‘We screwed up’: Coinbase issues apology for derogatory PepeCoin remarks


  • Coinbase apologizes after linking meme token Pepecoin to alt-right symbols.
  • The backlash followed a newsletter discussing ‘memecoins’ and Pepe the Frog’s controversial associations.
  • Despite the controversy, Pepecoin is now listed on exchanges like Gemini and Binance.

Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer, issued an apology to Pepecoin investors on Thursday. This followed a wave of indignation and threats of boycott against the company for its handling of the relationship between the meme token ‘Pepecoin’ and the controversial cartoon meme Pepe the Frog, linked to alt-right hate symbolism.

In a recent Coinbase newsletter, the company touched upon the growing interest in ‘memecoins’, including Pepecoin. It highlighted the adoption of the Pepe meme as a hate symbol by alt-right factions, a classification supported by the Anti-Defamation League.

This commentary led to a Twitter outcry, with Pepecoin investors and other users taking to the platform to voice their disagreement. The hashtag #deletecoinbase began trending, amassing over 180,000 tweets. Users rallied for a Coinbase boycott, arguing that Pepe doesn’t solely cater to racist agendas, notwithstanding its frequent association with far-right imagery.


Coinbase failed to account for the memecoin’s history

Responding to the backlash a day later, Grewal admitted on Twitter that Coinbase had failed to provide a comprehensive account of the meme’s history, extending an apology for the lackluster review of the memecoin. An editor’s note has now been appended to the Coinbase newsletter, expressing regret for the oversight.

At present, Pepecoin (PEPE) is not available for trading on Coinbase. However, following its listing on other exchanges like Binance, the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has incorporated it into its trading roster.

Pepe the Frog, the inspiration for Pepecoin, has a storied past. Originating from a 2005 comic strip by Matt Furie, the character morphed into an internet sensation, deployed in myriad contexts. However, around the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Pepe’s image was increasingly tied to racist representations. Furie, cognizant of the meme’s misappropriation, declared in 2017 that Pepe was deceased. Despite its negative associations, the Anti-Defamation League maintains that the majority of Pepe’s representations “have been, and continue to be, non-bigoted.”

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Mohammad Shahid

An IT and Cybersecurity graduate with specialized knowledge of cryptocurrency and blockchain, Mohammad joins the Repo elite team. He has worked on several blockchain development projects and is an enthusiastic crypto trader.

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