A woman has been dubbed the ‘crypto queen’ after raising billions of dollars in a fraudulent currency scheme
In 2014, Ruja Ignatova launched ‘OneCoin’ which sought to replace Bitcoin as the world’s top digital currency.
The coin was marketed to friends and family in exchange for their own payouts, which added up to over USD $3 billion.
The entrepreneur had previously told investors she had created the “Bitcoin killer”.
“This network was created to become and to fuel the growth of OneCoin,” she told a packed London event in 2016.
But once the scheme was uncovered, reports emerged the woman had disappeared in Greece. That was five years ago, and she has not been seen since.
The 42-year-old has made it onto the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list, with a USD $100,000 reward on offer.
The FBI says Ignatova may have travelled to the United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, Germany, Russia, or other eastern European nations on a German passport.
“[It’s] one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history,” Williams said.
Her own brother was arrested in Los Angeles two years ago, and later pleaded guilty to wire a fraud in a deal with U.S. authorities.
Crypto companies on the verge of collapse
The collapse of crypto empire FTX has sent shockwaves right around the world, with many questioning the future of digital coins
Now, one Australian company is feeling the pinch.
Brisbane-based ‘Digital Surge’ says it will halt all withdrawals, citing the “greatly upsetting” news FTX is in administration.
Digital Surge allows investors to trade cryptocurrencies in a number of different ways, including through self-managed super funds.
CEO Dan Rutter says his company “operates as a broker and is committed to facilitating the best trade for users at any time”.
This means a portion of assets are actually held by trading partners.
FTX was one of these trading partners and as a result, Rutter says the company isn’t currently able to operate “business as usual”.
Withdrawals have already been blocked for over a week. The CEO says the company is still solvent and this is all related to short-term liquidity challenges.
Adding, “until a permanent solution has been implemented, it is a legal requirement for Digital Surge to suspend all deposits and withdrawals”.
But the company remains tight-lipped about how many customers are affected and what exposure it had to FTX.
BlockFI the latest crypto collapse
The contagion from the FTX crypto collapse has claimed another major scalp.
Cryptocurrency lender BlockFi has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
BlockFi claimed more than 100,000 creditors with liabilities up to $10 billion.
BlockFi was founded in 2017 and is now hoping bankruptcy protection will allow it to stabilize the company and restructure.
In a statement, the company says:
“With the collapse of FTX, the BlockFi management team and board of directors immediately took action to protect clients and the Company,”
“From inception, BlockFi has worked to positively shape the cryptocurrency industry and advance the sector.”
Days after FTX declared bankruptcy, BlockFi said it had significant exposure to FTX and its other corporate entities.
BlockFi is now the fourth crypto-focused company to seek bankruptcy protection this year, following FTX, Voyager Digital, and Celsius Network.
China protests hit global markets, crypto
The protests in China are having a negative impact on cryptocurrencies and markets around the world.
Bitcoin failed to break its descent and fell more than 3 percent.
The global crypto market cap fell over 2%, sending major cryptos into the red.
Over the last 24 hours, overall crypto market volume grew by 22%.
It comes amid a round of investor nervousness in global markets spurred by protests in China against Covid restrictions.
Protesters outraged by harsh COVID-19 regulations called for China’s strong leader to quit.
China is the world’s second-largest economy and has a significant impact on global financial markets.
Stocks and cryptos aren’t considered safe havens, leading to bearing price action.
Analysts are hoping for a sharp bullish reversal if and when the protests end.
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