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Authorities Are Closing in on Alleged Cryptocurrency Ponzi Scheme OneCoin

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According to an official statement, OneCoin offices in Sofia were recently raided by law enforcement agencies as part of a joint operation between Germany and Bulgaria. Evidence was collected from the Sofia-based OneCoin subsidiary, One Network Services, where 50 people were questioned but no arrests were made. The Bulgarian authorities have also searched 14 other companies associated with One Network Services.

During a press briefing, Bulgarian prosecutors said,

“[…] About three million people have subscribed for the educational packages offered by OneCoin. […] While bitcoin is decentralised, the so called cryptocurrency OneCoin is centralised.”

Why is OneCoin a Scam?

The OneCoin MLM scheme operates like most Ponzi schemes. In order to make money, new users are expected to bring in new people into the network. Users reportedly earn a ten percent commission on anyone they signup. Six percent of the commission is directed to a cash account, while four percent is directed to a mandatory account. The mandatory account allows users to purchase more tokens or to upgrade packages. The more packages you purchase, the more tokens and splits you get. Additionally, withdrawing money is expensive and it is based on the number of active referrals a user has.

Suspicion further increases when you look at the OneCoin website. The website has grammatical errors and it falsely promotes OneCoin as a cryptocurrency. The “currency’s” compliance policies such as know your customer (KYC) and audit reports are also falsely promoted on the site. In other words, an already fraudulent company claims to protect its customers against criminal activities and it claims to frequently audit blockchain transactions where blockchain technology is not even being used. For a “currency” that claims to be the bitcoin killer, OneCoin does not use any of the protocols that other cryptocurrencies use. Furthermore, the website attempts to advertise the One Ecosystem as an exchange, a Forex, a charity, an e-commerce platform, an academy, a payments platform, and a business app solution all rolled into one.

The founder and “visionary” of OneCoin, Dr. Ruja Ignatova, has been arrested and taken to court by the German authorities for her involvement in the scheme. The legitimacy of her Law and Economics degree, which she supposedly earned from Oxford University in 2004, has also been put in question while TheMerkle reported that “Dr. Ruja’s employment with different companies prior to founding OneCoin remains a big mystery as well.” Other red flags include OneCoin’s centralised nature where you can only buy the “currency” from OneCoin companies.

African Central Banks Have Warned About OneCoin

In Africa, the Bank of Uganda and the Central Bank of Nigeria have warned citizens to be wary of OneCoin. Unfortunately, despite shutting down the Sofia servers, OneCoin operations are still going on through the affiliates of OneCoin Ltd, which is registered in the UAE. Therefore, OneCoin could potentially cause greater financial ruin for Africans than MMM Global already has.

Hence, it is important to stay away from these type of “multi-level marketing” cryptocurrency schemes that promise high returns but are in reality nothing more than pyramid schemes.

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PIVX Announces Launch of PIVX Foundation at UN’s Blockchain for Impact Summit

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PIVX Foundation

PIVX announced the official launch of the PIVX Foundation at the UN’s second Blockchain for Impact Summit held in New York on June 4, 2019. The summit, which focuses on how blockchain technology can be used to drive the achievement of sustainable development goals, was led by the United Nations’ Blockchain Sustainability Commission.

The PIVX Foundation

Bryan Doreian, the PIVX Global Ambassador and Co-Founder of the PIVX Foundation, made the announcement to his fellow delegates during the summit.

“The launch of the PIVX Foundation, an independent non-profit focused on supporting PIVX and the larger blockchain ecosystem, provides a massive opportunity for PIVX to grow. Donors can now leverage charitable contributions (charitable contributions can offset taxes they might otherwise be paying) – AND help support the PIVX ecosystem at the same time. This is a major win for community members who may have been donating to fund projects through PIVX in the past without a charity tax receipt,” he said.

The PIVX Foundation is a registered charity, an extension of the PIVX community, and a component of the SDG Impact Fund, a donor-advised fund in support of UN’s SDGs. The Foundation’s mission is to leverage innovation to create impact.

best PIVX walletsPIVX is a community-focused cryptocurrency that operates as a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO), which means that it is run by the people, for the people. The PIVX Foundation will be run in the same way.

The community makes monthly donations when the treasury budget is not enough to cover a project’s needs. Donors will now start receiving tax benefits for the money they contribute.

According to a published statement from the PIVX Foundation, a generous community is presently funding the Foundation and its governance is under the PIVX community. “In order to receive the budget to fund impact development programs, grant applications will need to run through the PIVX Proposal system and be voted on by the community to ensure the SDGs maintain top priority for all funded initiatives,” the statement explained.

The PIVX Foundation is run using the PIVX currency, PIV. This means that donors contribute in PIV to help fund projects.  As the first cryptocurrency-driven foundation within the SDG Impact Fund, PIVX has a place at the UN as a top impact technology.

The First Project

The PIVX Foundation will fund the first project in collaboration with Vendible and the SDG Impact Fund. Doreian will be leading this project with the aim of developing a payments processor with zero-fees on transactions, hence eliminating the three to seven percent processing costs associated with traditional online charitable platforms.

