Coinbase calls Pepe a ‘hate symbol,’ prompting calls to boycott the exchange
An email sent out to Coinbase customers describing the Pepe meme as a “hate symbol” co-opted by alt-right groups has drawn significant ire from the PEPE memecoin community.
Prominent crypto influencer Borovik.eth shared a screenshot of the email newsletter from May 10 to his 96,000 followers, which cites a 2016 decision from the Anti-Defamation League to place the frog-themed character in its database of online hate symbols.
Why is @coinbase sending out emails telling people that $pepe is an alt-right hate symbol?? pic.twitter.com/UNzClQlwwv
— borovik.eth (@3orovik) May 11, 2023
Fans and holders of the frog-themed memecoin were outraged at the description of the token, sparking calls for Coinbase to issue an apology, and users to start deleting their accounts with the crypto exchange.
Pseudonymous Twitter user and solidity developer Kenobi declared that Pepe is not a symbol of hate and that he would be moving funds to the United States-based crypto exchange Gemini as a result, completing his tweet with the hashtag: “#deletecoinbase”
I will be closing my personal and business accounts with @Coinbase and moving them to @Gemini.#PEPE IS NOT A SYMBOL OF HATE@brian_armstrong, the $PEPE community DEMANDS that you retract your vulgar statement about #PEPECOIN!!#DELETECOINBASE, SHORT $COIN
— Kenobi (@OG_Kenobi_Hello) May 11, 2023
The hashtag “#deletecoinbase” has hit the trending bar of Twitter, with more than 14,000 tweets in the last two hours and counting, according to data from Tweetbinder.
Since Binance listed the token for trading on May 5, Pepe-holding members of Crypto witter have been asking leaders from a number of cryptocurrency exchanges to list the token as well.
Coinbase has not yet made many indication of whether it intends to list the Pepe token on its exchange.
A Coinbase spokesperson said the exchange had “nothing further to add” in an emailed response to Cointelegraph.
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Evidently, Gemini CEO Cameron Winkelvoss was listening and on May 9, the Winklevoss-owned crypto exchange listed the memecoin for trading, with a more open-ended description of the new token.
The price of Pepe fell 2.6% in the hours following news of Coinbase’s description circulating on Twitter. At the time of publication, Pepe is trading for a price of $0.00000184, down 10.4% in the last 24 hours, according to data from CoinGecko.
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Update (May 11, 4:44am UTC): Made a correction to the article to clarify that the Pepe meme was described as a hate symbol, not the memecoin.