The Most Notorious Crypto Scams in History – Uncovering Massive Frauds and Deceptions in the Crypto World

Over the years, the world of cryptocurrency has experienced its fair share of ups and downs. While many see the potential of digital currencies as a revolutionary technology, there have been those who have used it for fraudulent activities. Throughout crypto’s tumultuous history, there have been several notable scams that have left investors devastated and millions of dollars lost.

These scams range from elaborate Ponzi schemes to hacking attacks and everything in between. What they all have in common is the abuse of trust and the exploitation of unsuspecting victims. Some of these scams have gone down in history as the biggest and most audacious schemes of all time.

One of the most notorious crypto scams of all time is the Mt. Gox incident, which took place in 2014. At the time, Mt. Gox was the largest cryptocurrency exchange and handled the majority of Bitcoin transactions. However, it was revealed that the exchange had been hacked and had lost around 850,000 bitcoins, valued at over $450 million at the time. This incident shook the crypto world and led to the bankruptcy of Mt. Gox.

Another significant scam that rocked the crypto world was the Bitconnect Ponzi scheme. Bitconnect promised investors extraordinarily high returns through its lending program and referral system. However, it was later revealed that the entire operation was a scam, with no real technology or product behind it. When the scheme collapsed in 2018, investors lost an estimated $1 billion.

These are just a few examples of the biggest crypto scams in history. The prevalence of such scams highlights the importance of doing thorough research and due diligence before investing in the crypto space. While cryptocurrencies offer exciting opportunities, it is crucial to be aware of the risks and to be cautious when dealing with unknown or unregulated entities.

Mt. Gox: The Biggest Crypto Scam of All Time

Mt. Gox is widely regarded as the biggest crypto scam in history. It was a Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange that was founded in 2009 by Jed McCaleb. At its peak, Mt. Gox accounted for approximately 70% of all bitcoin transactions worldwide. However, in 2014, the exchange filed for bankruptcy after losing around 850,000 bitcoins, worth roughly $450 million at the time. This massive loss was a result of a series of hacks and security breaches that exposed the vulnerability of the exchange.

The downfall of Mt. Gox shook the crypto market to its core and highlighted the risks associated with centralized exchanges. It also raised questions about the security measures and regulatory oversight in the cryptocurrency industry.

Investors who had their funds on Mt. Gox lost everything, and many filed lawsuits to recover their losses. The incident sparked a wave of regulatory scrutiny and pushed for the development of more secure and transparent crypto exchanges.

Lessons were learned from the Mt. Gox scandal, and it served as a wake-up call for the cryptocurrency industry at large. It highlighted the importance of proper security measures, transparency, and regulatory compliance in protecting investors’ funds and maintaining trust in the market.

Since the Mt. Gox incident, the crypto industry has made significant strides in improving security and the overall infrastructure. However, it remains crucial for investors to exercise caution and perform due diligence when choosing an exchange or investing in cryptocurrencies to avoid falling victim to scams.

Bitconnect: The Ponzi Scheme that Shook the Crypto World

Bitconnect is arguably one of the biggest scams of all time in the cryptocurrency world. Known as a Ponzi scheme, it promised investors high returns through a lending program that seemed too good to be true. And indeed, it was.

The Bitconnect platform operated from 2016 to 2018 and was initially hailed as a revolutionary cryptocurrency investment opportunity. With its own native token, Bitconnect promised daily returns based on the volatility of its token. Investors were encouraged to lend their Bitconnect tokens to the platform and earn interest in return.

However, as the scheme unraveled, it became apparent that Bitconnect was built on empty promises and fake trading bot technology. The creators of Bitconnect used aggressive marketing tactics and pyramid-like referral systems to attract new investors, creating a massive network of people who believed in the potential of this “investment opportunity.”

Despite warnings from experts and attempts to shut down the Bitconnect platform, it continued to lure in investors with promises of enormous profits. The unsustainable nature of the scheme eventually led to its collapse in early 2018, resulting in massive losses for countless investors.

The aftermath

The fallout from the Bitconnect scam was severe. Many investors lost their life savings and suffered significant financial losses. Governments and regulators around the world stepped in to investigate and take legal action against the individuals behind Bitconnect.

