2019, Podcasts

The Missing Cryptoqueen (2019)

This is a very interesting podcast about OneCoin. If you don’t know about OneCoin, it’s a cryptocurrency. So let me just say that this is worth listening to before I spoil anything.


Onecoin is the “cryptocurrency” that is actually a Ponzi Scheme. Excuse me, I meant a multilevel marketing company. I don’t know if OneCoin never really made it to Canada or whether I don’t pay enough attention to crypto, but I had never never heard of OneCoin. The closest I’d come is a YouTube commenter I sparred with whose last name was OneLife, another name for OneCoin (and also, I believe, the name of their social networking side). I suspect I didn’t hear about it in part because the stuff I’ve read about cryptocurrency is about real cryptocurrencies.

OneCoin is not a cryptocurrency. Rather it is a true fiat currency, created by a company and backed by nothing but their claims. Their claims, a few of which are at least a little bit true, along with the inherent possibilities of cryptocurrency and the very charismatic female founder resulted in a lot of people putting a lot of faith in the company. The result is likely the largest scam of the 21st century, and possibly one of the largest in human history.

The podcast does a good job of showing why OneCoin is not what it is says it is and how it’s a pyramid scheme. It also does a very good job with the human cost of such a scam. And I appreciate how often they get people on the record who are still believers or who have moved on to the next pyramid scheme.

My one nitpick is the sound design. Like a few other podcasts I’ve encountered lately there is a little too much going on in my ears at times, and sometimes it’s actually hard to hear the host’s voice. This is particularly weird given that this podcast is from a major news organization rather than just some guy. I wonder if the background of some of the people working on it is TV, so they don’t quite get that we want the human voice at the centre of things.

But aside from that nitpick, it’s worth your time.


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