How the Squid Game Token Crashed
With Squid Game quickly becoming Netflix’s most popular series ever, bitcoins inspired by the hit TV show were bound to follow.
SQUID debuted last Tuesday with a $0.01 price tag, promising access to an online play-to-earn game based on the violent survivor drama.
The token’s value skyrocketed, and it was worth $4.42 just 72 hours later – a 44,100% rise. It had already received coverage from some of the world’s largest media outlets, including the BBC and CNBC, by that point.
Even yet, there were indications that something was wrong. CoinMarketCap got numerous reports of people having difficulty selling SQUID on the decentralised exchange PancakeSwap.
When its owners are unable to sell a rising-value token, it is of limited utility.
Unfortunately, many of the articles released about SQUID failed to make it obvious that this cryptocurrency is not formally linked with Netflix, giving it a respectable shine that may have misled investors into a false sense of security.
Headlines about its increasing value will have led to a fear of missing out, prompting crypto investors to purchase the coin in the expectation of making enormous gains.
Then November 1 came and went.
Prices were $38 at 6 a.m. London time on Monday, rising to $90 by 7 a.m., $181 by 8 a.m., and $523 by 9 a.m.
SQUID appeared to reach highs of $2,861.80 just 35 minutes later, at 9.35 a.m. A 7,500% increase in three and a half hours is unprecedented… even in the typically volatile world of cryptocurrency.
Owners of SQUID have told CoinMarketCap that they had no choice but to watch helplessly as the token’s value increased. The project’s developers imposed an anti-dumping system, which prevented them from selling.
At 9.40 am, five minutes after this alleged all-time high, SQUID had plummeted to $0.0007926, a 99.9999 percent drop.
Surprisingly, trading volumes remained consistent at around $11 million during the rollercoaster ride, showing that SQUID’s spike was not matched by an increase in investor activity.
This is a classic symptom of a rug pull, in which creators depart a project unexpectedly, taking their investors’ monies with them.
The official Twitter account for the Squid Game token, which has over 57,000 followers, has been temporarily restricted due to “strange conduct.” Many of the postings from this user have had their replies disabled in recent days, which is another concerning sign. A review of prior tweets from October revealed remarks that consistently referred to the initiative as a hoax.
Investors in a Catch-22 Situation
Screenshots from a Telegram channel that appears to be operated by the folks behind the Squid Game cryptocurrency have been provided to CoinMarketCap.
A response from the admins on Monday morning stated that they were not to blame for the outage:
“Someone is now attempting to hack our project. Our smart contract, as well as our Twitter account.”
The statement continued in shaky English:
“Squid Game Dev does not want to continue working on the project since we are sad and stressed out from the fraudsters.”
The initiative “will enter a new stage of community autonomy,” according to the statement, but it’s unclear what that entails.
Finally, it apologised for “any inconvenience,” which are empty words for individuals who have lost money by acquiring SQUID tokens.
According to one victim, the project’s website drew them in because “it sounded very respectable and legitimate.”
They were taken aback when they learnt of the “anti-dumping system,” which now looks to be more of an anti-selling mechanism in retrospect.
The issue is that the project’s designers didn’t simply make one token, but two.
Marbles is the alternative cryptocurrency, and it can only be obtained by participating in the project’s play-to-earn game. Only those with a sufficient number of Marbles can sell their SQUID on the open market.
This is terrible news for anyone who invested even a dollar in SQUID, much alone $5 or $10.
Players must pay a 456 SQUID admission fee in order to participate in the first online game. That’s $456 at a $1 per token pricing, increasing to an eye-watering $4,560 for those who bought in at $10. Play-to-earn games can be costly, but they are unreasonably so in this case.
Many people became imprisoned as a result of this structure. They would need a balance of at least 456 SQUID to have a chance of receiving their money back, which in some cases was much more than their initial investment.
Even if they accomplished that, there were still dangers. The 456 SQUID they paid would be gone forever if they played the game and failed the level.
To summarise a long narrative, the project is the epitome of a lose-lose situation. Investors have the option of doing nothing and ending up with a worthless token or throwing good money after bad in an attempt to recoup their initial investment.
Because the website is now unavailable, even playing the game is no longer a possibility.
‘I’ve lost everything’
Many investors have lost a lot of money due to SQUID’s rigid tokenomics.
One SQUID holder alerted CoinMarketCap about Monday’s devastating crash:
“The price was increasing at an abnormally high rate. And I watched as SQUID plummeted in a matter of minutes while looking at my computer screen. There was no way to get my money back in one piece.”
They said that news sites covering SQUID drew them in and that the added marketing made them believe the initiative was genuine:
“I suppose this will serve as a useful lesson for me not to leap into meme coins blindly… I’m not blaming anybody except myself, but I believe there should be some system in place to prevent this in the future, and that news sites should cease covering these scammer-type tokens.”
Others spoke about how their $57 investment grew to $14,000 despite their inability to sell their token.
“I lost all I had in this scheme,” another victim informed CoinMarketCap. He had purchased 5,000 SQUID at $1 each.
He went on to say, “I don’t trust them anymore.”
Investors in cryptocurrency are frequently advised to examine a project’s website to check if information about the creators is widely presented.
This was done on the Squid Game website, which named David Kanny as CEO. He was identified as a University of California Irvine graduate with five years of Netflix experience, yet he had no LinkedIn profile.
Other searches for identified executives – Mabel Jah, Kevin Sam, Christian Abbigail, Daniel Jolia, and Lawrence Dan — turned up nothing.
Squid Game is a Netflix comedy about folks who are prepared to risk their lives for a better financial future.
Those who put their money on the line by investing in SQUID, on the other hand, have seen their hopes for a brighter financial future vanish in the blink of an eye.