OneCoin issues response

By Ivamere Nataro, 14 May 2019

OneCoin has rubbished claims made by the Central Bank of Samoa (C.B.S.) that they are a "hybrid ponzi-pyramid scheme" that "laundered money through New Zealand to Samoa" and targeted individuals through churches.

The digital currency company said its associates are "self employed business owners" and they are expected to comply with local regulations. 

In a statement sent to the Samoa Observer, the company said no one has authority to act or make statements on behalf of the company in Samoa and New Zealand.

“Let it be clear that neither OneCoin nor OneLife companies have organisation, representation or employees in Samoa and New Zealand,” the statement reads.

“OneCoin is a centralised, closed cryptocurrency. The closed system has strict A.M.L. and C.F.T.  (Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism) policies as well as K.Y.C. (Know your customer) implementation, as in our case, prevents anonymous transactions."

The company explained that the current legislation on pyramid sales, its origin and expressed purpose is consumer protection, and the user who are part of the OneLife Network are not consumers, but Independent Marketing Associates (I.M.A.) — meaning they are self-employed business owners.

“We would like to state that the company does not consider it has any responsibility for activities directed by OneLife I.M.A at Samoa and New Zealand. We do care about I.M.A behavior and insist on them being compliant with local regulations.”

“OneCoin has always been more than happy to cooperate and explain to whoever is interested, within the reasonable grounds, how a closed source cryptocurrency system works,” said the statement, adding a closed source does not compromise the legitimacy of the cryptocurrency in any way.

Last month, the C.B.S. issued a press statement based on a “spontaneous intelligence report from the New Zealand Financial Intelligence Unit (N.Z.F.I.U.) regarding the OneCoin operations”.

The report labelled OneCoin as a “Hybrid Ponzi-Pyramid Scheme” because the "scam" contains ingredients of both types  – Ponzi Scheme and Pyramid Scheme.

“Because of the C.B.S. prohibition on all OneCoin transactions in May 2018, N.Z.F.I.U. have formulated the view that this propelled the financial problem in NZ. That is, OneCoin has circumvented Samoa’s financial system (because of our blockages on all OneCoin transactions at all Financial Institutions in 2018), and have opted to use the NZ Financial System to conduct their businesses and transfers.

“NZFIU have estimated that NZ$3.5m (T$6.06 million) was transferred out of NZ.  The target of OneCoin is through the Churches.”

The following is the full statement from OneCoin:

Dear Sir/ Madam,

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We are contacting you in relation to recent media publications which refer to a statement by the Central bank of Samoa, based on a (quote) “spontaneous intelligence report from the New Zealand Financial Intelligence Unit (NZFIU)”. In this statement, there are claims that “OneCoin is a “Hybrid Ponzi-Pyramid Scheme” “; that “money was laundered through New Zealand to Samoa”; that OneCoin is targeting individuals through churches. (for reference: https://www.cbs.gov.ws/index.php/media/press-releases/)

Let it be clear that neither OneCoin nor OneLife companies have organization, representation or employees in Samoa and New Zealand. No one has authority to act or make statements on company’s behalf in Samoa and New Zealand.

Furthermore, in order to ensure the legitimacy and objectiveness of the information, presented in the mass media, the OneCoin company would like to clear out this obvious misunderstanding, by stating the following:

By definition a Ponzi scheme is a “fraudulent activity/investment operation where the revenue for old investors is generated through the investment of new investors, rather than from legitimate business activities”. 

Why is OneCoin NOT a Ponzi scheme? OneCoin is a centralized, closed source cryptocurrency. The closed system has strict AML and CFT (Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism) policies as well as KYC (Know-Your-Customer) implementation and, as in our case, prevents anonymous transactions. Based on that it is much more compliant than decentralized ones.

The OneLife Network which was born out of the OneCoin brand is a growing global network, where the IMAs’ (Independent Marketing Associates) success depends entirely on their personal commitment, abilities and effort. IMAs can obtain an educational package and can only receive a bonus for their marketing activity, meaning they are not obliged to incur any additional expenses or recruit a new IMA.

The current legislation on pyramid sales, its origin and its express purpose is consumer protection. The users which are part of the OneLife Network are NOT consumers. They are IMAs, meaning they are self-employed business owners. 

Before becoming IMAs, users sign a contract. Clause 2 E of the OLN IMA agreement states that, by accepting the contract, the user becomes an independent, self-employed business owner. In addition they are provided with the opportunity (NOT obliged) to recruit a new IMA. In this case bonus/revenue will be received for the realized sales and for the support they provide to IMAs. A bonus is not paid for the recruitment of the new IMA, but for the value of sales.

An IMA is entitled to market Advanced Learning Systems - educational packages, to other potential users, who can become IMAs as well and are entitled to market ALS to other users but only if they decide to do so. The IMAs are independent, self-employed contractors for the OneLife Network and it is in this strict sense the company as such has no business activities in Samoa and New Zealand, as already stated above.

Having said that we would like to state that the company does not consider it has any responsibility for activities directed by OneLife IMAs at Samoa and New Zealand. Nevertheless, we do care about IMAs behavior and insist on them being compliant with local regulations. That is why free of charge trainings, guidelines and presentation materials are constantly provided to all our IMAs worldwide in order to ensure that they adhere to the law in their daily work. In case an IMA has violated our internal Terms and Conditions, the company has the full right to apply its internal sanction policy. 

The OneCoin company has always appreciated the efforts of authorities and media outlets to ensure economic safety of the society. Therefore, being a compliant company, OneCoin has always been more than happy to cooperate and explain to whoever is interested, within the reasonable grounds, how a closed source cryptocurrency system works. A closed source does not compromise the legitimacy of the cryptocurrency in any way.

The OneCoin company is committed to following good business practices and the relevant rules and regulations in the countries in which they operate. The OneCoin company is fully aware that the cryptomarket is currently still relatively young and is rapidly developing by the minute. Being an alternative to the traditional currencies in terms of payment, none of the currently known cryptocurrencies has been accepted by any government as official currency. So, our main goal is on a daily basis we try to contribute in any way for the establishment of stricter regulations and legal frameworks worldwide to ensure that the cryptomoney is used solely for decent purposes.

We sincerely hope that the statement, presented in this email, will be taken into consideration by the management of the media and disclosed on your web page or other communication channels of your media. If you need further information in the future, please feels free to contacts us. 

Best regards,

OneCoin Press Department

 

By Ivamere Nataro, 14 May 2019

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