Following the success of South Korean survival drama series Squid Game, a cryptocurrency called the “Squidgame Cash” or “SQUID,” dedicated to the mini television series made it into the crypto-pool. The value of this token nosedived by 99.99 percent in recent hours after SQUID creators managed to stunt out a classic “rug pull”. That's a scam where developers abandon the project and dupe investors off their money. The crypto-coin had registered a 300 percent value growth on October 30, but lost its value from $2,800 (Rs. 2 lakh), to its current price – which is $0.003347 (roughly Rs. 0.25).
The scammers are believed to have collected around $3.3 million (roughly Rs. 22 crore) with this project, a report by Gizmodo claimed.
Inspired by the survival series, an online version of the Squid Game was launched online, and to play the game, participants were required to use the SQUID crypto token. Owing to the popularity of the Netflix series, the SQUID tokens had was received in the market with fireworks.
But immediately concerns arose around the legitimacy of this SQUID token because only purchasing the crypto-coin was allowed, but selling it was not an option.
The website of the SQUID token which was registered on October 12, less than even a month ago, has now been rendered defunct.
“We have received multiple reports that the website and socials are no longer functional and the users are not able to sell this token in Pancakeswap. Please do your own due diligence and exercise extreme caution. This project, while clearly inspired by the Netflix show of the same name, is not affiliated with the official IP,” a banner flashing on the CoinMarketCap says.
While scammers responsible for this crypto rug-pull remain unidentified as of now, the development created ripples on social media.
This is not the first time that a popular TV show was misused to scam its fans by notorious cybercriminals.
Earlier this year, scammers targeted the fans of Disney's Mandalorian streaming show with a crypto-token called “Mando” – that unfolded into a pump-and-dump scam, news portals had reported at the time.
Earlier in April, a report had revealed that the total crypto crime in 2020 has amounted to around $10.52 billion (roughly Rs. 79,194 crores).
The same report also highlighted that scams and frauds have plagued the crypto-space and are a major problem that made for 67.8 percent of the total cryptocurrency crime in 2020.
Analyst firm Chainalysis in a recent report had revealed that at least $815 million (roughly Rs. 6,135 crores) was sent in crypto to scam projects from Eastern European countries between July 2020 and June 2021.