Nigerian SEC warns against OneCoin, SwissCoin pyramid schemes
In a public notice published yesterday, the Nigerian SEC has issued a warning against cryptocurrencies and pyramid schemes.
OneCoin, SwissCoin and Bitcoin are specifically singled out, with the SEC extending the warning to “such other virtual or digital currencies”.
The attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission, (the Commission) has been drawn to radio advertisements and other modes of solicitations of the public to invest in cryptocurrencies such as Swisscoin, OneCoin, Bitcoin and such other virtual or digital currencies.
The public is hereby advised to exercise extreme caution with regard to digital (crypto currencies) as a vehicle of investments.
The Commission, wishes to alert the public that none of the persons, companies or entities promoting cryptocurrencies has been recognized or authorized by it or by other regulatory agencies in Nigeria to receive deposits from the public or to provide any investment or other financial services in or from Nigeria.
The public should also be aware that any investment opportunities promoted by these persons, companies or entities are likely to be of a risky nature with a high risk of loss of money, whilst others may be outright fraudulent pyramid schemes.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency but there is no business opportunity attached to it. Therefore it’s clear the Nigerian SEC is referring to OneCoin and SwissCoin in its pyramid scheme warning.
Why is simple enough.
A Ponzi layer also exists in both schemes, by way of points (tokens) converted to Ponzi points and then cashed out by affiliates. Both OneCoin and SwissCoin use newly invested funds to pay affiliates who cash points out through an internal exchange.
The value of the points is arbitrarily increased by the companies over time, creating an increased ROI liability the longer the schemes run.
Given that these instruments and the persons, companies or entities that promote them have neither been authorized, nor any guidelines/regulations developed for them by any of the regulatory authorities in Nigeria, there is no protection available to users or investors in these virtual currencies from financial losses if the virtual currencies fail or the companies promoting them go out of business.
Neither OneCoin or SwissCoin’s Ponzi points can be used for anything meaningful outside of the attached business opportunities. This separates them from legitimate cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
Both OneCoin and SwissCoin are marketed as investment opportunities in Nigeria.
A website titled “OneCoin Nigeria” (“onecoin.com.ng”) markets the OneCoin OneLife business opportunity as follows:
The current value of OneCoin is €6.95. It started as €0.50 in January 2015. It is expected to reach €10 – €15 per coin by December 2016.
On the average, it costs about €140 to own at least 30 coins which is currently worth €198. In a few weeks those 30 coins will be worth about €450.
Think about it, if you then invest €5530, you would be getting about 3000 coins. At the current value of onecoin that makes your investment worth over €20,000.
The current internal value of OneCoin is €7.89 EUR.
A website titled “SwissCoin Nigeria” (“swisscoin.com.ng”) markets the SwissCoin opportunity in a similar manner:
In the pack you purchase you will also receive “tokens” that are used to generate Swisscoin in the mining system, you will receive 1 token for 0.1 euro.
This means that if you Invest 500 euro, you will get 5000 tokens. You will also receive split(s) in your packs (a split will double up your tokens) giving you a total of 10.000 tokens.
The split is a bonus from company that occurs every 5-8 weeks, split indicator now is at 89% (as of the day of publishing this content) and we are awaiting the first ever split in Swisscoin History.
This is just a bonus from the company, doubling our investment. Great isn’t it?
The internal value of SwissCoin still appears to be €0.1 EUR.
At the time of publication Alexa estimate Nigeria is the largest source of traffic to the OneCoin, OneLife and SwissCoin websites.