Italy Suspends Onecoin’s Activities Declaring Them a Pyramid Scam
Is the Bitcoin community going to see more woes for pyramid schemes such as Onecoin in 2017? Italian government acts against Onecoin.
The antitrust authority in Italy, Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato - or the Italian Competition Authority - has announced that it has adopted an interim injunction against the activities of One Network Services Ltd., the company which has been promoting OneCoin in Italy.
This follows an investigation launched to assess the system designed and operated by One Network Services Ltd. and its representatives in Italy to promote a program for OneCoin which they claim involves the purchasing of training packages “which should enable consumers to achieve significant economic returns, for example with an investment of 140 euros promises a return 2800 euros in two years.”
It says the investigation is as a result of reports received by the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa, also known as CONSOB, the body responsible for regulating the Italian financial markets, and the CTCU of Bolzano- or the Centre Protection of Consumers and Users- also supported by findings of the Special Unit Antitrust Guardia di Finanza.
The notice, published this weekend, states that the evidence gathered so far shows that the representation of the advantages of OneCoin attracts the entry of a large number of consumers to make significant economic investments in the scheme which has been traced to a pyramid sales system that is prohibited by law.
There have been several warnings against OneCoin being a scam.
Several related moves have been made and warnings issued in the past in other parts of Europe.
In July, Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority, also known as FSMA, warned the public to be wary of activities related to OneCoin saying the scheme has not received authorization or any form of recognition from the regulatory body. Additionally, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority cited OneCoin as a risk to consumers.
German regulators started looking into OneCoin. The German newspaper Der Spiegel reported in June that the financial regulatory body Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) had opened an investigation into this too.
However, in the notice issued by Italy in which it charged that “none of the professionals involved in the proceedings provided explanations and adequate defenses to understand the likelihood of the promised results, as well as on the functioning of the system promoted,” all activities to the promotion and dissemination of OneCoin as well as training packages linked to it are suspended as a precautionary measure possibly to limit the damage to consumers pending the conclusion of the investigation.