‘Squid Game’ crypto token cost one Shanghai investor his life savings of $28,000 after coin plunged to near zero – CNBC

‘Squid Game’ crypto token cost one Shanghai investor his life savings of $28,000 after coin plunged to near zero – CNBC

Scene from “Squid Game” by Netflix

Source: Netflix

When Bernard heard about a token named after the popular South Korean Netflix series “Squid Game,” which chronicles the lives of cash-strapped adults who play in a deadly tournament for a big jackpot, he did a quick scan on Google to see if the coin was legit.

After catching headlines – but before reading the full articles, many of which warned of some red flags around the project – he decided to invest his entire life savings of $28,000 into SQUID, a coin that billed itself as a “play-to-earn” cryptocurrency. On Monday, the token hit a high of just over $2,860, before plummeting to nearly zero, according to CoinMarketCap.

“My rush to buy this token is for a single idea that went into my brain that ‘Squid Game’ is very, very popular now, and its token must be popular now,” said Bernard, who lives in Shanghai, and asked to be identified only by his English first name because trading in cryptocurrency is of questionable legality in China. “It’s a tragedy. I don’t know how to recover my loss.”

Bernard tells CNBC that he supports his family and is now worried about how to pay his bills.

Transaction records from BscScan appear to show the token’s anonymous creators collected least $3.4 million in investor funds. The crypto ecosystem is rife with so-called “rug pull” schemes wherein token founders abruptly abandon their project and
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