Home Scam/Fraud Ruja Ignatova: the crooked cryptoqueen

Ruja Ignatova: the crooked cryptoqueen

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In the summer of 2016, Ruja Ignatova walked on stage at Wembley Arena to greet thousands of fans. “She was dressed as usual in an expensive ballgown”, says The Sunday Times. But her message was modern: OneCoin, “Dr Ruja” told the cheering audience, was the “bitcoin killer” set to become the world’s largest digital currency. Scarcely a year later, she had vanished, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

The missing “cryptoqueen” has never been seen since. It transpired that OneCoin was essentially a Ponzi scheme disguised as a cryptocurrency – there was no blockchain base, and buyers were offered commission to sell the currency on to others. Several made multi-million-dollar fortunes themselves from an asset whose “price” Ignatova effectively fabricated.

Although OneCoin’s “suckers” were offered seemingly absurd returns – sometimes running to “hundreds of percent a year” – the timing of the scam,…

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