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Squid Game cryptocurrency con artists disappear with $3.3 million


SQUID, an unofficial Squid Game cryptocurrency, was launched and quickly vanished. After pocketing $3.38 million, its creators, whose identities are unknown, pulled the rug out from under would-be investors.

Squid Game, a popular Netflix show that premiered on September 17, was not officially associated with the SQUID crypto coin. Anyone who bought SQUID on cryptocurrency exchange Pancakeswap after visiting its squidgame.cash (now defunct) or reading its Twitter (also defunct) couldn't sell it, despite its value rising from $38 to $2,861.80 in a week.

Despite the lack of affiliation, the coin's concept was inspired by the show's content. An "anti-dump mechanism" was implemented, as detailed in SQUID's white paper, which is essentially a rule book, that required you to earn "Marble" tokens through a play-to-earn game in order to sell your SQUID coins.

The inability to sell SQUID coins allowed the project's creators, who couldn't be identified beyond the photos on the website, to abandon the project, citing hacking attempts, take all of the money, and devalue the coin. According to the New York Times, people who still have the token can now sell it for pennies on the dollar, even if they don't have any "Marbles."

In other words, everyone except a select few perished. It's very similar to the show it's based on.

On the official SQUID Telegram channel, a moderator wrote: "Someone is currently attempting to hack our project. Not only our smart contract, but also our Twitter account @GoGoSquidGame. We're doing everything we can to protect it, but the price is still out of the ordinary. Squid Game Dev does not want to continue working on the project because we are depressed and stressed as a result of the scammers. All of Squid Game's restrictions and transaction rules must be removed. Squid Game is about to embark on a new phase of community autonomy."

The creators promised that SQUID would be used to play a game based on the show in order for it to work. That game, which was never shown, was supposed to go into beta and then be released later this month, despite Netflix's apparent refusal to approve it. The game's mechanics and how you can earn Marbles to sell your SQUID coins are unclear in the white paper. It only says, "Obtaining Marbles without using violence is the key to Squid Game."

The paper draws inspiration for its game from the blockchain mobile game Axie Infinity and its "Smooth Love Potion" tokens. Axie Infinity is similar to Pokémon Go in that you battle with a team of three "Axies" that you must purchase as NFTs to play. The developer gets a 4.25 percent cut of every "Axie" sold. Players can earn "Smooth Love Potions" by completing daily quests to breed the "Axies" into more NFTs (the developers take a cut of this as well), resulting in "play-to-earn." The value of both "Axies," which also allows you to vote on game development decisions, and "Smooth Love Potions" rises as more people buy and sell them, and the creators make more money. To play the SQUID coin game, you'd need a certain number of them, and then you'd earn "Marbles" that you could then sell for real money.

NFTs featuring art of the show's characters and guards were also included in SQUID. They vanished from the NFT marketplace OpenSea as soon as it was shut down, just like everything else.