(Reuters) – A cryptocurrency named after the wildly popular Netflix drama “Squid Game” crashed to almost zero value on Tuesday after a dizzying rally pushed it to almost $2,800 last week.
The reason for squid’s slump was unclear. However, several reports including one by Gizmodo said holders of the coin were not allowed to sell the digital coin. Reuters could not independently verify the information.
Specialist crypto news outlet Coindesk reported that a digital address dumped squid tokens and cashed out millions of dollars worth of tokens in what it termed a “rug pull”- a situation where crypto developers abandon a project and run away with investors’ money.
Squid’s website appeared to be offline on Tuesday, while its Twitter account was “temporarily restricted” due to unusual activity.
Squid has only traded for a week, according to CoinMarketCap.
“Like many internet scams, cryptocurrency scams align themselves closely to popular trends and after the hype of Squid Game, this is no different,” said Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist at cybersecurity firm ESET.
Cryptocurrencies based on memes or linked to internet culture have recorded rapid booms and busts this year, echoing soaring popularity of mainstream cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
Last week, for instance, shiba inu cryptocurrency – a meme-inspired cryptocurrency and a spinoff of dogecoin – muscled into the top-10 largest digital tokens by market capitalization. It has, however, barely any practical use.
South Korean series Squid Game, which became a global sensation and the No.1 program on Netflix, shows hundreds of cash-strapped players competing in hyperviolent games.
Squid is traded on exchanges PancakeSwap and DODO.
Pancakeswap did not respond to a request for comment.
Reporting by Medha Singh and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru and Tom Wilson in London; Editing by Bernard Orr and Shinjini Ganguli