'We screwed up' — Coinbase CLO responds to outrage after exchange associated Pepe with hate groups


Coinbase chief legal officer Paul Grewal has issued an apology after the crypto exchange sent out an email labeling the Pepe the Frog meme as a “hate symbol” — a move that prompted many users to call for a boycott.

In a May 11 tweet, Grewal said Coinbase had “screwed up” in sharing information about the Pepe meme, which included that it had been co-opted by many alt-right groups as a hate symbol. According to the Coinbase CLO, the exchange was attempting “to provide a fact-based picture of a trending topic” to its users.

The price of the memecoin Pepe (PEPE) has significantly surged in the last 30 days, rising to an all-time high of roughly $0.000004 on May 4. Exchanges including Binance, OKX, MEXC Global, Bitget, Gate.io, Gemini and Huobi listed Pepe trading pairs amid the online frenzy. Many users responding to Grewal’s apology also called on Coinbase to start listing the token.

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Coinbase’s May 10 email prompted many Crypto Twitter users to call for a boycott of the exchange, claiming that Pepe was not a hate symbol to members of the space. The hashtag #deletecoinbase was trending on Twitter after pseudonymous user borovik.eth posted the Coinbase email.

“I never felt the need to delete my Coinbase account based off some misinformed copy pasta newsletter intern,” said Twitter user 6101.eth. “I truly appreciate all CB is doing for crypto advocacy in the U.S. [I] for one am hoping to see an apology email with the correct info sent out at the very least.”

At the time of publication, the PEPE price was roughly $0.0000013, having fallen by more than 27% in the last 24 hours.

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