Squid Game Token Crashes; Developers Say They’ve Left the Project

The play-to-earn token inspired by the hit Netflix show has plunged to nearly zero after a dizzying rise.

AccessTimeIconNov 1, 2021 at 4:13 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 3:36 p.m. UTC
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The developers behind a crypto project inspired by Netflix’s mega-popular show “Squid Game” say they’ve left the project after the price of its affiliated token crashed to nearly zero.

The latest development shows just how risky it can be to invest in a new and hyped token in the crypto market.

As CoinDesk reported last week, the play-to-earn crypto project Squid Game gained instant popularity and the SQUID token rose by more than 35,000% in just three days – despite several red flags including grammatical and spelling errors in the project’s white paper and the fact that the project’s website was registered less than a month ago.

At press time, the project’s official website and its account on Medium were down and Twitter had temporarily restricted its account, saying it had detected “unusual activity” from it.

Early on Monday, Twitter user @__tricck flagged that the developers of the Squid Game project had “rug pulled” SQUID holders. A rug pull in crypto occurs when the creators of a project take off with investor’ funds.

Data from BscScan shows that an address labelled by the website as being “reported to have been involved in a rug pull” dumped SQUID tokens and cashed out millions of dollars worth of BNB tokens. BNB is the native token to Binance Smart Chain.

Data from CoinMarketCap shows that prices for SQUID, were down nearly 99.99% to $0.002541 in the past 24 hours. Its trading volume has increased more than 130% over the same time period, indicating huge selling pressure.

The token is only available for trading on decentralized exchanges PancakeSwap and DODO, both of which are based on Binance Smart Chain.

On Monday, the project claimed in its official Telegram channel that its developers do not want to continue running the project due to the stress of dealing with scammers.

“Someone is trying to hack our project these days. Not only the twitter account @GoGoSquidGame but also our smart contract. We are trying to protect it but the price is still abnormal. Squid Game Dev does not want to continue running the project as we are depressed from the scammers and is overwhelmed with stress [sic]. We have to remove all the restrictions and the transaction rules of Squid Game. Squid Game will enter a new stage of community autonomy,” it wrote.

Squid Game is not the only crypto project “inspired” by the popular Netflix show, but none of them are officially affiliated with the South Korean survival drama. Prices of other tokens associated with the show, including squid game protocol, squidgametoken, squidanomics and international squid games, were also deep in the red over the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap.

UPDATE (Nov. 1, 17:37 UTC): Added details of suspected rug pull.


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Muyao Shen

Muyao was a markets reporter at CoinDesk.

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