Onecoin, a pyramid scheme that uses buzz words like “blockchain” and “cryptocurrency”, recently made claims at an event that they have 14 million users. The event was held at IMPACT Muang Thong Thania, a convention centre in Thailand. A video of the event showing thousands of attendees circulated within the crypto community.
This Onecoin pyramid scam charges members anywhere from 110 to 27,500 Euros for their “e-learning opportunities”. Members are awarded with tokens that are allegedly stored on a “blockchain” that will go public in 2018. There’s zero evidence of any Onecoin blockchain and their alleged “currency” is nothing more than hyper-inflated tokens stored on a closed source application.
Onecoin’s Hyped Up Membership Claims
If Onecoin’s claim to have 14 million users is true, then it’s possible they’d have a greater user base than all cryptocurrencies combined. This is a fairly big claim for a “coin” that doesn’t even trade on any crypto exchange. So does this statement have any merit?
Although we don’t have access to Onecoin’s membership list, it may be possible to make a rough estimate based on other metrics. The scheme has two main websites, onecoin.eu and onelife.eu.
The first site had 723.8K visits last month, with a peak of 3.3M visits in the spring. Their other site onelife.eu, has a membership portal with 2.5M visits last month. Now lets compare that to one of the most popular crypto forums, bitcointalk.org, which had 6.1M views last month with only 889,199 members.
Looking in the Google Play store, we can see two main apps called onecoin and onelife. Both apps have only been downloaded 10K times each. Let’s look at three bitcoin wallets in the same appstore:
- Coinbase: 500K downloads
- Mycelium: 100K downloads
- Xapo: 100 downloads
The last thing to look at is their social media profiles. Their official Youtube channel has 14,024 subscribers with 41,582 views on their top video. They also have 3,419 Twitter followers and 3,982 people on their Onelife Facebook page.
It’s highly unlikely that Onecoin even has a hundred thousand members, let alone millions.
Why Their Conference Had Thousands of People
Onecoin claims there were 11,000 attendees in that “mastermind” conference video. The video does show thousands of people but there’s no evidence that they were all members.
In one part of the video, a speaker tells the audience to sit down so that VIP members can see. This indicates that it was a mixed crowd, likely due to them playing cheesy pop music.
One reddit bitcoin user named bitcointhailand states:
“IMPACT (muang thong thani) is a large expo area with a lot of show halls. So on any given day there are lots of different events going on. If you rent one of the halls and put some signs like “Free concert” and have random shitty pop acts come on and sing every 10 minutes; it wouldn’t be that hard to fill the first 5 or 10 rows seeing as there are so many people already in the vicinity. (Which basically looks like what they have done)”
Having a free concert event to attract public attention makes sense, especially if your aim is to recruit more members. Just like their phoney “blockchain” and “currency”, their membership stats are also likely a cheap knockoff fugazi.