Dr. Ruja Ignatova, the founder of OneCoin, hasn’t been seen since 2017
Ruja Ignatova is the self-styled ‘Cryptoqueen’ behind OneCoin, a cryptocurrency that has been described as a pyramid scheme, and has defrauded investors large and small of billions of dollars. When serious questions began to be asked about OneCoin in 2017, Ignatova disappeared. She’s now been placed on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list (thanks, BBC).
The FBI uses this when it believes the public might be able to help find someone, and Ignatova has now been missing for just under five years. The notice says that “Ignatova is believed to travel with armed guards and/or associates. Ignatova may have had plastic surgery or otherwise altered her appearance.”
The plastic surgery has been rumoured for a while, but that’s probably the least sensational aspect of this story. OneCoin began in 2014 and was essentially a multi-level marketing scam with crypto at the core: one of those where people get commission for introducing others. The problem being this crypto wasn’t even crypto, in the definitional sense of being built on a blockchain.
Instead it was a centralised digital currency that OneCoin controlled. This is a very special type of nothing (the exchange was closed in 2017 though, almost unbelievably, the currency is still traded by some).