In a con where life imitated art, Squid Game fans found out the hard way that a cryptocurrency based on the Netflix series was just as risky as the money contest the series is based on.
After a team of cryptocurrency creators rolled out a digital currency called SQUID, investors rushed to buy assets worth more than $3 million. But those same investors woke up Monday to find that the creators had closed down their website and taken off with the cash.
For the un-Squided, the Squid Game project is a crypto play-to-earn platform inspired by the Korean hit series on Netflix about a deadly tournament of children's games, according to CoinMarketCap. “SQUID is the only token that can be used in Squid Game. You will need SQUID to participate in a game or get restart after you fail the game.”
Netflix was quick to say it had no part in this. The streaming service told CNN Business that it was not affiliated with the cryptocurrency and declined to comment any further.
A “rug pull”
Gizmodo reports that this type of scam is called a "rug pull." That means the cryptocurrency creators cashed out of their coins in exchange for real money, quickly devaluing the crypto's value.
Like many crypto darlings, SQUID took off quickly. The digital asset hit a high of $2,861 before falling to $0 as of Monday, as reported by CoinMarketCap. The scam could have actually netted more for the creators if they allowed it to gain more traction. CoinMarketCap data reviewed by ConsumerAffairs noted that SQUID was on 34,183 individual watchlists.
It seems that this particular hustle was planned out in advance. Some SQUID owners told CoinMarketCap that because of an anti-dumping mechanism put in place by the developers, they were forced to the sidelines with little choice but to watch helplessly as the cryptocurrency’s value climbed.
Despite the plunge in value, it appears that some investors are still trying to pump money into SQUID. As of 11 a.m on Tuesday, CoinMarketCap listed the live Squid Game price at $0.003467 USD, with a 24-hour trading volume of $14,445,122 USD.