Bitconnect served as a cautionary tale for the cryptocurrency industry, highlighting the need for increased regulation and investor protection. It became a prime example of how easily individuals can be swayed by promises of quick riches and how important it is to conduct thorough due diligence before investing in any cryptocurrency project.

Lessons learned

The Bitconnect scam taught the crypto community valuable lessons about the dangers of Ponzi schemes and the need for greater transparency and accountability. While the Bitconnect saga shook the crypto world, it also served as a wake-up call for investors to be more skeptical and discerning when evaluating investment opportunities in the cryptocurrency space.

Key Takeaways from the Bitconnect Scam
1. Take caution with high-yield investment programs that promise unrealistic returns.
2. Research and verify the legitimacy of any cryptocurrency project before investing.
3. Look for transparency in a project’s team, technology, and business model.
4. Be skeptical of pyramid-like referral systems and aggressive marketing tactics.
5. Educate yourself about the risks and pitfalls of the cryptocurrency market.

By learning from the Bitconnect scam, the crypto community can strive towards a more secure and trustworthy industry that protects investors from such fraudulent schemes.

OneCoin: A Multi-Billion Dollar Scam

When it comes to the biggest scams of all time, OneCoin is definitely at the top of the list. With an estimated value of billions of dollars, this cryptocurrency scam fooled millions of people around the world.

OneCoin was created in 2014 by Ruja Ignatova, who claimed to have created a revolutionary blockchain technology that would surpass Bitcoin. Ignatova convinced investors that OneCoin was the next big thing in the crypto world, promising huge returns on investment.

However, as more and more people invested in OneCoin, it became clear that something was not right. OneCoin operated as a pyramid scheme, with Ignatova and her team making money by recruiting new members and selling educational packages that were essentially worthless.

Despite warnings from regulators and experts, the scam continued to grow, with Ignatova even organizing extravagant events to promote OneCoin and convince people to invest. Many investors lost their life savings, while Ignatova and her team profited off their naivety.

In 2017, Ignatova disappeared, leaving her investors in limbo. She was later indicted by the US Department of Justice and charged with money laundering, wire fraud, and securities fraud. However, Ignatova’s whereabouts remain unknown, and the victims of the OneCoin scam are still seeking justice.

The Impact of OneCoin

The OneCoin scam not only resulted in financial losses for many individuals, but it also damaged the reputation of the entire cryptocurrency industry. It highlighted the need for stricter regulations and increased scrutiny of new cryptocurrencies.

While blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize industries, the OneCoin scam serves as a reminder that investors should always do thorough research and exercise caution. It is crucial to verify the legitimacy of any investment opportunity and be wary of promises of high returns with little risk.

Lessons Learned

The OneCoin scam serves as a cautionary tale for both investors and regulators. It highlights the importance of staying informed and educated about the risks associated with the cryptocurrency market. Additionally, it emphasizes the need for governments and regulatory bodies to establish robust frameworks to protect investors from fraud and scams.

The OneCoin scam will forever be remembered as one of the biggest frauds in history. It serves as a reminder that, even in the world of cryptocurrency, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

PlusToken: One of the Largest Crypto Ponzi Schemes in History

Operating between 2018 and 2019, PlusToken promised high returns on investment, enticing individuals to deposit their cryptocurrencies into the platform. The scheme gained popularity due to its promise of guaranteed profits and referral bonuses, ultimately luring in millions of users worldwide.

However, behind the scenes, PlusToken was designed as a classic Ponzi scheme. The founders and operators used a complex system to funnel new investors’ money to pay off existing investors, creating a facade of profitability.

This pyramid-like structure allowed PlusToken to accumulate a staggering amount of cryptocurrencies, totaling over $2 billion. Investors were assured of massive returns, leading to a massive influx of funds into the scheme. This successful operation made PlusToken one of the largest crypto scams in history.

The downfall of PlusToken came in mid-2019 when reports of withdrawal issues started to emerge. Investors began to suspect foul play as they faced difficulties accessing their funds. Panic spread, and it became apparent that millions of crypto assets had disappeared.

Investigations revealed that the operators behind PlusToken had absconded with the funds, leaving investors in dismay. Authorities from various countries, including China and South Korea, initiated investigations to track down those responsible for the scam.

This high-profile scam serves as a stark reminder of the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies. While the promise of high returns can be tempting, it is crucial to exercise caution and conduct thorough research before engaging with any investment opportunity.

