Millions of dollars vanished in seconds after investors poured into a new cryptocurrency inspired by the famous Netflix survival series “Squid Game,” only to have its value plummet to almost zero in a matter of hours.
Squid, the cryptocurrency, began trading early last week at a price of one penny per token. It grabbed the attention of a number of mainstream media outlets in the days that followed. On Pancakeswap, a cryptocurrency exchange, it was trading at $38 per token by early Monday.
Squid then embarked on a roller-coaster ride. According to CoinMarketCap, a cryptocurrency data tracking website, the token’s value increased from $628.33 to $2,856.65 in a 10-minute period later on Monday. It then traded for $0.0007 five minutes later.
According to BscScan, a blockchain search engine and analytics platform, more than 40,000 users still held the token following the fall. John Lee, 30, from Manila, was one of them. He stated he paid $1,000 on the Squid tokens because he “intuitively” assumed the token had been approved by the Netflix programme.
Lee was taken aback when he heard he wouldn’t be able to sell the token right away. He can now sell the tokens, but he’ll be left with “almost nothing,” he claims. Netflix spokeswoman Sharon Chan declined to comment.
The reasons for Squid’s demise, as reported by Gizmodo earlier, were unclear. The creators’ names were also unknown. The company’s website looked to be down. An email addressed to the company’s developers was returned as undeliverable. Its social media accounts looked to be disabled. Its Twitter account refused to accept direct messages or responses.
The trading platform, Pancakeswap, did not respond to a request for comment.
In the aftermath, the crypto currency industry is debating if Squid was a “rug pull,” in which a cryptocurrency’s proponents basically exit the market and take their investors’ assets with them, as Molly Jane Zuckerman, head of content at CoinMarketCap, put it. “I don’t see the devs coming online and saying, ‘Hold with us, we’re sorry, we’ll figure this out,’ as happens when there’s a non-malicious issue,” she said.
The crash of Squid underlines the regulatory gaps surrounding cryptocurrencies, as government authorities and private companies scramble to regulate the unpredictable but growingly popular investment.