This is the third of a four-part series about recent cryptocurrency scams in Singapore. If you haven’t read the first two parts, you can read them here and here.

You may have read about the OneCoin scam in Singapore a few months ago. Two men in Singapore were charged with promoting the “fraudulent cryptocurrency”, OneCoin, another one of those MLM crypto schemes. If you weren’t in the loop of this scam, here’s a quick rundown on what has been going on.


Officially, OneCoin states that it’s a cryptocurrency with a private blockchain and claims that it sells educational materials for trading. These “educational materials” range from 100 to 118 000 Euros and comes with tokens which can be used to mine OneCoins. Members of OneCoin also benefit from recruiting new members to join the OneCoin network through commissions. 

What’s OneCoin really about

In truth, OneCoin uses “education” and courses as an excuse to recruit members in its ponzi scheme. Like many crypto scams, OneCoin has a pyramid scheme, a structure which is illegal in many countries. Unsurprisingly, OneCoin’s “educational materials” are often plagiarised and according to this source, is not the focus of its business. 

Additionally, OneCoin’s token has no value outside of its platform and is not traded in large crypto exchanges. An FBI authority in the US stated that “unlike authentic cryptocurrencies, which maintain records of their investors’ transaction history, OneCoin had no real value.  It offered investors no method of tracing their money, and it could not be used to purchase anything.”

Despite many red flags, OneCoin had been able to defraud more than S$3 million from its investors. 

Another Get Rich Quick Scheme

One major red flag of all crypto scams is the “get rich quick” narrative that’s often promoted. True, credible crypto startups focus instead on their technology, developments, and provide solutions to current problems. However, since these developments can be difficult to comprehend, investors who are simply looking for a way to profit often tune in to these altcoin startups that appeal to their greed. 

Being knowledgable about your investments is crucial, especially in cryptocurrency where scams are prevalent. Doing your research, reading up on terminologies and taking part in discussions is vital — there’s really no shortcut to it, unless you want to be shortchanged. 

Investigations against founders and those promoting OneCoin

OneCoin was founded in 2014 and investigations against its founder, Konstatin Ignatov is ongoing. As of June 2019, Ignatov, founder of OneCoin, pleaded not guilty to the charges made against him. Outside of the US, investigations against persons promoting the ponzi scheme is also underway. In April 2019, two men in Singapore were charged for promoting OneCoin. One of the two was also charged with incorporating a company, One Concept Pte Ltd, which promotes OneCoin’s MLM scheme. 

Before investing large amounts into any “up and coming” altcoin, always be sure to do ample research on your own and seek out other experienced investors. Cryptocurrency is not evil in itself. In fact, there are many legitimate and credible cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple — the most highly traded cryptocurrencies. However, the presence of these many scams gives cryptocurrency a bad name. They not only tarnish the reputation of their own company, but they also tarnish the reputation of other credible, trustworthy cryptocurrency developments. 

Finding out more about cryptocurrency trading and investment is important. Go online, be a part of discussions and perhaps even sign up for a credible cryptocurrency course! There is really no short cut when it comes to taking active steps to take charge of your cryptocurrency trading journey.