Can dead coins come back to life? The curious case of SQUID

A community rally stopped the rugged project’s total collapse. Could other dead coins follow?

Grim reaper figurine beside a pile of coins – Photo: Shutterstock                                 
Meet your maker: Can dead coins return? – Photo: Shutterstock


What is a dead coin?

In the rather bleak taxonomic terms of the popular cryptocurrency resource 99Bitcoins, dead coins are “cryptocurrencies forgotten by this world.” Whether due to scams, lack of interest or irrelevance, dead coins are coins and tokens that for all intents and purposes have been left behind in the fast-paced world of cryptocurrency.

99Bitcoins assesses dead coins using six metrics: 

  • Inactive development:
  • No Github repository updates in six months 
  • Inactive Twitter: no Twitter activity in the past year 
  • Low volume: no substantial trading volume observed 
  • Not indexed: coin is not listed on CoinGecko, CoinMarketCap of other major indexes 
  • Not listed on exchanges: only available on three or fewer genuine exchanges
  • No available website

Given the amount of memecoins and shitcoins pumped out on a daily basis, it is reasonable to suggest that dead coins outnumber active projects. But can dead coins ever return from the grave to trend once again?

Saving the SQUID token

The phrase “Squid Games” is almost as synonymous with the multimillion-dollar crypto scam as it is the hit Netflix show. For the uninitiated, the SQUID token rode the coat-tails of the wildly popular Korean series, soaring 45,000% in value before the anonymous developers pulled the rug from under investors’ feet in November 2021, disappearing with an estimated $3.3m. Less well known is what happened after this infamous fleecing.

Drained of liquidity and abandoned by founders, it looked like SQUID would become just another member of the ever-expanding dead coin graveyard. That is until a segment of the SQUID community joined forces to give the project a new lease on life.

Launched in December 2021, served as a rallying point for persistent SQUID holders under a mission statement: “Many people found a home in this previously broken community … The previously extinguished flame has been re-ignited as we grow each and every day and now progress in developing a trustworthy currency with extraordinary potential.”

Screenshot of archived website – Source: via Wayback Machine had a short lifespan – Source: via Wayback Machine has since been suspended, although archives can be pulled via Wayback Machine. According to gossip on the official Telegram page of the enduring SQUID community, a “rogue admin” (whose name, it turns out, matches the registry information) broke away from team SQUID to launch a separate project named Save Squid DAO (SSD).

The fate of Save Squid DAO (SSD) may not be surprising to readers. On 5 March, SSD tanked, shedding almosy 90% of its value to become another citizen of the dead coin void. “Dead coin saviours’ intentions are not always pure” seemed to be the lesson here.

The SQUID swims on

So, is SQUID a dead coin? As of 9 May, it had more than $584,000 in liquidity across all trading pairs, primarily SQUID/WBNB. Almost 560 transactions were logged in 24 hours, more than two a minute. The centralised exchange continues to list the SQUID/USDT trading pair, although the PancakeSwap decentralised exchange is the main source of activity.

At the time of writing, SQUID’s official Telegram had 3,199 members, 220 of whom were online. The token was on more than 29,000 watch lists on Coin Market Cap.

Here’s that sick SQUID I owe you

Perhaps the cephalopod-themed saga of SQUID proves that a rug pull or death by other means does not have to spell the end of a cryptocurrency. But while the open-source nature of crypto makes it relatively easy for a group of developers to latch on to a failed project (name recognition is powerful, after all), no other recent rug pulls saw the same community rally as SQUID.

Titan Finance’s plunge from $64 to fractions of a cent in one June 2021 day, which hit the billionaire Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban, never saw the TITAN token recover. Nor did PulseDAO, Luna Yield, 1Coin, Meerkat Finance, or any other high-profile rug pull of recent times. Looking further back, dead coins of the past did not recover, either.

Whatever the reason might be, however, it seems that some stakeholders are not ready for SQUID to be forgotten by this world just yet. Can other dead coins come back to life? It is doubtful, though as SQUID indicates not impossible.


What is a dead coin?

A dead coin is a cryptocurrency that no longer exists on the market. This could be due to a rug pull, lack of interest or other means. Dead coins have no active developer community, liquidity or social media presence.

What are the biggest rug pulls in crypto?

Some high-profile recent rug pulls in crypto included SQUID token, Titan Finance, PulseDAO, 1Coin and Meerkat Finance.

How many cryptocurrencies are there?

There are more that 11,000 cryptocurrencies in existence, with more being launched every day.

Further reading

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