Netflix’s new Korean-language show “Squid Game” about a deadly tournament of adults playing children’s games in the hopes of winning a big cash prize is a worldwide sensation. Now, it has its very own brand of cryptocurrency that has launched with a huge price run-up.
SQUID is trading at $2.22, up nearly 2,400% over the last 24 hours, and its market capitalization is above $174 million.
However, those interested in taking part may want to exercise caution before jumping into trading squid. CoinMarketCap has issued a warning, saying that it’s received “multiple reports” that users are not able to sell this token on Pancakeswap, a popular decentralized exchange. It is unclear why some users are unable to sell their tokens, but the white paper describing the coin does lay out an anti-dumping technology that prevents people from selling their coins if certain conditions are not met.
CNBC reached out through contact information listed on the Squid website to ask whether the developers were aware of the problem and working to fix it, and didn’t immediately hear back. Netflix told CNBC it has nothing to do with the currency and doesn’t endorse it.
The coin, which started its presale Oct. 20 and apparently “sold out in 1 second,” according to its white paper, joins a list of other parody cryptocurrencies that have witnessed big run-ups for no particular reason, other than good publicity. The meme-inspired shiba inu coin, for example, has doubled in price in the last week.
The squid token was launched as the exclusive coin of the Squid Game project — a crypto play-to-earn platform. The online tournament, which launches in November, mimics the six rounds of games featured in its namesake TV show. But unlike its Netflix counterpart, the company said “we do not provide deadly consequences apparently!”
Also unlike the series, which capped the grand prize at $38.5 million for the final winner, this virtual simulation of Squid Game will not limit the maximum of the final bonus, nor the number of participants.
Players will, however, have to pay a preset price in squid tokens in order to participate in each game, and some rounds also require users to purchase a custom-made NFT, available for sale on their website. Some of these NFTs feature characters from the show, including the guards who wear full-body reddish-pink suits (the exact coloring has prompted a heated debate among show fans) and black masks covering their entire face.
Gameplay doesn’t come cheap, especially at current prices. If you want to take part in the final game of the tournament, you’ll have to pay 15,000 , or $33,450, and purchase an NFT.
Entry fees from each of the rounds are split between developers (10%) and the reward pool (90%).
The Squid Game platform also offers Marbles Pools — yet another reference to the show — wherein holders can earn tokens through staking, which is putting up their cryptocurrency holdings as collateral to earn passive income.
This comes amid a recent spate of Squid Game-related scams and malware schemes, as cyber criminals look to lure fans.