OneCoin Promoters Fined €2.6 Million by Italian Consumer Watchdog

A consumer rights watchdog in Italy is fining a group of companies that have promoted OneCoin.

AccessTimeIconAug 14, 2017 at 8:40 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:49 a.m. UTC

A consumer rights watchdog in Italy is fining a group of companies that have promoted OneCoin, the digital currency investment scheme widely believed to be fraudulent.

The 2.59 million euro fine was passed down by the Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA), quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization that is funded by the Ministry of Economic Development. It comes months after the group moved to suspend the operations of several OneCoin-affiliated companies in Italy.

The companies were sanctioned for utilizing pyramid scheme tactics and misleading investors through promotional materials and events.

The IAA said in a statement:

OneCoin's dissemination took place through a pyramid sales system as recruitment of new consumers was the sole purpose of sales activity and was strongly encouraged by the recognition of various bonuses, the only real and effective remuneration of the program. The purchase of the training kit in fact concealed the entry fee required to enter the system and convince other consumers of the goodness of the product."

Italy is the latest country in Europe to move to impose penalties against companies that promote OneCoin.

OneCoin, a purported digital currency, is sold via "packages" to investors who then redeem those packages for coins. Would-be investors are often encouraged to find others do buy those packages from them, adding fuel to the allegations that OneCoin is a Ponzi scheme.

Back in April, regulators in Germany effectively banned the scheme. Officials in Belize, India and Vietnam, among other countries, have taken steps against OneCoin in recent months.

Image via Shutterstock

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
El Salvador compra 80 bitcoins adicionales a $19K cada uno, según el presidente Bukele

La última compra del país centroamericano había sido en mayo.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
Brutal Month for Bitcoin as June Ends With Biggest Drop in 11 Years

Crypto markets saw heavy losses with investors increasingly worried about high inflation and Federal Reserve rate increases. Some analysts say the bitcoin price could go even lower.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
Ignite CEO Peng Zhong Announces Departure Shortly After Re-Organization

Zhong’s exit comes weeks after the company’s former CEO, Jae Kwon, said he is re-joining the company as the CEO of spinoff New Tendermint.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
DAOs Are the New Way of Impact Work

"Impact DAOs" are at the forefront of a new culture of work that asks us to move towards aligning our values with our actions, says the co-founder of Gitcoin.

CoinDesk - Unknown