Bulgarian FSC regulator issues Onecoin warning
BehindMLM reader “Ben” has been recording statistical data pertaining to OneCoin accounts for some time now.
Yesterday Ben shared an abnormality pertaining to OneCoin accounts in Bulgaria, in that during the month of September, the number of Bulgarian OneCoin accounts had been wiped to zero.
Now a reason has emerged potentially explaining why.
As per the statistical data compiled by Ben, OneCoin accounts in Bulgaria were on the rise until the week August 28th to September 4th.
That week saw a decline of twenty-four accounts, which was followed up by a decline of twenty-nine the next week.
The week beginning September 11th saw seven hundred and eleven out of seven hundred and twelve accounts wiped.
Clearly either Bulgarian OneCoin investors or the company itself were panicking, but nobody seemed to know why.
Here’s one possible reason:
In September Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission issued an investment warning for OneCoin.
Wrote the FSC on September 30th:
FSC are informing potential investors and consumers on the Internet that activities related to the acquisition, trading and payment OneCoin are not governed by existing EU and national legislation on capital markets.
At present OneCoin or other virtual currencies are not recognized and not treated as a financial instrument within the meaning of FIMA and compared them to the requirements of FIMA.
Potential investors and users should be aware that an investment in such “cryptocurrencies”, which already exceed 400 different varieties, poses a high risk.
In the event the owners of these opportunities files for bankruptcy, investors are not subject to compensation from the Compensation Fund.
Presumably the FSC’s warning comes after an investigation into OneCoin. And if OneCoin were made aware of the investigation, by way of data collection or enquiries by the FSC, that would explain why they nuked the Bulgarian investor accounts.
It also explains why OneCoin stopped paying investors around the first week of September, and why they might have recently changed banks.
Providing no explanation as to why, less than twenty-four hours ago OneCoin abruptly announced the banking change on their Facebook page.
Through their new bank, the location of which is not disclosed, OneCoin claim ‘all withdrawals have been executed and processed and should be in (affiliate’s) bank accounts soon‘.
Whether or not the FSC’s investigation prompted the change of bank is unclear. Ditto whether or not the FSC’s investigation is ongoing.
According to the FSC’s website,
The Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) was established on March 1st, 2003 under the Financial Supervision Commission Act.
It is an institution that is independent from the executive authority and reports its activity to the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The Commission is a specialized government body for regulation and control over different segments of the financial system – capital market, insurance market, health insurance market, pension insurance market.
The “compensation fund” the FSC refers to is titled “Compensation Fund for Investors in Securities”.
The fund was established in 2005 and seeks to cover investors who lose funds if an investment scheme collapses.
What the FSC are pointing out in their warning is that OneCoin is an unregistered security in Bulgaria. As such, in the event of OneCoin collapsing, investors will not be able to make claims through the Compensation Fund.
Both the FSC and the US SEC are signatories to the IOSCO Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMOU).
Pursuant to the MMOU, signatories agree, among other items, to provide certain critical information, to permit use of that information in civil or administrative proceedings, to onward share information with self-regulatory organizations and criminal authorities, and to keep such information confidential.
In particular, the MMOU provides for the following:
- Sharing information and documents held in the regulators’ files;
- Obtaining information and documents regarding transactions in bank and brokerage accounts, and the beneficial owners of such accounts;
- Taking or compelling a person’s statement or, where permissible, a person’s testimony.
In addition to that, the SEC and FSC signed a separate MOU between the regulators back in 2013:
The Requesting Authority may use non-public information obtained under this MoU solely for the purpose of supervising Covered Entities and seeking to ensure compliance with the laws or regulations of the Requesting Authority.
To date OneCoin has given no indication that it is under investigation in Bulgaria or anywhere else. Nor has the company addressed the FSC investor warning.
How long OneCoin’s new banking channels continue to process funds for the scheme remains to be seen. Stay tuned…
Footnote: As I was putting this article together the FSC website fell apart.
It is currently showing a 404 error page where the OneCoin warning was (a lot of the site is currently missing), so for now I’ve included a screenshot of the Google cache and search listing for the warning.