OneCoin, after garnering a lot of support in the early days of cryptocurrency, is still facing the music as Italy becomes one of the first countries to take a hardline stance against the company, demanding a €2.5 mln fine.
The Italian Antitrust and Consumer Protection Authority (AGCM) has branded OneCoin a pyramid scheme, or ponzi scheme.
Troubled times for OneCoin
OneCoin has been under investigation from the AGCM since December last year, where it ordered local affiliates to stop promoting the so-called digital currency.
However, Italy is not the only country that has been protecting its citizens from the financial fraud that seemed to be brewing under OneCoin. Prosecutors in Germany opened up criminal investigations into the company and in Hungary the government also took steps to tackle the ponzi scheme.
Italy’s AGCM has been working hard at shutting down OneCoin's influence in the country as its investigation was based on its suspicion that the currency was a “deceitful Ponzi scheme”.
The investigation wrapped up in February with OneCoin contesting the results, but regardless, the digital currency was banned in Italy at the end of February.
Cease and desist
OneCoin was required to respond to the AGCM with a detailed plan as to what measures it would take to stop all promotion of its company within Italy’s borders, or face a fine.
When there was no response from the ponzi scheme, the AGCM announced that they would incur a fine of between €10,000 to €5 mln. As such, the fine has now been set at €2.5 mln based on findings that OneCoin is a “pyramid sales system” that sold “one coins” to the general public.
First fine of its kind
While OneCoin has faced many bans and measures to stop its functioning in different states, the monetary fine imposed by Italy seems to be the first of its kind.