Hungary's government has set its sights on OneCoin, a digital currency investment scheme widely believed to be fraudulent.
The Magyar Nemzeti Bank (MNB), the country's central bank, announced today that it is part of a wide-ranging task force aimed at cracking down on "certain elements of the alleged pyramid scheme". The development represents one of the most aggressive to date against the alleged scam.
OneCoin is an investment program centered around a purported digital currency through which investors are promised huge returns on their purchases. Participants are encouraged to find other investors as well, drawing the allegation that OneCoin is little more than a fraud.
Who's involved: The following agencies or institutions are participating in the OneCoin task force:
- The MNB, by way of its Market Surveillance Working Group
- The Budapest Police's main office
- The National Bureau of Investigation
- The National Tax and Customs Administration
- The Interior MinistryThe Prosecutor General's Office, as well as the Municipal Prosecutor's Office.
Why this is big: Recent signs indicate the regulatory bodies, particularly in Europe and Asia, are starting to take more concrete action against OneCoin.
The past few weeks have seen officials India arrest nearly two dozen individuals connected to the scheme while Germany's top finance regulator, BaFin, effectively banned it after shuttering a related payment processor. Both countries have seized funds from promoters' accounts.
Yet the Hungarian move is notable given the wide range of agencies parties involved. The task force brings together police, prosecutors, financial watchdogs and central bankers – all in the name of taking "action against OneCoin", to quote the MNB's release.
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