A cryptocurrency called SQUID, based on but not affiliated to popular Netflix series Squid Game, has allegedly scammed users out of $3 million.
The SQUID cryptocurrency reached a peak of $2,861 before plummeting to $0 around 5:40 a.m. ET. after it was launched last week, according to the website CoinMarketCap. This kind of theft, commonly called a “rug pull” by crypto investors, happens when the creators of the crypto quickly cash out their coins for real money.
According to cached translation details, the alleged scammers made off with an estimated $3.3 million.
As such, the crypto coin included plenty of red flags, such as a three-week old website filled with bizarre spelling and grammatical errors. The website, hosted at SquidGame.cash, has disappeared, along with every other social media presence set up by the scammers.
Other red flags included the fact that SQUID’s Telegram channel, set up by the unknown scammers, didn’t allow comments from outsiders. And the Twitter account made it impossible for anyone to reply to posts.
The SQUID Telegram group have claimed that they are not responsible for the “rug pull” event, saying that “someone is trying to hack our project.”
“We are trying to protect it, but the price is still abnormal,” they continued. “Squid Game Dev does not want to continue running the project as we are depressed from the scammers and is overwhelmed with stress,” they added.
However, the biggest red flag was that users who purchased SQUID coin were unable to sell any.
Accordingly, mainstream news outlets like the BBC, Yahoo News, Business Insider, Fortune, and CNBC continued covering the story about how the new Squid Game cryptocurrency had soared by 83,000 percent over just a few days.
Last but not least, this is just the latest example of scammers utilizing pop culture to get media attention, having something similar happening earlier this year with Mando, a cryptocurrency that used images from Disney+’s Mandalorian TV show—without permission from Disney, of course.
Cryptocurrencies reach post record inflow, rise of the Omicron asset
CoinShares revealed Monday a heavy institutional investor flow into cryptocurrency products and funds despite a substantial drop in the past weeks, as a new digital asset emerges to the scene, carrying the same title after the new coronavirus variant, the Omicron.
As of November 26th, digital assets’ total incursions into the cryptocurrency sector reached a whopping $9.5 billion, compared to 2020’s Bitcoin inflow of $6.7 billion, with a matter of one week reaching $306 million.
According to data from digital asset manager CoinShares, Bitcoin witnessed its heftiest inflow of $247 million after releasing another investment asset in Europe. During that time, European Investment management firm Invesco issued its bitcoin exchange product in the continent, according to media reports.
Concurrently, asset manager WisdomTree also registered a trio of cryptocurrency basket exchange-traded products (ETP) into the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX) and Frankfurt-based Börse Xetra, as stated by CoinDesk.
In parallel, CoinShare also unveiled that cryptocurrency has attained global inflow tallying to $2.7 billion for 11 consecutive weeks. Last week, the world’s largest crypto asset, Bitcoin, endured a heavy price drop by 2.3 percent, following a 10.4 percent from a prior week.
Last Friday, Bitcoin endured another plunge of almost 9 percent as investors abandoned the decentralized currency with fear of heavy impact support by the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, with last value fluctuation rising to 2 percent, with Bitcoin value reaching $58.483.
However, the globally renowned asset quickly recovered from its demise, following global markets attaining a smoother and soother bearing in valuation on Monday.
“Inflation is skyrocketing, and people are searching for more alternatives for their money in the bank,” chief of cloud-based automated crypto trading bot Cryptohopper, Ruud Feltkamp, said in a statement.
“I don’t think it’ll take long until investors see this as a ‘cheap’ buying moment. We are still in the midst of the bull cycle, and I think rising inflation will lead to more money being allocated to stocks and crypto,” he further added.
Shortly after presenting itself to the investor registry, the value of the newly risen digital asset hit $688 from Friday till Monday, before witnessing a plunge of approximately 75 percent, CoinGecko revealed.
Omicron, defined as “a decentralized treasury-backed cryptocurrency protocol,” initiated trading at around $371, and by Thursday, it marked an estimated value of $65.
Last week, the World Health Organization branded the latest coronavirus variant Omicron, with an expanded list of countries broadcasting the hazardous intensity of it carrying “very high” worldwide threats of waves, even though scientists revealed that would take weeks to fully comprehend the severity of the variant spread on a global scale.
While the ambiguity of Omicron’s launch date lingers, data from GoinGecko demonstrated that the token emerged on the scene on November 8th, with a Telegram channel labeled OmicDAO was launched a day before.
Currently, there is no official and direct representative of the Omicron token.
U.S. federal agencies aim to clarify crypto legality
U.S. regulators uncovered their future plan to address the rise of cryptocurrency for the upcoming year, with focus directed at the “greater clarity” concerning the legality of decentralized transactions, reported by Bloomberg.
The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) unveiled their future scheme to address the uprise of cryptocurrency, placing the digital asset with utmost priority for 2022.
The plan could potentially focus on stablecoin issuance via loan collateral and the manifestation of cryptocurrency on enterprise balance sheets. The three federal entities aim to examine the needed means to employ bank capital and liquidity standards to U.S.-based banking organizations.
The shared roadmap has yet to be finalized, given that the agencies are looking into different issues to accommodate the market’s changes. It will adhere to crypto policy “sprints” to assist in structuring regulatory priorities for the upcoming year.
The OCC, the Reserve, and the FDIC’s goals are to determine any potential threats and establish the efficacy of current rules. While there is no certainty that the roadmap will create fundamental changes, however, one thing is certain though, it will not work in favor of holders of decentralized assets.
The American regulatory move on cryptocurrency will proceed with caution, with crypto users having to proceed with cautions and hold back on specific activities to adhere to the word of law.
Consortium of Japanese firms assesses digital currency for 2022 launch
A consortium of almost 70 Japanese firms revealed on Wednesday in a conference its plan to initiate an experimental phase of testing a yen-based digital currency to be ready for launch in early 2022.
Three of the country’s mega-banks have always shown intentions of joining on the decentralized currency, which will mainly be supported by bank deposits, while utilizing a known platform to hasten a transfer of massive funds and settlement between companies, including cutting costs.
The consortium will incorporate Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Mizuho Financial Group Inc, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. Tmizhuhese companies have had meetings regularly for the past year to examine the required measures to create a widespread infrastructure for digital payments.
In parallel, Japan’s three mega-banks also represented their private digital payment systems but have failed to mirror the same effort provided by financial technology entities, such as Softbank Group-backed PayPay – the multinational conglomerate is not a part of the consortium.
“A digital currency system built on a bank deposit-backed common platform will fit the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) that could be planned and implemented in Japan,” special advisor to DeCurret and former head of Japan’s Financial Service Agency, Toshihide Endo, said during Wednesday conference.
The Japanese consortium will also incorporate a multitude of lenders, including Japan Post Bank Co Ltd, brokerages and insurers, and non-financial companies, such as Nippon Telegraph Corp, Kansai Electric Power Co Inc, and East Japan Railway Co.
In addition, other companies will also investigate options to gauge a currency such as this, all while experimenting with different uses for the digital currency in various industries, from energy to retail.
From another aspect, the consortium’s approach to releasing its own plan to digital currency will most likely trickle down the Bank of Japan’s scheme of launching its own CBDC, with regulators revealing they are working in synchronization with the BOJ if a digital currency is to be issued.
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