It's almost too perfect.
First it soared by a whopping 44,100 percent in value in just 72 hours, according to CoinMarketCap, then by another 7,500 percent, to a value of over $2,800 per coin — which, needless to say, was far too good to be true.
And indeed, what goes up must come down. As of around 10am Eastern time, SQUID had absolutely imploded, losing 99.9999 percent of its value and dropping to less than one hundredth of a penny, CoinMarketCap reports.
In other words, it was a classic get-rich-quick scheme — which is especially ironic, given that "Squid Game" is about a number of unwitting and heavily indebted individuals who risk their lives inside a twisted game to win a massive cash prize.
The developers certainly had the last laugh, getting away with an estimated $2.1 million.
But it also should come as a warning sign that if a new meme coin on the block sounds too good to be true, it's probably a scam. It certainly wouldn't be the first.
The developers of SQUID drummed up enthusiasm, roped people in, and then pulled the rug out from underneath them. That's despite of several red flags, including grammatical and spelling errors in the project's white paper, as CoinDesk points out.
It's still unclear who was behind the scam — and who even is to blame. Administrators of a Telegram group that claimed to be behind the token wrote in a message that "Squid Game Dev does not want to continue running the project as we are depressed from the scammers and is overwhelmed with stress," as quoted by CoinMarketCap.
But the individuals certainly knew what they were doing, making it near impossible for people to quit their game. To actually sell off their SQUID, users had to amass 456 SQUID, a feature they claimed to be an "anti-dumping mechanism."
Getting their hands on 456 SQUID turned out to be more and more expensive, requiring users to pony up thousands of dollars more as the value of the token rose exponentially.
It's not the first crypto scam and it certainly won't be the last. But, as a meme coin that monetized a show that was highly critical of capitalism before taking the money and running, it may well be the most ironic.
"I guess this will serve as a valuable lesson for me to not just jump into meme coins," one individual who bought in told CoinMarketCap.
READ MORE: 'I Lost Everything': How Squid Game Token Collapsed [CoinMarketCap]
More on meme coins: Elon Musk Mocks Dogecoin Crypto Scams
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