities and some of the individuals involved together. They can be found at BigCoin & BNA: The original OneCoin Ponzi points and OneCoin literally a relaunch of the BigCoin Ponzi scheme.
OneCoin loves to boast about it’s more advanced blockchain technology. Personally, I am not all that familiar with cryptocurrency and the technology behind it. However, to date, all valid and even some scam cryptocurrencies have had publicly accessible blockchains. OneCoin does not. This has led some cryptocurrency enthusiast to do a detailed analysis of the alleged OneCoin blockchain from an account or accounts created specifically to investigate the validity of OneCoin. If you are a cryptogeek, you can go to http://onecoinonelifefacts.blogspot.com/ and read that bloggers detailed analysis of the OneCoin blockchain.
The validity of OneCoin’s blockchain has also been called into question recently when a gentleman by the name of Bjorn Bjercke claimed that just last year(2016), Japan based recruiting agency ASENSHIA contacted him to see if he was interested in developing a blockchain for OneCoin. If this is true, it leaves very little doubt that OneCoin is a completely fraudulent operation.
You can read more information about this development at an article titled OneCoin was trying to recruit a blockchain specialist last year.
OneCoin’s misleading marketing, missed deadlines, moving goalposts, and distraction tactics
While there is certainly nothing wrong with running ads to promote a business, when you deliberately mislead representatives into believing that an ad is actually an interview in a prestigious magazine, you’ve crossed an ethical line. This is exactly what OneCoin did when they misled reps into believing that a paid ad in a Bulgarian issue of their advertorial magazine BrandVoice(May 2015) was more than an ad. You can get some more information on this little escapade at BehindMLM’s article Ruja Ignatova’s OneCoin Forbes cover a paid advertisement?
An almost identical incident occurred with the relatively insignificant Financial IT magazine cover(February 2016). Again, more info is available at BMLM – Ignatova does it again, another fake magazine cover?
An additional twist in the Financial IT storyline is that now former Financial IT publisher Chris Principe seems to have joined the OneCoin opportunity and has been part of numerous events.
OneCoin also misrepresented the OneCoin opportunity as being Shariah compliant per the AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking when in fact they had only received approval for their CoinSafe product. Due to this abuse the AlHuda CIBE decided to “also withdraw the certificate of “Coin safe” product as well”. At the time of this write up, OneCoin still has inaccurate info on it’s website and has also allowed inaccurate info to remain on sites that endorse and promote the opportunity.
In addition to the AlHuda CIBE revoking their Shariah compliance for CoinSafe, there was another document providing research and making this Islamic ruling — Final conclusion: it is impermissible to participate in this scheme. That full document can be found here.
Other highly suspect information released to reps by OneCoin include:
- Ruja Ignatova winning the Business Woman of the Year in Bulgaria(2014). This award comes from a very suspect organization and may possibly be a purchased title.
- Ignatova speaking at the Fourth EU-Southeast Europe Summit(October 2015): This controversy actually caused the Summit to change the way it handles sponsors. Ignatova was allowed to speak because OneCoin purchased an expensive sponsorship package. Since this debacle occurred, the Summit no longer allows sponsors to speak and led to the removal of any mention of the summit on the Economist’s website.
When OneCoin launched, it was supposed to have a fixed and finite amount of 2.1 billion coins. Along the way, Ignatova and OneCoin claimed that there were upwards of 150,000 merchants ready to accept OneCoin as payment and this would be launched when 30% of the coins were mined. This was completed on April 18, 2016 And the 150,000+ merchants were introduced…NEVER.
On January 6, 2016, the rep I chatted with made the following video with his 100 day countdown to April 18. It was originally on his YouTube channel, but seems to have vanished. 😉 Somebody with the username DennyFoley copied it and posted it to DailyMotion. Notice nothing he said comes to fruition.
OneCoin Must watch! Exciting NEWS!!! All reps… by DennyFoley
Predictably, OneCoin supporters claimed that it would only make sense for OneCoin to wait until the much anticipated CoinRush event to be held in London on June 11, 2016.
During my chat on YouTube, I asked “Please explain to me why the thousands of merchants you bragged about haven’t been introduced.”
The predictable response was
“RE ASK THIS JUNE 11, IF NOT HUGE ANNOUCMENT AT 2ND ANNUAL GLOBAL EVENT IL BE WORRIED FOR FIRST TIME EVER BE A SIDELINE CHEERLEADER TILL THEN IM SURE YOU JOIN AFTER OR IL BE VERY WORRIED MYSELF AFTER IVE SAID IN VIDEOS (YOU OBVS DONT WATCH) THAT JUNE 11 ONLY ONE OF TWO THINGS , ONE OF THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE… OR THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE , I DONT FEAR THIS I GET HOW WEAK PEOPLE DO THOUGH… BUT TO FURTHER ANSWER YOUR DR RUJA ABOUT TO MAKE A RECORD BREAKING ANNOUNCENT NOW 30% MINED APRIL 18 AND YOU HAVE YOUR 2ND ANNUAL EVENT WHERE OVER 10K TOP TEAM LEADERS WILL BE, YOU WAIT A FEW WEEKS OR RELEASE INFO EARLY? THIS WHY IM OK WITH WAITING AND IM BEING RE ASSURED TO BIG THINGS ON JUNE 11 WE SEE IN 12 SLEEPS 🙂 YOU KEEP GOING RAH RAH RAH :)”
To which I responded and predicted…
“As for the announcement of merchants, you actually said you would be worried if an announcement wasn’t made after April 18 when 30% of the coins had been mined and now you are conveniently pushing it back to June 11. If they give some excuse at the London event, you’ll probably rationalize that. Many scams always have great things coming in the future, but the future never seems to arrive.”
