How Squid Game Cryptocurrency Scammed Buyers Out of $3.3 million

A cryptocurrency inspired by the hit Netflix series, nicknamed ‘Squid Coin’, has disappeared without a trace, scamming over $3.3 million dollars from buyers across the world.

Credit: Netflix

Made with no official support from Netflix as a digital currency for a supposedly upcoming ‘Play to earn’ online game called the ‘Squid Game Project.’ The coin, labelled SQUID / $SGT when it debuted, immediately sold out on the Binance Smart Chain before reaching online markets. It earned a peak market value of $2,861 per coin. On the 1st of November, all related websites, exchanges and social media on the token vanished from the internet. The stock plummeted to $0 in 10 minutes.

The nature of the ‘Squid Coins’ scam appeared earlier. Buyers noticed they couldn’t take money out of the currency or publicly comment on any of the game’s social media. Poor grammar and spelling mistakes on its website were another clear red flag. A similar scheme occurred in April, when ‘Mando coin’, a cryptocurrency based on Disney’s The Mandalorian series scammed thousands from investors. Most notably, TikTok influencer Matt Lorion lost over $10,000 on the coin when he and his 1.2 million followers publicly supported the token.

A “Rug Pull”

From the start, experts at the BBC and Gizmodo warned of the coin’s scam nature. They described the coin as a classic ‘rug pull’ scheme, a ‘malicious maneuver in the cryptocurrency industry where crypto developers abandon a project and run away with investors’ funds.’ Also called a ‘pump and dump’ scam. The scheme is common on DEX’s: decentralized Exchanges. These marketplaces allow sellers to list products anonymously and without audit. Squid Coin itself was highly successful on DEX pancakeswap.

Credit: Netflix

The coin is now seen as the perfect example of the “wild west” nature of the Crypto world. It is one of many scams exploiting the new and uncertain nature of cryptocurrencies. These coins use humour, pop culture and fear of missing out on trends to take advantage of inexperienced investors. “Meme coins” are now unreliable jokes that can cost casual traders thousands. A survey by Investopedia shows 80% of Initial Coin Offerings are scams. Only 8% even become legit crypto. Trader Defense Advisory suggests caution and research from all traders as fake coin offerings become common. TDA also advises

“Invest in Cryptocurrency through approved and legitimate platforms such as Coinbase, Robinhood, SoFi.”

As investing becomes more open to everyone online, it is vital that proper research and care is taken with your money. At least, don’t invest in a meme.

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