BBC Sounds’ “The Missing Cryptoqueen” has been acquired by production company New Regency Television International to turn the hugely successful podcast into a TV series.
Produced by Jamie Bartlett and Georgia Catt, the podcast originally examined missing OneCoin founder Ruja Ignatova and investigated the Ponzi scheme she set up.
By luring investors with promises of wild riches via cryptocurrency it has been estimated that $4 billion was raised from unsuspecting investors, all the while there was no working blockchain. Instead, in typical Ponzi fashion, funds from new investors were used to pay initial investors.
In what appeared to be a competitive bidding process according to Deadline, New Regency Television beat off competition from 20th Century TV and A24 to win the rights.
The podcast became gripping weekly instalments. A real crime thriller, listeners were shocked to find how the scheme became so potent and widespread.
Praise has been heaped on the team behind it for bringing the scandal to a wide audience. Despite knowledge within the cryptocurrency industry of OneCoin many ignored the scam unaware of the scale of what was occurring.
As the story evolves you hear from those who have been affected by the scheme including Jen McAdam, who has since been on a campaign to warn others about OneCoin.
Such is the belief in both Ruja Igantova and OneCoin, though, that McAdam has since been on the receiving end of death threats. Those who used the scheme to their advantage also explain their motives and viewpoint as Bartlett and Catt travel the length of Europe hunting for the missing Ignatova.
Since the end of the podcast listeners have been eager to hear whether there would be a second series to follow up on the latest revelations. Ruja’s brother Konstantin Ignatova, who took over OneCoin when she disappeared, was soon apprehended by US authorities. He agreed to work with the FBI in an attempt to reduce his sentence.
The podcast’s producers have remained relatively tight-lipped on any potential follow ups, but this news should at least appease fans begging for a sequel for the time being.
Despite the worldwide success of the podcast and a TV series in the pipeline, the whereabouts of Ruja Ignatova remain unknown although her victims feel the net is closing in.
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