As the skeptics predicted, there were no merchants. Instead, OneCoin reps were distracted with new and redesigned websites, an alleged merchant app that was to launch at the end of 2016, an announcement that the fixed and finite number of 2.1 billion coins was now going to be changed to a whopping 120 billion coins and everyone’s tokens would be doubled in October.
In 2014, Dr. Ruja Ignatova stated that the amount of coins could not be increased and then just over two years later increased the amount of coins 100 fold.
On his FB page, the OneCoin rep’s response to being misled and lied to:
June 11, 2016 ·
London Event Update…
Its 230 am im exhausted but there were huge announcements and a short teaser till you either dig it up or i do my video 🙂
Our future just got “min” twice as bight 🙂
As predicted, when OneCoin didn’t do what they said they were going to do and instead moved the goalposts and announced more future great things to come, many reps swallowed the B.S. hook, line, and sinker.
That is one of the problems when people get too emotionally and financially vested in these questionable schemes. With your income, your dreams, and your reputation all on the line, it’s much easier to keep believing the hype and lies than it is to admit to yourself and others that it was all a lie and you’ve been duped.
So, what were some of the highlights of the June 11, 2016 CoinRush event.
- Magically change from a fixed and finite number of 2.1 billion coins to 120 billion coins as well as magically doubling every reps existing coins as of October 1, 2016, but with absolutely no negative impact on the value.
- When they change their finite and fixed amount of 2.1 billion coins to a new finite and fixed amount of 120 billion coins, they would be retiring the old blockchain in lieu of a newer and faster blockchain.
- Redesign of the OneCoin website and the launch and rebranding as OneLife with a new website
- Shooting for 10 million “users” and 1 million merchants within 2 years.
On the “merchant” front, in February 2017, OneCoin-OneLife finally threw up a half-assed deals platform they like to claim is similar to Groupon. Feel free to visit it at DealShaker.com and test the usability for yourself. From what I’ve seen, most of the deals are average at best and many are actually ridiculously overpriced if you want to pretend that the fictitious value OneCoin assigns to itself is real.
If this is the best a self-proclaimed multi-billion dollar company can do, that’s sad.
Try following the bouncing bank accounts
Before finally running out of options and dumping the money laundering duties on its affiliates, OneCoin-OneLife ran through upwards of 20 different bank accounts where recruits were to send money for the purchase of their “education packages” 😉
As it stands now, there is no easily accessible way to actually purchase the so-called education without doing some highly suspicious hoop jumping. If education were actually the focus, OneCoin would have virtually zero revenue at this point. Do you know of any educational institutions where you need to wire your professor the money to enroll, lol?
A myriad of warnings and investigations from authorities and institutions
Adding to all of the red flags already mentioned is the fact that so many warnings and even outright banning of OneCoin(in Italy) by organizations all over the world.
Fervent supporters like to dismiss all of these warnings with erroneous statements claiming that this is normal or the fact that because nobody is in cuffs yet, it proves that OneCoin is completely legal and above board.
This amount of warnings and investigations is not normal for a legitimate growing business. A couple, perhaps, but not the type of growing list that OneCoin is creating.
As for the weak “nobody in cuffs” argument, anyone who doesn’t live in a bubble has seen criminals of all sorts operate for years before being charged or arrested. And quite honestly, in the online world of ponzi and pyramid fraud, most scams crumble and disappear before the authorities get the chance to intervene.
Smart online scams also tend to operate out of scam friendly nations like, say, Bulgaria.
The Bottom Line
It appears that OneCoin-OneLife has had a nice run that is gradually winding down at whatever speed the originators wish to do it. With OneCoin finally being officially banned by at least one country(Italy), whatever momentum was left will continue to dissipate.
Sadly, as in so many cases, by the time the whole thing is either shut down or collapses, it will be way too late for those who lost money to have much chance of recovering it. The owners and top dogs have siphoned off as much as possible.
From the start, OneCoin was a highly suspect opportunity based on what they were bundling with their “education” and how the whole thing was allowed to be promoted.
Again, if there was truly any value in the education, they wouldn’t have needed to throw tokens into the deal creating an expectation of future riches as they fraudulently continue to increase the value.