As crypto continues to evolve, the PlusToken scandal serves as a significant milestone in the history of scams, highlighting the need for investor education and regulatory measures to protect individuals from falling victim to fraudulent schemes.

Crypto Scam Year Amount Stolen
PlusToken 2018-2019 $2 billion

BitClub Network: A $722 Million Scam

When it comes to crypto scams, the BitClub Network is one that stands out due to its massive scale. With an estimated $722 million swindled from unsuspecting investors, it is considered one of the biggest scams in the history of cryptocurrency.

The BitClub Network claimed to be a mining pool where participants could earn profits through the mining of various cryptocurrencies. It operated from 2014 to 2019 and attracted a large number of investors who were lured by the promise of high returns.

However, behind the facade of legitimate cryptocurrency mining, BitClub Network was nothing more than a fraudulent Ponzi scheme. The founders, Matthew Brent Goettsche, Jobadiah Sinclair, and Silviu Catalin Balaci, used various unethical tactics to deceive investors and mislead them about the profitability of the operation.

One such tactic was the use of fake mining earnings reports, which showed consistent profits to give investors a false sense of security. In reality, the funds invested by new participants were used to pay off previous investors, creating a classic Ponzi scheme structure.

The founders also resorted to aggressive marketing tactics, encouraging existing investors to recruit new members and earn commissions for doing so. This led to a rapid expansion of the network and allowed the scam to continue for several years.

Authorities eventually caught up with the fraudsters, and in December 2019, Goettsche, Sinclair, and Balaci were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The case shed light on the extent of the scam and its impact on the victims, many of whom lost substantial amounts of money.

Lessons Learned from the BitClub Network Scam

The BitClub Network scam serves as a stark reminder of the risks involved in the crypto world. It highlights the importance of conducting thorough research before investing in any crypto venture and being cautious of promises of high returns.

Investors should be wary of schemes that rely heavily on recruiting new members and offering commissions for doing so. These are often signs of a pyramid scheme or a fraudulent operation.

Furthermore, it is crucial to verify the legitimacy of a mining operation or any investment opportunity in the crypto space. Checking for transparency, credible team members, and reviews from reputable sources can help in identifying potential scams.


The BitClub Network scam stands as a chilling example of the lengths scammers will go to deceive unsuspecting investors. With a staggering $722 million defrauded from individuals, it serves as a cautionary tale for all those interested in the crypto world. Stay vigilant and informed to protect yourself from falling victim to similar scams in the future.

MiningMax: A $250 Million Crypto Scam

MiningMax was one of the biggest scams in the history of cryptocurrency. Operating between 2016 and 2017, it managed to defraud investors of around $250 million.

The scam operated under the guise of a cloud mining platform, promising high returns on investment. It convinced thousands of people to invest their hard-earned money in mining contracts, claiming that it had state-of-the-art mining equipment and a highly profitable mining operation.

However, it soon became apparent that MiningMax was nothing more than a Ponzi scheme. The promised returns were never delivered, and the company was solely reliant on new investors’ funds to pay off existing investors. This kind of pyramid structure is a classic characteristic of many scams.

What made MiningMax particularly deceptive was its use of multi-level marketing tactics. It incentivized existing investors to recruit new members, promising them bonuses and referral commissions. This created a network effect, further enticing people to invest in the scam.

The scheme eventually collapsed when new investor funds dried up, and the company’s operators disappeared with all the money. Investors were left empty-handed and had no way of recovering their losses.

Learning from MiningMax

This scam serves as a cautionary tale for crypto investors. It highlights the importance of conducting thorough due diligence before investing in any project. Researching the team behind the project, verifying the legitimacy of their claims, and understanding the underlying technology are all crucial steps in avoiding scams.

Furthermore, it is important to stay informed about the latest scams and fraudulent activities in the crypto space. By staying educated, investors can identify warning signs and protect themselves from falling victim to similar scams in the future.


MiningMax was a massive crypto scam that defrauded investors of $250 million. It operated under the facade of a cloud mining platform but was actually a classic Ponzi scheme. By learning from this incident and staying vigilant, investors can protect themselves from falling prey to scams in the cryptocurrency industry.

