New York (CNN Business)A digital currency based off the popular Netflix series “Squid Game” is trading at $0 after its creators cashed out, effectively stealing an estimated $2.1 million from investors.The cryptocurrency, appropriately called SQUID, surged as high as $2,861 before falling to $0 as of Monday, according to CoinMarketCap. The scam, which was reported by Gizmodo, is called a “rug pull.” That means the crypto’s creators cash out of their coins in exchange for real money, quickly devaluing the crypto’s value.Before the rug pull, the crypto’s market cap was a little more than $2 million, according to CoinMarketCap.
SQUID was billed as a token that can be used for a new online game inspired by the popular Korean language series, which is based on a deadly tournament of children’s games. GIzmodo pointed out numerous signs it was a scam, including its (now disappeared) website being filled with spelling errors. Another red flag: Investors could buy — but not sell — SQUID.
CoinMarketCap also warned potential investors that SQUID was probably a scam, displaying a warning to “exercise extreme caution” if they bought the crypto. “Squid Game”— a dystopian fictional drama — has become Netflix’s top show globally. The company told CNN Business earlier this month that it had been viewed by 111 million accounts since its debut in September, making it the company’s “biggest-ever” series launch. Executives have pointed to the show as evidence that its growing slate of international content can resonate with a variety of audiences.Netflix told CNN Business last week that it was not affiliated with the cryptocurrency, and declined to comment further.
CNN Business reached out to developers of the SQUID project through contact information listed on its website, and did not immediately receive a response. — CNN Business’ Michelle Toh contributed to this report.