A top financial regulator in Belgium has issued a warning about OneCoin, a digital currency product that has frequently drawn fraud accusations.
The notice, published this weekend, states that remarks from promoters that OneCoin has received the institution’s tacit approval are “false and misleading”.
Despite the claims, the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) said that it had no regulatory powers to speak of in relation to digital currencies, and the note itself constitutes little more than a warning about getting involved with products like OneCoin.
The notice reads:
“Certain people have recently been promoting OneCoin, said to be a virtual currency based on cryptography, in Belgium. The FSMA wishes to warn the public that OneCoin has not received any form of recognition whatsoever from the FSMA. The same is true of the persons who are promoting OneCoin: They do not hold an authorization or any other form of recognition from the FSMA.”
OneCoin functions with a multi-level marketing system whereby people purchase packages of “tokens” that can then be redeemed for access to a “mining” platform. OneCoin marketing materials offer significant returns for those who can get others to sign up, a characteristic that invokes so-called pyramid schemes whereby the biggest gains go to those at the top of the structure.
The post goes on to reiterate past warnings about digital currencies as a whole, pointing to cybersecurity and price volatility risks publishes in 2014 and 2015 by the FSMA and the Belgian central bank.
Reports indicate that regulators worldwide have taken notice of pitches like OneCoin and their promises of quick riches.
As reported by Bangladesh news service Bangla Tribune, a group of individuals involved in the promotion of multi-level marketing schemes including OneCoin were arrested in mid-June. The arrests reportedly involved the country’s counter-terrorism forces.
German regulators are also looking into OneCoin. Major German newspaper Der Spiegel reported in early June that the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), the country’s main financial services regulator had opened an investigation.
MLM news site BehindMLM has reported in the past that other regulators in Europe are investigating OneCoin as well.
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