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SYFY WIRE Squid Game

Squid Game cryptocurrency scam steals over $2 million from duped investors

It's a game where no one wins... except the scammers.

By Vanessa Armstrong
Squid Game Netflix

Squid Game continues to influence the pop culture world. The show has inspired fashion, for example, with people rushing to buy the shoes sported on the show about people being murdered for sport. And this Halloween, many dressed up as a character from the series, so much so that some elementary schools banned the costumes.

The height of the Squid Game excitement has now bled over to the world of crypto, and some scammers took advantage of the show's popularity to fleece over $2 million from investors. 

The new cryptocurrency, appropriately called SQUID, leveraged people's love of all things Squid Game to get people to invest in their coin. The creators claimed the digital currency could be used in a new online game based on the Netflix show. Some people bought into the idea and decided to buy their own SQUID, which initially went up drastically in value, with a peak price of $2,861 per coin. 

As Gizmodo points out, however, there were a lot of red flags about the scheme, the most obvious one being that people who bought SQUID coins couldn’t resell them. On Monday, the schemers cashed out their coins, causing the value of a SQUID to effectively drop to zero in mere minutes.

This scheme is apparently a common one in cryptocurrency land. Crypto investors call it a “rug pull,” where the creators of a dodgy crypto pull out all the money in the currency’s liquidity pool, causing the value of the coin to become worthless. 

Unfortunately, this malicious practice will very likely happen again, with the SQUID scheme being the latest example of how something popular can be twisted to bilk people out of their money. The whole incident also has obvious ties to the themes of the Netflix show, where those desperate and down on their luck compete to the death in a game with a large cash prize. The good news is that the stakes with the SQUID scheme aren’t nearly as severe, though the situation is obviously still upsetting for those who were hoodwinked into investing.

Season 1 of Squid Game is currently streaming on Netflix.

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