Coinbase Faces Backlash Over Mischaracterization of PepeCoin as a Hate Symbol


  • Coinbase faces criticism for labeling PepeCoin (PEPE) as a hate symbol in a recent newsletter.
  • PEPE community members express outrage and initiate a campaign against Coinbase.
  • Coinbase’s top lawyer apologizes for the mischaracterization and acknowledges the incomplete portrayal of the Pepe meme.
  • The incident leads to the trending hashtag “#DeleteCoinbase” on Twitter.
  • Pepe, originally an innocent animated frog character, was later embraced by the alt-right, but the creator reclaimed it through legal actions.
  • PepeCoin, a joke cryptocurrency, gained popularity and market cap before experiencing a decline in value.

Pepe and Coinbase

Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, recently found itself in the midst of a controversy surrounding PepeCoin (PEPE). The memecoin, known for its frog-themed persona, experienced a surge in popularity within the crypto community. However, a misstep by Coinbase ignited a backlash from PEPE fans and holders who felt misrepresented and misunderstood. The incident highlights the significance of accurate communication and the power of community-driven movements in the cryptocurrency space.

A Mischaracterization Unleashes Outrage:

On May 10, Coinbase sent an email to its investors that referred to PEPE as a memecoin and mentioned its association with hate symbols. The email cited the Anti-Defamation League’s classification of PEPE as a symbol co-opted by alt-right groups. This characterization did not sit well with the PEPE community, leading to a swift and vocal response.

Crypto influencer Borovik.eth shared a screenshot of the email newsletter, questioning Coinbase’s portrayal of PEPE as an alt-right hate symbol. The incident gained traction on social media, with the hashtag “#DeleteCoinbase” trending on Twitter. PEPE enthusiasts and holders rallied against Coinbase, decrying the mischaracterization and demanding accountability.

Coinbase Issues an Apology:

Realizing the magnitude of its misstep, Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer, Paul Grewal, took to Twitter to issue an apology to the PEPE community. Grewal acknowledged that the newsletter failed to provide a comprehensive history of the Pepe meme, resulting in an inaccurate representation. The apology aimed to address the concerns raised by the community and express Coinbase’s regret for the oversight.

The Power of Community-Driven Movements:

PEPE lovers found support in digital artist Beeple and prominent crypto influencers such as Kenobi and Pauly. They highlighted the importance of community-driven movements and the need to prevent venture capitalist-backed entities from hijacking the Web3 movement. Images depicting the Pepe Army laying siege to Coinbase circulated, demonstrating the united front of the PEPE community against perceived misrepresentations.

PepeCoin’s Resilience Amidst Controversy:

Despite the controversy, PepeCoin continues to gain attention in the crypto space. It secured listings on OKX and Binance, two prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, further establishing its presence and potential. Gemini, a well-known exchange, has also expressed support for PepeCoin, impressed by its performance and community engagement.

Lessons Learned and Moving Forward:

The incident involving Coinbase and PepeCoin serves as a reminder of the importance of accurate and responsible communication within the cryptocurrency industry. Exchanges and platforms must conduct thorough research and strive to provide a comprehensive understanding of symbols and memes before making public statements. The PEPE community’s swift and united response demonstrates the power of community-driven movements in shaping the narrative surrounding cryptocurrencies.

Despite the controversy

Coinbase’s mischaracterization of PepeCoin as a hate symbol triggered a strong backlash from the PEPE community. The incident highlighted the need for accurate communication and responsible representation within the cryptocurrency space. Coinbase’s subsequent apology aimed to rectify the situation and foster better understanding. Despite the controversy, PepeCoin’s listings on major exchanges and ongoing support from its dedicated community underscore its resilience and potential. This incident serves as a reminder of the influence of community-driven movements and the importance of accurate communication in the dynamic world of cryptocurrencies.


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