Geek Of The Week: Dr Ruja Ignatova

Geek Of The Week: Dr Ruja Ignatova

This week’s geek, Dr Ruja Ignatova, has been dubbed “The Missing Cryptoqueen” by the BBC. She is the Bulgarian entrepreneur who founded cryptocurrency firm OneCoin in 2014. Ignatova claimed her vision was to eliminate the corrupt banking system and bring banking to the unbanked. With her as CEO, OneCoin grew at an astounding rate. The company had over 3 Million members worldwide in less than 3 years. The members bought packages which contained tokens they could redeem for OneCoins. Alas, no major trading platforms accept OneCoin. It is estimated that the company has raised over $15 Billion to date.

Ignatova was always charismatic and compelling. She was known for her elegant dresses, signature red lipstick, bold persona, and ability to captivate a crowd. In October 2017, just when it seemed OneCoin was at a high point, Ignatova disappeared. She has not been seen or heard from since. There is a podcast called The Missing Cryptoqueen which examines her story and attempts to locate her. I started listening to it and quickly became fascinated. Ignatova’s sudden disappearance remains an unsolved mystery, but many believe she went into hiding with her investors’ currency. Others believe she underwent extensive cosmetic surgery and is hiding in plain sight.

OneCoin continued to operate after her disappearance but has undergone loads of scrutiny and negative press. The FBI actually declared it a fraudulent company and arrested the acting CEO when they couldn’t find Dr Ignatova. The company maintains these accusations are unfounded and assures OneCoin will still come to fruition. Many industry experts disagree. OneCoin continued to gain investors despite the fact that the CEO disappeared and interim CEO was arrested. To date, the company has never provided evidence of its block chain. The FBI’s charges against OneCoin’s CEO are quite serious. It’s a very strange phenomenon.

In the meantime, Ignatova remains a ghost. Contrary to the story of Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto (another former GOTW) – who seems to be a made up persona, Ignatova was a known and vetted person. However, both seem to have disappeared off the face of the Earth for their involvement with cryptocurrency. OneCoin and its missing CEO are certainly one of the Tech’s world’s biggest mysteries. Please check out The Missing Cryptoqueen podcast on the BBC to learn more about the ongoing investigation.

Admin’s note: does not support or endorse Dr Ignatova or OneCoin. We did not select her as a GOTW because of admiration but to draw attention to the BBC’s series.

About the Author

avatar KALE: A geek who works in the IT field and lives in Dallas, TX. He is also a music geek who has played in several local bands. Previous to his IT career, Kale worked as a photojournalist. He brings technical advice and artistic counterpoint to the podcast.