Samoa's Central Bank Investigates OneCoin Investment Scheme

The Central Bank of Samoa is investigating the OneCoin crypto investment scheme and has issued a warning about the business to investors.

AccessTimeIconApr 9, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 11, 2022 at 2:04 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Samoa's central bank has launched an investigation into the OneCoin cryptocurrency investment scheme.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, OneCoin – a pyramidal marketing scheme widely believed to be fraudulent – has been the subject of investigations by multiple countries including India, Finland and Italy - the latter of which fined OneCoin 2.59 million euros for utilizing pyramid scheme tactics in 2017.

Officials in Samoa are investigating whether people in the country have been defrauded, noting that promoters have been targeting would-be investors.

"This is a snare that is used to catch people's money," the Central Bank of Samoa's governor, Maiava Atalina Ainu'u-Enari, told the Samoa Observer last week.

"You invest $1,000 and then in four months, your cash is ten times more, which means you cash in $10,000," she said, describing OneCoin's pitch to investors.

Local media reports also indicated that Samoan church ministers may also be implicated in the scheme, though it was not clear in what capacity.

In addition to its investigation, the Central Bank issued a warning to investors emphasizing the risks associated with OneCoin and cryptocurrency investment schemes more generally, and clarified that it has not endorsed any crypto businesses.

"Several cryptocurrency promoters have contacted CBS seeking endorsement for their business and product; however they were not able to satisfy the government's requirement of providing the relevant information for due diligence purposes," the statement says.

Ainu'u-Enari said OneCoin is not the only crypto scheme on the government's radar, and that it is working to inform would-be crypto investors of the risks and potential fraud associated with businesses like it.

"Rome was not built in one days, as the saying goes," she said. "So we are slowly building our awareness campaigns, awareness programs and internal controls within the financial system."

Samoa islands image via Shutterstock


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 an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish, a cryptocurrency exchange, which in turn is owned by, a firm with interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets including bitcoin and EOS. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.