Let’s listen to “The Missing Cryptoqueen” podcast together from the very beginning, as the new episodes arrive. This second one presents new facets of Dr. Ruja’s story and amplifies the scope of the podcast. Good news, “The Missing Cryptoqueen” might be even more interesting than we previously believed. As BBC presenter Jamie Bartlett puts it, “we thought we were looking for a missing billionaire, but now we seem to be entering a world that’s far murkier than we thought.”
NewsBTC’s “The Missing Cryptoqueen’s” listening group is now in session. In the first few minutes of this episode, Dr. Ruja Ignatova says: “In two years, nobody will talk about bitcoin anymore.” A line out of the book of every crypto scammer out there.
About “The Missing Cryptoqueen ’s” Episode Two, “The Bitcoin Killer”
This podcast moves fast. It’s only “The Missing Cryptoqueen ’s” second episode and the whole OneCoin fiasco is already breaking apart. The producer and the presenter move between telling the story of what happened and the actual search for Dr. Ruja. The team went to Bulgaria and asked around about the controversial character. Every time they mentioned her, Bulgarians started to speak loudly among themselves.
They are going to places that she frequented, sure, but everyone seems to know about Ruja Ignatova.
In any case, “The Missing Cryptoqueen’s” audience is not exactly a cryptocurrency-savvy one. The episode starts with a terrible definition of what money is, and a shaky explanation of how blockchain technology works. It’s necessary, because we will soon find out that OneCoin didn’t even run on a blockchain. This was a scam through and through from the very beginning.
The podcast/ radio documentary also serves as a living and breathing explanation of how a Ponzi scheme works. And the story’s protagonists tell you exactly what happened in their own words. One of the victims, Jane; a developer turned OneCoin whistleblower; and OneCoin denouncer Timothy Curry are the guests in “The Missing Cryptoqueen’s” second episode.
In the episode’s fourth quarter, the team goes to the marina where the boat Dr. Ruja’s disappeared from was located. The Bulgarians there mention the mafia. And the developer turned whistleblower also alludes to it.
BTC price chart for 10/06/2022 on Bitstamp | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com
An Almost-Always-Present Characteristic Of A Scam Or Ponzi
Besides the lack of a blockchain, “The Missing Cryptoqueen” points out an almost-always-present characteristic of a scam or Ponzi:
People couldn’t withdraw or spend the tokens they bought.
In this case, OneCoin only lived in a SQL Database in Bulgaria. The naive investors saw the price pumping and believed they were making a killing, but their tokens were just numbers on a screen. They couldn’t exchange them for other cryptocurrencies because OneCoin was not a cryptocurrency. It didn’t run on a blockchain.
At the time, the team reached out to OneCoin with these allegations and they denied everything and blamed the authorities and regulations for their token’s lack of usability. Classic scammers.
Quotes From “The Missing Cryptoqueen ’s” Episode Two – “The Bitcoin Killer”
“The €10,000 that Jen invested which she thought was now worth over €100,000 in one coin was just a number that someone in an office in Bulgaria had made up and could delete just as easily. OneCoin is not a real cryptocurrency, it’s just pretending to be one. It’s fake, it’s a scam, and it could be the scam of the century.”
“OneCoin was only possible because of Dr. Ruja. Whenever we see complicated technology that we don’t understand, we make a judgment about it based on things we do understand. Like the fact that the boss was an inspirational, successful businesswoman. Dr. Ruja’s magic trick was to use the hype and terminology of legitimate cryptocurrencies. So ordinary people like Jen couldn’t tell the difference between the real and the fake.”
Extra Material And Episode Credits
This week’s extra material comes courtesy of Investopedia, which summarizes “The Missing Cryptoqueen ’s” plot as:
“OneCoin was a cryptocurrency-based Ponzi scheme. The companies behind the scheme were OneCoin Ltd. and OneLife Network Ltd., founded by Bulgarian national Ruja Ignatova, who disappeared in 2017. However, not before the scheme raised $4 billion.”
And finally, the episode’s credits:
Presenter: Jamie Bartlett
Producer: Georgia Catt
Story consultant: Chris Berube
Editor: Philip Sellars
Original music and sound design: Phil Channell
Original music and vocals: Dessislava Stefanova and the London Bulgarian Choir
Previous Companion Guides For BBC’s “The Missing Cryptoqueen” Podcast: