A cryptocurrency called SQUID, based on but not affiliated to the popular Netflix series Squid Game, has allegedly scammed users of over US$3million.
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The alleged scam happened on the morning of November 1, when the price of the cryptocurrency peaked at an eye-watering US$2,861 per coin before plummeting to less than a cent at around 5:40am ET, per CoinMarketCap.
A scam like this is referred to as a “rug pull”, per Gizmodo, where creators of a cryptocurrency cash out their holding of the coin for real money, which rapidly devalues the cryptocurrency’s worth. According to cached translation details, the alleged scammers made off with an estimated US$3.3million.
As Gizmodo points out, the SQUID coin had only been released a week prior to the alleged “rug pull” and had been littered with red flags in the weeks leading up to its launch.
These included a now-unavailable website that featured numerous strange spelling and grammatical errors, a Telegram channel that did not allow comments from outsiders, as well as a Twitter account that turned-off the function for users to reply to its posts.
But perhaps the biggest red flag was that users who purchased SQUID coin were unable to sell any. SQUID’s website and Twitter account have since been taken down following the “rug pull”.
Meanwhile, administrators of the SQUID Telegram group have claimed that they are not responsible for the “rug pull” event, saying that “someone is trying to hack our project”.
“We are trying to protect it but the price is still abnormal,” they continued. “Squid Game Dev does not want to continue running the project as we are depressed from the scammers and is overwhelmed with stress.”
Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk had previously discussed potential ideas for a second season should it get the go-ahead. There has also been discussion about a potential video game and “consumer products” such as merchandise for the show, according to Netflix Asia executive Kim Min-young.