“Since the PIVX Foundation is a sub-component of the SDG Impact Fund, it is already taking part in leveraging its resources and insights to help build out some novel charitable donation platforms including the payment rails for the SDG Impact Fund and all affiliated charities to accept crypto donations. All of this will be of incredible use for the philanthropic realms, as well as more tangibly align blockchain with charity, putting PIVX in the central focus,” Doreian elaborated.

The announcement of the PIVX Foundation launch comes after the project introduced an iOS wallet app, an important step to increasing the adoption of the PIVX currency.

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South Africa’s Xago Deploys RippleNet in its Gateway to Boost Financial Inclusion

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Xago

Xago, a money transfer startup that aims to increase financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa, has announced the integration of RippleNet to its gateway.

The Xago Gateway

The South Africa-based fintech company has deployed RippleNet to its gateway to enable local and international fiat currency and digital asset transfer. RippleNet is a blockchain-based global payments network that is made up of payment providers, banks, and financial institutions launched by San Francisco-based Ripple.

According to Xago, the users of its payments platform will be able to access the transfer and exchange of digital assets via the XRP ledger. Additionally, the integration of RippleNet to the Xago gateway will enable customers to exchange the South African Rand for XRP.

“Xago uses the XRP Ledger as a distributed exchange where users can exchange XRP for ZAR,” said Xago.

The Xago gateway provides an entry point to the Ripple Network where customers can enjoy low-cost cross-border payments, instant payments, frictionless transfers, and transparent transactions.

Xago’s gateway is built for businesses while Ripple’s payments network is an enterprise blockchain solution. The Xago gateway acts as a connection between market makers and customers.

How it Works

XagoTo register to use the gateway, both businesses and individuals will need to undergo a KYC process. Xago also uses a third-party service provider to ensure that the platform is compliant with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act regulations.

Xago acts as both an issuing gateway and a private exchange with the gateway offering “a way for money and other forms of value to move in and out of the XRP ledger.”

Xago’s withdrawal fees are fixed at ZAR 8.50 while transaction fees vary with market prices. All fees are quoted for customers once an order is placed.

Boosting Financial Inclusion to the Unbanked

Xago said it picked RippleNet for its gateway because the network offers low-cost, secure, transparent, and instant payments to the unbanked, according to a report by TodaysGazette. The move could boost Xago’s goal of increasing access to financial services through technologies such as mobile phones to the unbanked.

According to data from the World Bank, 66 percent of the Sub-Saharan African population does not have access to financial services. However, mobile money is driving financial inclusion in the region with the number of adults holding mobile money accounts doubling to 21 percent. That could mean that mobile phones could be the key to driving financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Commit Good Launches Charity Project in Botswana With $GOOD Cryptocurrency

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Commit Good

Commit Good, a blockchain-based charitable organisation, has launched its first proof-of-concept project with the Rentse Foundation Trust. The reward-based, charitable platform will help the foundation to build homes in Otse, Botswana using the startup’s digital currency, $GOOD.

The $GOOD Currency

Commit Good’s Currency of Good campaign allows users to grant funds in $GOOD tokens to any charity anywhere in the world. Charities post current projects on the website where users can then vote on the most impactful projects. These users are rewarded with GOOD tokens.

The recently announced project to build homes in Otse, Botswana will be one of the first of the Currency of Good campaign, which will award a $10,000 grant each month to the charitable organisation that receives the most votes from Commit Good users.

The Rentse Foundation Trust, a non-profit organisation committed to providing homes to the elderly and individuals in underdeveloped areas of Botswana, was given a grant of 58,824 $GOOD – the equivalent of $10,000 – from the Currency of Good campaign funded by the Financial Trading Group (FTG).

“The collaboration with Commit Good and FTG are opening new doors for our project. By using $GOOD as a new source of funding, we are developing low-cost homes to shelter the most poverty-stricken families in Botswana,” said Rentse Ugokwe, founder and CEO of the Rentse Foundation Trust.

The foundation will use a third of its received $GOOD to build one of 50 desired homes in a remote village of Botswana. IMATU Enterprises, a construction company, will accept $GOOD as payment, making it one of the first housing projects in the world to be funding with cryptocurrency.

Commit Good Blockchain Fundraising Platform

Commit GoodCommit Good is a reward-based, fundraising platform dedicated to creating a global charitable economy on the blockchain through the integration of marketplace features and fundraising.

The startup believes using the blockchain could bring transparency to the philanthropy industry. The organisation also helps charities locate other resources like in-kind donations and volunteers. The Commit Good organisation verifies all charities and needs before they are posted on the platform.

Launched in the second quarter of 2018, the “Currency of Good” campaign allows charitable organisations to post projects that are currently underway on the Commit Good Platform. These organisations can then make a request for funding or items that are needed to complete their projects.

There are some large charities on the platform like Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities, Ronald McDonald House, and Feed the Children but the organisation wants to focus on smaller charities that have limited access to funding.

Clay Braswell, the CEO of Commit Good, told TechBullion in an interview that he believes the charitable space could be one of the early success stories that will enable mainstream user adoption of the blockchain.

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