Coinbase calls Pepe a 'hate symbol,' prompting calls to boycott the exchange


An email sent out to Coinbase customers describing memecoin Pepe (PEPE) as a “hate symbol” co-opted by alt-right groups has drawn significant ire from the 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.

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.

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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 US-based crypto exchange Gemini as a result, completing his tweet with the hashtag: “#deletecoinbase”

The hashtag “#deletecoinbase” has hit the trending bar of Twitter, with more than 14,000 tweets in the last 2 hours and counting, according to data from Tweetbinder.

Since Binance listed the token for trading on May 5, Pepe-holding members of crypto twitter 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 there had “nothing further to add” in an emailed response to Cointelegraph.

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.

Gemini’s summary of the Pepe token on its listing page. Source: Gemini.

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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