'Squid Game' cryptocurrency turns out to be a scam, creators run off with millions

Another day, another crypto scam.
SQUID however, had a twist.

The cryptocurrency was inspired by the Netflix hit series Squid Game. It received extensive mainstream media coverage.

The crypto reached a peak of $2,800 at the beginning of this morning. It was then that the anonymous creators decided to cash in. They sold their holdings and shut down the website of the project, making millions. The founders owned the majority of SQUID so their sale drained the coin's value, rendering it worthless.

SQUID launched on Oct. 20 with a pre-sale priced at just over a penny. SQUID's prices soared over the last week to close to $40 during the weekend.

What is SQUID now worth? After its founders sold it off and pumped it up to the thousands, how much does it still have value today? It currently sits at $0.005. It's currently at $0.005.

This isn't a new concept in cryptocurrency. This scam is also known as "rug pulling."

Rug pulling is when developers of a new cryptocurrency pump it as fast as they can with the intention to cash in large amounts. Without liquidity, crypto tanks and all other investors' investments become worthless. The developers basically make a run for the investors' money.

Mashable has previously covered rug pulls, particularly the large number social media-promoted cryptocurrency scams that took hold over the summer. SQUID managed to get mainstream media coverage, something that most influencer-backed scams in crypto failed to do.

Gizmodo notes that news outlets like Forbes, Fortune, BBC, Fortune, and Business Insider all published stories about SQUID last week. BBC headline: "Squid Game cryptocurrency rockets within the first few days of trading." Fortune reported that "Squid Game" crypto has risen more than 86,000% within a week.

Although most news coverage mentioned red flags, they were often hidden away in paragraphs. Retail crypto investors are looking to make quick money and might have bought SQUID just by reading the headlines.

For those who had seen rug pulls in the past, SQUID was an obvious scam. The domain name "SquidGame.cash", was registered just before launch. Squid Game's use was totally unauthorised and had no official connection to Netflix. Users were not allowed to reply or take part in conversations through its social media channels on Telegram and Twitter.

CoinMarketCap, a price-tracking site for cryptocurrencies, warned users immediately after the listing that some investors might have trouble selling their SQUID to make real money.

This was not a bug. This was a feature. An anonymous group of founders claimed that they had integrated an anti-sell-off mechanism to the cryptocurrency. It was designed to prevent large investors from buying and selling the cryptocurrency. Users could cash in on the coin by investing in Marbles token. They could then swap SQUID for SQUID. Investors tried to do this but the trade-in price for SQUID to Marbles quickly turned into a loss.

Marbles was also a rug pull, so if you are curious about what happened to it. Its price was pumped this morning, and its website taken offline.

SQUID was not a bad investment. It was a fraud from the beginning. It was a scam that the major media outlets smugly promoted.

Although a second season has not been officially announced, it is possible that we will see more scams like SQUID in future.