Centra Tech: A $25 Million Fraud

Centra Tech is one of the biggest crypto scams in history, defrauding investors of more than $25 million. The scheme, led by founders Sohrab “Sam” Sharma and Robert Farkas, promised to create a revolutionary debit card that would allow users to spend cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum at any store accepting Visa or Mastercard.

Centra Tech attracted investors through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in 2017, where they raised a staggering $25 million. They claimed to have partnerships with major financial institutions, including Visa and Mastercard. They even had celebrity endorsements, with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and DJ Khaled promoting them on social media.

However, it was later revealed that Centra Tech’s partnerships and endorsements were fabricated. The founders were charged with multiple counts of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Their ICO was deemed illegal, and they were ordered to repay the defrauded investors.

Centra Tech serves as a stark reminder of the risks and scams present in the crypto industry. Investors should always conduct thorough research and due diligence before investing in any crypto project.

Key Takeaways
Centra Tech defrauded investors of over $25 million through its ICO.
The founders promoted a revolutionary debit card, but their partnerships were fabricated.
They were charged with securities fraud and ordered to repay investors.
Investors should always exercise caution and do thorough research before investing in crypto projects.

AriseBank: The $4.2 Million ICO Scam

AriseBank is known as one of the biggest crypto scams of all time, making off with a staggering $4.2 million from unsuspecting investors. This infamous incident occurred during the height of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) frenzy when countless projects were popping up, promising revolutionary ideas and huge returns.

The masterminds behind AriseBank claimed to be building the world’s first decentralized bank and offered their own cryptocurrency, AriseCoin, as a means of investment. They presented an appealing vision of a digital bank that would revolutionize the industry and bring financial freedom to all.

However, as time went on, it became clear that AriseBank was nothing more than an elaborate scam. The founders, Jared Rice Sr. and Stanley Ford, were eventually arrested by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for multiple charges, including securities fraud and wire fraud.

The Deceptive Tactics

AriseBank employed various deceptive tactics to lure in unsuspecting investors. They falsely claimed to have partnerships with established financial institutions, including a non-existent relationship with Visa. This gave the project an air of credibility and convinced many people to invest their hard-earned money.

Furthermore, the founders made bold and unrealistic promises about the potential returns on investment. They claimed that AriseCoin would skyrocket in value, making early investors incredibly wealthy. These promises enticed many individuals who were eager to get in on the cryptocurrency boom.

The Aftermath

Once the truth about AriseBank came to light, investors were left devastated, having lost their investments. This high-profile case served as a stark reminder of the risks and dangers associated with investing in the crypto space.

The AriseBank scam also highlighted the need for stricter regulations and due diligence in the cryptocurrency industry. It prompted authorities to crack down on fraudulent ICOs and take measures to protect investors from falling victim to similar scams in the future.

Overall, the AriseBank scam serves as a cautionary tale for anyone considering investing in the crypto market. It’s important to do thorough research, exercise caution, and be skeptical of projects that promise unrealistic returns or employ deceptive tactics.

Pincoin and iFan: The $660 Million Scandal

In the world of cryptocurrencies, scams are unfortunately not uncommon. One of the biggest crypto scams in history was the Pincoin and iFan scandal, which involved a staggering $660 million.

The Pincoin and iFan scam attracted thousands of investors, promising them high returns on their investments. The scam was operated by a company called Modern Tech, which was based in Vietnam. The company promised investors monthly profits of up to 40%. They also had a referral program that encouraged investors to bring in new members, promising them even higher profits.

However, it soon became clear that Pincoin and iFan were nothing more than a Ponzi scheme. The scammers behind the project collected funds from new investors and used that money to pay previous investors, creating a cycle of dependence. The promised returns were never actually generated through any legitimate means.

As the scheme grew, so did the number of investors who fell victim to the scam. Many individuals and families lost their life savings, while the scammers behind the project continued to live lavish lifestyles. When investors tried to withdraw their funds, they were met with excuses and delays. Eventually, the scammers disappeared with millions of dollars worth of investor money.

The Pincoin and iFan scandal serves as a stark reminder of the risks involved in the world of cryptocurrencies. It highlights the importance of conducting thorough research and due diligence before investing in any project. Investors should be wary of promises of high returns and be cautious about blindly trusting any investment opportunity.

Regulation and legislation are crucial in preventing such scams from occurring in the future. As the crypto industry continues to evolve, it is essential for governments and regulatory bodies to establish frameworks that protect investors and punish those involved in fraudulent activities.

