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.

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.

Related: Pepe’s market cap sinks $1B in 5 days, some whales are still buying

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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