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OneCoin Co-Founder Sentenced to 20 Years: A Cautionary Tale in the Crypto World

In a dramatic conclusion to one of the world’s most infamous crypto scams, Karl Greenwood, co-founder of OneCoin, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. As the architect of this multi-billion-dollar pyramid scandal, Greenwood duped millions of naive investors globally. Originating in Bulgaria in 2014, OneCoin was hyped as the next big thing in the crypto universe, similar to Bitcoin. However, this supposed golden opportunity was nothing but an elaborate ruse.

Significantly, the scheme wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill scam. Instead, it operated through a complex multi-level marketing model. This insidious structure played a crucial role in persuading OneCoin members to recruit more victims. For every new recruit, a commission was awarded. Greenwood found himself at the top of this pyramid, amassing over $300 million, which represents 5% of all OneCoin sales.

Additionally, Greenwood and his elusive partner Ruja Ignatova, also known as the “Cryptoqueen,” painted a picture of limitless possibilities. They promised investors sky-high returns, portraying OneCoin as a game-changing investment. But behind the illusion lay a stark reality: OneCoin was worthless—a fraudulent enterprise built from the ground up. Consequently, between 2014 and 2016, over 3.5 million people invested more than $4 billion in this house of cards.

Moreover, OneCoin’s value, which the founders claimed was determined by “market forces,” was arbitrary. Contrary to these claims, the price was merely a fabricated number. The irony of the situation is both glaring and distressing.

However, while Greenwood’s chapter has closed, the saga continues. The “Cryptoqueen” remains at large, topping the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Rumors suggest she may have altered her appearance and is likely under armed protection. A reward of $250,000 is up for grabs for information leading to her capture.

Besides being a captivating story, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams pointed out that the case serves as a stark warning. He emphasized the need for this sentence to reverberate in financial circles, discouraging future scams.

Hence, as the cryptocurrency landscape continues to expand, it’s crucial for investors to proceed with caution. The OneCoin scandal serves as a potent reminder of the risks that come with the lure of quick riches. Let this be a resounding wake-up call to all: glossy promises can often hide a sinister reality.


Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Crypto is not a legal tender and is subject to market risks. Readers are advised to seek expert advice and read offer document(s) along with related important literature on the subject carefully before making any kind of investment whatsoever. Crypto market predictions are speculative and any investment made shall be at the sole cost and risk of the readers.