While Pincoin and iFan may be one of the biggest crypto scams in history, it is not an isolated incident. The crypto world has seen its fair share of scams, and it is essential for investors to remain vigilant and educate themselves about the potential risks. By doing so, they can better protect themselves and their investments.

PlexCoin: A $15 Million Fraud

In the world of cryptocurrency, scams have become unfortunately common. One of the biggest scams of all time was the PlexCoin fraud, which defrauded investors out of $15 million.

PlexCoin was advertised as a revolutionary cryptocurrency that would provide investors with massive returns. The scam was launched in 2017 by Dominic Lacroix and his company, PlexCorps. Lacroix claimed that PlexCoin would grow by 1,354% in just 29 days, a promise that clearly sounded too good to be true.

The fraud behind PlexCoin quickly unraveled as regulators started to investigate the project. Lacroix and PlexCorps were accused of violating securities laws and defrauding investors through false promises and misrepresentations. The authorities shut down the operation and froze the assets of Lacroix and his company.

The Modus Operandi

PlexCoin conducted an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to raise funds for its project. Investors were promised high returns on their investments, attracting thousands of individuals seeking to profit from the cryptocurrency craze. However, little did they know that PlexCoin was nothing more than a fraudulent scheme.

The scam relied on aggressive marketing tactics, promising unrealistic returns and using fake endorsements to gain credibility. The team behind PlexCoin also spread false information and manipulated social media channels to create a buzz and attract even more unsuspecting investors.

As the authorities cracked down on the scam, it became clear that PlexCoin had no real technology or product behind it. The fraudsters were simply taking investors’ money and using it for personal gain, with no intentions of delivering on their promises.

The Aftermath

After being shut down by regulators, Dominic Lacroix and his accomplices faced legal consequences. Lacroix was charged with contempt of court and securities fraud, and he was sentenced to jail time and fined heavily. The funds frozen by the authorities were later returned to the defrauded investors, although it is unlikely that they were able to recover their full investments.

The PlexCoin scam serves as a reminder of the risks involved in the cryptocurrency world. Investors must remain vigilant and conduct thorough research before investing in any project. Always remember the old saying: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


What are the biggest crypto scams in history?

Some of the biggest crypto scams in history include Mt. Gox, BitConnect, OneCoin, PlusToken, and QuadrigaCX.

What happened in the Mt. Gox scam?

Mt. Gox was once the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world, but it was hacked in 2014, resulting in the loss of over 850,000 Bitcoins. This was worth around $450 million at the time. The hack led to the bankruptcy of Mt. Gox and shook the crypto community.

How did the BitConnect scam work?

BitConnect was a cryptocurrency lending and exchange platform that promised high returns to investors. It operated a Ponzi scheme, where new investors’ money was used to pay off older investors. However, in 2018, BitConnect shut down its lending platform and its native token’s value plummeted, leading to significant financial losses for investors.

What happened in the OneCoin scam?

OneCoin was a cryptocurrency investment scheme that claimed to be a legitimate digital currency. However, it was later revealed to be a pyramid scheme. The founders of OneCoin, including Ruja Ignatova, promised huge returns on investments and created a complex network of affiliates to recruit new investors. In 2019, Ignatova was charged with wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering.

How did the PlusToken scam operate?

PlusToken was a multi-level marketing scheme that focused on the cryptocurrency market. It promised high investment returns and encouraged users to deposit their cryptocurrencies into the platform. However, the scheme turned out to be a massive Ponzi scheme, with the operators eventually disappearing with an estimated $2 billion worth of cryptocurrency. Many people lost their life savings in this scam.

What are some of the biggest crypto scams in history?

Some of the biggest crypto scams in history include BitConnect, Mt. Gox, PlusToken, and OneCoin.

How much money was stolen in the BitConnect scam?

The BitConnect scam is estimated to have stolen over $1 billion from investors.

What was the Mt. Gox scandal?

The Mt. Gox scandal was a major Bitcoin exchange that collapsed in 2014 after a massive hack, resulting in the loss of 850,000 Bitcoins, worth around $450 million at the time.

What is OneCoin and how much money was involved in the scam?

OneCoin was a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme that operated between 2014 and 2017. It involved the sale of a fake cryptocurrency and is estimated to have defrauded investors of about $4.4 billion.